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Westminster Hot Dog, The Loop

by Krista
Westminster Hot Dog

Westminster Hot Dog

Westminster Hot Dog ***CLOSED***

(This is still a fun post to read though, so please enjoy!)

11 North Wells

Date of Last Visit: Tuesday, March 2 2011

The Victim: @dupreeblue

The Background: I met Mindy at my second foray into the Chicago social media scene at Pierrot Gourmet the other week. She volunteered to be a victim and you know I am always in need of victims. So Westmister Dog on Tuesday it was.

The Hard Part: It’s hard to be a hot dog stand in Chicago. There are a lot of them. But it’s particularly hard if you want to offer a lot of exotic hot dogs because there’s already one place in Chicago that does this: Hot Doug’s. And Doug does his thing awesomely well. (Check out all the photos on Flickr over here.)

So I mean, launching Westminster Hot Dog with a crappy interior…you’re just really begging for someone to tell you you suck because your interior sucks. (Doug’s interior is awesome.) Have you watched Trading Spaces? Because seriously…a little paint, a few accessories from Target…it would all go a long way.

Westmister Dogs MenuThere’s a lot to choose from here. I’m not denying that. And the service was really friendly and nice. That’s important.

Carolina BBQ Westminster DogBut the presentation was pretty crap. This is terrible. I’m not even talking about how the food tastes. But really…firstly, I asked for my hot dog “for here.” And they gave it to me in a take-away bag. (Mindy’s too.) So firstly, that’s wrong. And secondly, your food is just going to look like crap because it’s been delivered in a paper bag.

Part of me likes the little retro French fry envelope. But the other part of me is thinking, “Really. You have a major competitor in Hot Doug’s. Everyone is going to compare you. You know that. Could you not have tried a little harder? Come up with something different?” Any why Restaurant Depot frozen fries? Why not fresh? (I know why. Fresh is hard. It’s manual. The margin is probably higher on frozen as well.)

I don’t normally take the reviews on Yelp seriously, but I think if you read them, you’ll get the gist that while someone here might be able to make hot dogs, they’re not much of a homemaker. (I’m imaging an apartment full of Laz-y boy recliners and big screen TVs. Maybe a dart board. And a calendar of some sort turned to the wrong month.)

I’m already imagining the proprietors reading this. “Who cares what she thinks. We’re about the hot dogs. Not about the decor.” And I don’t disagree. But really…can’t you just take it up a notch? Just one notch? You are making GOURMET HOT DOGS for Chrissake.

I had Westminster Hot Dog’s Carolina BBQ specialty dog. It came with mustard based bbq sauce and colby jack. I could taste the mustard and barbecue. I could kinda taste the dog. But the dog itself was just too dry.

The Verdict: I really want to like this place. But it needs help! A decorator! A painter! A food stylist! Something. (Rosemary fries! They need rosemary fries!)

Random: Don’t name your hot dog stand after a dog show. Because no one will ever be able to find you on Google.

P.S. Someone needs to report back on Westminster Hot Dog and tell me if the plants are real. If they are, that spoils my whole Laz-y boy/big screen TV/dart board/old calendar image.

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PostGlow (@PostGlow) March 3, 2011 - 6:43 pm

From @kristainlondon Westminster Hot Dog, The Loop: Westminster Dog 11 North Wells Chicago Date of Last Visit: T… http://bit.ly/i25wUl

Alltop Food (@Alltop_food) March 3, 2011 - 7:21 pm

Westminster Hot Dog, The Loop http://bit.ly/eIgAzK

min. March 4, 2011 - 1:41 pm

Victim here: mine was thoroughly disappointing. Bland tasting & I had over an inch of bun left after the sausage was done. Also: consistency. While your fries were well done, mine were undercooked. Not to mention you ordered 30 seconds before me but got your food 6 minutes before me. I’m not saying it was awful, but it’s no destination spot.

mindy reznik. (@dupreeblue) March 4, 2011 - 1:43 pm

Things that are weird. Opening google reader & finding a blog post (kind of) about you. http://bit.ly/e8LSBz /cc: @kristainchicago

Gourmet Chick March 5, 2011 - 9:09 am

We have got a friends wedding in Vegas this year so I am hoping for lots of US style hot dogs during our trip (sadly I think Chicago will be a bit far out of the way!)

Adrian March 7, 2011 - 6:29 pm

I’ve stopped here twice now, as I am continually searching for good hot dogs in the loop. Didn’t have any complaints over the regular chicago-style dogs (well, except perhaps for the sorry tomatoes) but the one specialty sausage I tried (chorizo) was disappointingly bland. That leaves me hesitant to try the other, even pricier options. My fries were about as good as frozen crinkle-cut fries can be.

Can’t say the lack of decor bothered me much…perhaps I’m just used to utilitarian lunch spaces downtown. And I’d guess that 50% of the time I tell any loop lunch spot that I’m dining in, I’m still given my order to-go, so I’m used to that too. I will agree with you on the poor name choice though. I’d have never figured out the dog show angle without reading the ‘about us’ story.

Anyway, I don’t think they’re in any danger of challenging Doug (that honor goes to Franks N Dawgs), but there’s some promise here, and they deserve a few more shots.

FYI- There’s another ray of hope for Loop dog stands coming soon- U.B. Dogs

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