It was during the fall that I was cruising around the suburbs of Chicago and stumbled upon a promising looking hot dog stand called Scooter's. Located at the corner of Waukegan rd and Route 176 in the suburb of Lake Bluff-it was a place that I had never seen or heard of so I had to stop in and see whats up. It was after my visit I did a little google search online I found out that its been a part of the Lake Bluff community for over 20 years now. So it had two things going for it in longevity and an encouraging looking stand from the outside. Upon entering there was a nice little crowd and constant orders for pick up. So far so good.
The pumpkin shake caught my eye but I had just eaten a beef from Duke's not 20 minutes before this stop so I had to myself no, just one food item. I browsed the menu and saw a bunch of the stuff you would expect at a Chicagoland dog stand. You got your standard fare of hot dogs, Polish sausage, Italian sausage, char grilled cheeseburgers, gyros, homemade beef which I'll have to try one day, shakes and then a few items you wont see everywhere. The "mother-in-law" sandwich which is well documented on the Chicago episode of Anthony Bourdain's 'No Reservations'-is on the menu- it might be the only place to get one this far North. It's listed as a 'Texas Torpedo' and described as a tamale on a bun with chili and cheese. As you walk up to make your order you are greeted by this sign below.
a match made in heaven
So guess what I went with? I decided on a char grilled Boca burger. I keed, I keed and so the Scooter dog it was-anytime your at a spot that has a signature item, get it. I order my dog and within a couple minutes it was ready to go. I brought it outside to the hood of my car for further inspection. It looked good upon being unwrapped but I did notice two things that were going to keep this dog from being one of the best. The first problem was the nacho cheese-standard bright orange gunk that they serve in grade school cafeteria's across Chicago. The second part that didn't take it to the next level was the small boiled hot dog. It was Vienna beef and a nice dog but it didn't work for this particular concoction. High points were the bacon was crisped to perfection and the grilled onions were solid. So it got me thinking...I could perfect this at home.
So perfect it I did. I present to you the chibbqking dog-a char grilled Vienna Beef Natural casing dog topped with Merkt's cheddar, onions crisped in butter and a crispy piece of bacon. Everything that was lacking from the Scooter Dog was brought to life in this version. The Vienna dog is split at the ends and slitted down the middle on each side making the first and last bites the best. This cutting method is how I always do my grilled hot dogs. The bacon needs to be well done and crispy and then the onions are sauteed to perfection in the same pan that the bacon was cooked in. Last and by no means least is the cheese. Merkt's cheddar spread is a very popular cheese used at many of Chicago's best dog and burger joints. On top of making the best cheese topping for cheese fries it is also very popular with char grilled burgers. The cheese pairs perfectly with the char grilled taste of the meat. It also happens to work great with a grilled hot dog.
chibbqking's Char-Grilled Bacon Cheddar Dog with Grilled Onions
1 Vienna beef hot dog (split at the ends and slitted in the middle)
1 hot dog bun
1 piece of crispy bacon
a couple spoonfuls of Merkt's cheddar spread
~Grill dog until done and place in bun and top with cheese, piece of bacon and onions.
Jenny Craig beware, this isn't for your people
That's exactly what I said...wow
12610 Rockland Rd
Lake Bluff, IL 60044
Lake Bluff, IL 60044