-In Chicago: Every Dog Has it's Day
We're back on the Chicago hot dog stand tour and today's stop is Terry's Red Hot so get your seatbelts on, we taking a blast back to the past. Let me start out by saying I love this place and the food is only the second reason why. Here sits this ghetto red cinder block shack under the El tracks in what is now an ultra trendy neighborhood. Terry's Red Hot is about the only thing that remains from the 80's and early 90's when it comes to the area where it rests on North ave. and Larrabee. I love it. I'm sure there's millions of people who have driven by in their lifetime but not too many ever thought twice about stopping in. I tell it like it is and this place was a popular stop for the residents of Cabrini Green aka Gangsta City.
Please Note: some people may find the second link titled "Gangsta City" and its video offensive.
Found along North ave in/near Old Town
Its also always been a stop I have made a few times a year when I get the hankering for straight grease laced food at a great price. You wont find any salads on the menu over there. Terry's is one of the last of a dying breed. Most hot dog stands around town that were built back in the day are long gone. Terry's is almost a landmark monument as far as I'm concerned. It really is one of the only things that remains from the neighborhood where it rests. When you walk in there is no sitting room at all and most people make their order to go from the other side of the metal screen. There is nothing fancy at all about this place its about the bare minimum when it comes to decor and ambiance but it still has good traffic throughout the day. Oh and I promise nothing will happen to you if you decide to stop on in for a cheap, quick and greasy bite to eat.
Entry from Larrabee street side
Terry's is now owned by an Asian couple or family and like alot of the other Asian owned hot dog joints around town they have a few Asian items on the menu. The menu still consists of the namesake item, hot dogs as well as fried rice, egg rolls, tacos and a few other items I have never gotten and so I cant remember. Its pretty much the bare minimum when it comes to the food here as well but its cheap and quick and some of the items aint all that bad. I occasionally get a hot dog now and then. Its a standard dog but not a natural casing which is the norm for its minimalist aka depression dog toppings-mustard, onions, relish and sport peppers. They come with frozen crinkle cut fries but will set you back about $2.00 total.
Terry's Red Hot with everything
I don't think that there is one popular item at Terry's, hot dogs included, every time I'm in there different people are ordering up pretty much the whole menu. I have tried a few of the other items at terry's including the Chinese items of fried rice and egg rolls. The hood loves fried rice and its a pretty easy dish to do up and while nothing was great about the fried rice at Terry's (except maybe the price) it also isn't awful, I've had much worse. The egg rolls are your standard frozen variety I believe but they also arent all that bad and at a buck and change they taste pretty good when equate in the price. The Chinese food items especially the fried rice are definitely popular with the regulars and the workers behind the steel can really fry it up.
Egg roll from Terry's Red Hot
Shrimp fried rice
But the item that keeps me coming back to Terry's are the tacos. I'm not sure that these "ghetto" tacos would be loved by all but they sure are by me. Nothing fancy or even authentic about them. They take a flour tortilla, dip it in oil and then throw it on the flattop along with some ground beef. They then throw a piece of American cheese on the tortilla and let it melt for second and follow that with the sizzling beef. Toppings are limited to hot sauce and lettuce which I get both of. I don't know why but these are my favorite ghetto tacos out there. Pure grease and ever since my first trip to Terry's years and years ago, I have loved them and they are what keep me coming back. Damn now I want one right now.
"Ghetto Taco" from Terry's
Terry's Red Hot
1554 N Larrabee st.
Chicago, IL 60610
312 787 6712