Muskie’s (2878 N. Lincoln Ave.) is one of the (sadly) few hot dog stands around Chicago that serves REAL cheddar cheese with its fries and sandwiches. Lots of places serve NACHO cheese as their cheddar. As I’ve stated in the past, nacho cheese belongs on nachos and ONLY nachos.
Muskie’s is super cheap. They have great char broiled burgers and dogs as well as some other staple items for a Chi-town stand. The double char cheese burger is only $4.95. How much cheaper could it possibly be? The same owners have been there for a while and I always see the same couple guys working behind the counter – both very good signs for a well run food operation.
Now I’ve performed some research recently on Vienna Beef. While they are still a local Chicago brand in many ways they have basically sold out. They’re available all over and they just aren’t the small local hot dog stand they used to be. That leaves us with two fantastic options which, in my mind, exceed the quality of the Vienna brand. Eisenberg meats and Chicago Red Hots make excellent hot dogs. Muskie’s features Chicago Red Hot.
I ordered my dog to go and ate it in the car – no fries on this trip, just a $.25 water (whatevs). Delish. Excellent char on the dog. A nice soft steamed poppyseed bun houses a generous portion of cheddar cheese while not being too much believe it or not. The ketchup and onions are laid atop with care which I believe is a key sign to a quality run hot dog establishment. If you don’t take care in the construction of the burger or dog you may as well not use any quality ingredients either.
I ate my “snack” in minutes and gulped down my lil water in total bliss. Perfect little pick me up to keep Scottie happy until his next meal.
On this trip I was only getting a “snack” to tide me over ’til a later dinner. I ordered my char dog with cheddar cheese. Now normally in Chicago we pride ourselves in putting basically a salad on top of our dogs. When it comes to a cheese dog though, the best and only toppings that should be applied (in my opinion) are ketchup (I know…) and raw onions. The ketchup provides a nice tangy acidic note to cut through the rich gooey cheddar cheese sauce while the onions give the dog a nice healthy crunch and they too balance out the savory cheese that, to be frank, is the real spotlight of the dish.