When in Chicago, one should probably eat sausage. The city's heritage lies in its former stockyards, and a Chicago dog is still one of the best things the city has to offer. These days, local folks in the know (and lots of obnoxious tourists like moi) venture north to Hot Doug's for their sausage needs.
The line at Hot Doug's is ever-present, but they keep the pace up and people move through so quickly that there's always somewhere to perch once you get your order in. (And don't forget to bring cash - they don't take plastic.) sEllie and I decided to order two sausages and some fries to split between the two of us. We ordered a chicken sausage, Italian-style, topped with everything (pickle, onions, tomatoes, celery salt) and a brat, topped with grilled onions and mustard.
Both were delicious. The brat was beery and porky and marvelous, split down the middle to allow for just the right amount of mustard and onions in each and every bite. The spicy chicken sausage was brightened up by the vegetables, and its casing snapped as perfectly as any pork link's.
And the fries! We didn't even make it on a weekend (Friday & Saturday, to be exact) when they have duck fat fries, so these were the low-end version - and they were still insanely delicious. Perfectly cooked, but clearly made with fresh potatoes. In-N-Out, take note.