21 E Adams, Chicago, IL 60603
Time: In the door at 12:43pm, food in 12 minutes
Meal: Chicken sandwich combo (includes curly fries and soda) = $9.96
America’s Dog is another small local chain (4 locations in the city, one at O’Hare*). Their schtick is that they have 21 hotdogs named after cities around the country and that each represents the cuisine of that area. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen “BBQ sauce, grilled onions and tomato” on a hot dog in New Orleans, but sure. They have a “road trip” card where if you eat 18 of the hot dogs you get a tshirt and your photo on their website. I’ve eaten at their other locations, but I left my card at home this time. They also have Belly, so I did check in on that.
America’s Dog, it’s obvious, has ambitions for expansion and the place is a half-step up from a usual Chicago hot dog place. If you want a Chicago-style hot dog in downtown Chicago, this will be the cleanest place you can get one.
But, I’m sure I’m going to be eating plenty of hot dogs on this journey around the Loop (and don’t get me wrong, I love a Chicago-style hot dog) so this visit I took advantage of the other selections on their menu and got a chicken sandwich. The cashier asked me what I kind of cheese I wanted on the sandwich and rattled off the choices, so I went with cheddar. It wasn’t until I was sitting down that I realized one thing and remembered another. When I looked at my receipt I realized that cheese was a $0.50 add-on and not standard on the chicken sandwich. And when I tasted my sandwich, I remembered that cheese on a chicken sandwich is gross.
Other than that, the sandwich was fine and the curly fries were great. The fountain selection was Pepsi, so I went for iced tea. There were two spigots on the ice tea dispenser, one un-labeled and the other labeled “unsweetened tea”. I assumed, therefore, that the unlabeled one would just be sweet tea. In fact, it was the syrup that you would use to make some sort of Raspberry iced tea, diluted just a bit from its raw, syrupy state. Nasty. I poured out 3/4 of the cup, filled it back up with unsweetened tea and it was still strong and sweet.
*Which is technically within city limits, but you’re not going to just stop in for lunch.