Young and Hungry

ChiDogO’s Blows Onto the U Street Corridor with Chicago Dogs and Italian Beef

Like so many other transplants who move to D.C. — we don't have to name names, right, Taylor Gourmet? — Chicago native Bob H. really missed some of the iconic bites from his hometown. Like a Vienna Beef dog in a poppy seed bun topped just the right way. Or a hand-dipped Italian beef sandwich loaded with sweet (or hot) peppers.

When he couldn't find these classics in D.C., he decided to fix the problem himself. He started his own Windy City-themed restaurant that features (you guessed it) Chicago dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. ChiDogO's officially opened yesterday at 1934 14th St. NW, and I was one of many standing in line for a bite.

After following ChiDogO's for the past few months online and seeing the mouthwatering photographs, I finally had a chance to sample the famously fussy all-beef hot dog. (Don't even think about skimping on the proper toppings.) The dog was good, the fries were probably better, but the prices were a little steep for the portion sizes.

According to the menu, a classic Chicago dog goes for $3.19 and a beef sandwich for $5.75, with bigger portions available as well.

I left a bit hungry, but I'd still go back to give it a second whirl. Question is, will the District's most famous Chicago transplant stop by this Second City recreation and pass judgment? Or will it feel like a betrayal of D.C.'s own icon, Ben's Chili Bowl, where the president-elect made his famous stop?

  • dcrat

    I was there yesterday and had the Chicago Dog. I thought it tasted really good but the relish was not green enough for me.

  • ustreetdude

    Betrayal of Ben's Chili Bowl pure and simple. We are D.C. Chicago dogs don't live here. Would we embrace the Chicago Bears over the Skins? Nope, why the Chicago dog? Now the Italian beef... maybe. That's not represented here.

  • doglover

    Tried the dogs out yesterday... after a long morning of no breakfast, I was looking for a hot dog to keep me going through the afternoon. I absolutely L O V E hot dogs and this was one pretty good (reminded me of the Silver Star beef franks that I know and adore), but I should've opted for the combo deal-- one dog, a fry and drink just wasn't enough.

  • Jim

    ustreetdude - get some perspective. ITS A HOTDOG...

  • monkeyrotica

    @dcrat The relish on the Chicago Dog at DC-3 is the real deal: kryptonite green on a poppy seed roll.

  • esquire

    We are DC, but I'm from Detroit. I like Bens and halfsmokes, but I wouldn't take a Chicago dog over a Coney.

  • Ben’s fan

    Love Ben's first and foremost, but man does not live on Chili Halfsmokes alone.
    Tried the Chicago Dog at Chidogo this afternoon and it rocked. I be missing me the sweet smiles of the Ethiopian Princesses and my main man Jerome at Ben's, but the service at Chidogo was friendly and efficient. And the dogs and fries were excellent.

    So now I have two great hot dog places on U Street, barely a block apart. Is this a great country, or what?

  • dan riley

    These cats do a respectable job on the Chi Dog, but the relish has to change. Gotta be neon. I give them a solid B-...I really miss Portillos and Hot Dougs...

  • Paul

    @esquire - take a cue from Bob H and open your own Coney Dog restaurant. =)