Hot dog stands are a dime a dozen in Chicagoland. Almost every street has one or two, and they all offer pretty much the same thing: Chicago-style hot dog (also known as a Red Hot, an all-beef frank topped with mustard, onion, tomato slices, neon green sweet relish, sport peppers, a pickle spear and celery salt served on a poppy seed bun–absolutely no ketchup allowed) , fries, and sometimes tamales, subs and other sausages. So when Naoto told me about a new “hot dog stand” in neighboring Berwyn–Big Guys Sausage Stand, I was happy to try it out, but I wasn’t flipping my lid over it…I mean, how different could it be than all the others?
Apparently, very different.
As you can tell from the menu, they have every kind of tubed meat available…and sausages aren’t topped with the usual mustard and onions. Big Guys’ toppings are homemade and very inventive. On my first visit I had the Cheddar Braut which comes topped with homemade cheddar sauce, chimmichurri and pickled red onions. What could normally be a very heavy sandwich was actually well-balanced because of the freshness of the chimmichurri and the onions. On my second visit (a few days later) I had the Buffalo Chicken Sausage (pictured on top). This sausage is their own recipe and it is pretty spicy, but it’s nicely cooled down by the bleu cheese and the veggies. I cannot wait to try the Italian Chicken Sausage (also Big Guys’ own recipe) and the Bacon Beer Cheese Soup (maybe when the weather cools off) and quite possibly a tamale…
As with most hot dog stands, there is a counter inside for stand-up eating and picnic tables in the back for a summer sit-down.
Needless to say, I think we’re going to be regulars here.