Here's another Hot Doug's story. I've gathered a few, over the years, meeting other regulars and supporters of Doug. This is one of the best.
I used to live in a loft building up in Lakeview on Grace and Lincoln, lived there 2011-2013. I moved out of there about a year ago. For the first year or so, we had a night time doorman who's name is Paul. Paul had been going to Hot Doug's since the beginning, to the original Roscoe location in Roscoe Village. Paul is in his mid thirties.
Several years prior, Paul had a special occasion to share with his girlfriend (or maybe it was his wife!) and went to Doug for a restaurant suggestion. Doug suggested that he show up at the Encased Meats Emporium on the day and time that Paul was looking to eat at a restaurant, and to dress nicely. So he did.
Doug rearranged the tables inside the restaurant and dimmed the lighting. He proceeded to serve my friend Paul and his significant other a five-course meal along with wine pairings. At the end of the meal, a check was presented and Doug only charged them "not even $100" (as my friend Paul said it) for the entire experience. Very, very special.
Paul told me the story like twice, but both times said that it was the best meal he ever had in his entire life. Needless to say, Doug Sohn is the kind of guy that could do something like that.
"People are too busy in these times to care about good food. We used to spend months working over a bonne-femme sauce, trying to determine just the right proportions of paprika and fresh forest mushrooms to use." -Karoly Gundel, Blue Trout and Black Truffles: The Peregrinations of an Epicure, Joseph Wechsberg, 1954.