-In Chicago: Every Dog Has it's Day
Where the Cubs fans get their grub on.
Is there anything more symbolic of summer than baseball and hot dogs? No. So for the first week of April we'll be doggin' it. Lets take a look at three of Chicago's best hot dogs stands and a couple of hall of famers on both the northside and the southside visited all summer long by both Cubs and Sox fans. So first up to bat we head to Murphy's Red Hots over on Belmont and Racine in the Lakeview/Wrigleyville neighborhood where they have been doing Chicago style hot dogs justice since 1987. Murphy's is also BIG with Cubs fans headed to and from Wrigley.
a popular stop in Lakeview
Murphy's might not be as old as some of the other famous hot dog stands around town but it sure is just as Real Chicago as any other. Walking into Murphy's for the first time you might even think its from the 50's back when the neighborhoods were filled with buildings with a storefront on the bottom and apartments on top. Its got all sorts of character and is one of Chicago's best weiner stands and a Vienna Beef Hall of Fame inductee. In fact its so much a part of the neighborhood and city that the man who started it all, Bill Murphy, lives right next door and is a resident of the community. It got so big that at one point back when he was 30 he was hired by a Japanese business that owned over 400 coffeehouses and wanted to get into the hot dog business and specifically, the Chicago style. So Murphy's can be credited with introducing the far east to our beloved Chicago style hot dogs.
Murphy's is a proud member of the Hall
The menu at Murphy's includes much more but these are favorites
Although the 15 minutes of fame seem to be up and Bill Murphy is no longer on all the commercials and billboards in Japan, the original stand is still going strong with no signs of it ever ending. Murphy's has a few tall tables with stools to sit at inside and during summer time when the Cubs fans come a calling they also have outdoor tables along the side of the house. Here is a little photo look into the story of how Japan was introduced to the Chicago style hot dog. You can click the pics to enhance them.
Inside the stand they have the walls filled with memorabilia
Article from the Tribune
Japanese Hot Dog Stand Menu with the Murphy Dog
Chicago to Japan
So how's the food? well how do you think it is? they've been going strong for 23 years now and its all because of the food. Murphy's will hit a home run each time on most menu items. Obviously its the hot dogs that are the most popular but Murphy's has some other regularly ordered items and like any place that wants to be great, they do their fries fresh. I grew up on this place and took many a bike rides over and as a kid my go to was the dog and chili cheese fries. Since my youth I have moved onto Murphy's cheddar fries which are made with spread and seen below.
Murphy's fresh cut fries
Chili is available as is or on anything you want it to be
chili cheese fries
Murphy's Cheddar Fries are da bomb
I still love the hot dogs over at Murphy's and how could you not? They are the Vienna Beef (the best) and come char grilled and everything on it means everything...except ketchup. If its something char grilled, which most things at Murphy's are, then it's going to be good. Its what Murphy's does and on a windy summer day you can smell the smoke from the grill down the block and all around the stand. I have two current favorite and I tend to order either or when I'm headed to Murphy's these days. It just depends if I want beef or if I'm feeling like going light and ordering something chicken. Because the double cheddar char burger and the char grilled chicken sandwich on French bread are both great eats.
Murphy's double char cheddar bacon cheeseburger
Chicago doesn't have a particular burger style like say CT and steamed cheeseburgers but the char grilled cheddar burgers made with Merkt's cheese is pretty standard around town. If you wanna talk about a couple flavors that go real well together, its flame/fire and Merkt's cheese spread. The cheese is on the bottom in the picture of the double up above but it makes all the difference and its my favorite cheese of any type to have on a burger. The double charred over at Murphy's is a fine example of a Chicago Char Cheddar burger. I know I have alot of ladies that like to read the site and also alot of yuppies so if your not feeling like all that beefy goodness I would highly rec the grilled chicken sandwich. Its one of the best of its genre in the city.
Murphy's Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Murphy's is a short shot from Wrigley Field and has been a favorite of Cubs fans since the day it opened in 1987, when the bleacher bums were literally drunken bums and the Cubs had this rookie from Las Vegas named Greg Maddux, along with an up and coming 2nd year starter named Jamie Moyer, Cubbie favorite and current ESPN MLB broadcaster Rick Sutcliffe along with two future hall of famers in Ryne Sandberg and that years NL MVP Andre Dawson, 1987 was also the last season at Wrigley Field without lights.
I gotta admit I don't know what to expect from this years (2010) team. I think its a very good thing not to have these high hopes like last year and be more under the radar than on it. I also think good things are ahead now that the team is family owned by real Cubs fans and not some corporation. We shall see. You can also expect to see Rhyno in the dugout in 2011. I'm setting the 2010 Cubs wins at 88 total.
Murphy's Chicago style with EVERYTHING
Murphy's Red Hots
1211 West Belmont Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657-3205