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  Gene and Judes [World's Greatest Hot Dog Stand]
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  • Post #31 - December 16th, 2005, 4:11 pm
    Post #31 - December 16th, 2005, 4:11 pm Post #31 - December 16th, 2005, 4:11 pm
    LTH,

    Hadn't been to Gene Jude's for a while, so when I found myself nearby I stopped for a couple of dogs. I remembered G & J as being good, but today it was very good. Nice snap to the 10 to a pound natural casing Vienna dogs, with just a hint of garlic coming though.

    Fries are cut on the spot, given a quick oil bath, rest, then fried to a turn. Really quite good. Do I think Gene and Jude's is the "worlds greatest hot dog stand", no, but it's damn good and most certainly deserving of a LTHForum GNR.

    Gene and Jude Hot dog and fries.
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #32 - December 17th, 2005, 4:45 pm
    Post #32 - December 17th, 2005, 4:45 pm Post #32 - December 17th, 2005, 4:45 pm
    So I had to take the younger son out for lunch. Naturally, I thought here was my chance to try Cafe Nhu Hoa. The only question was, do I feed him McDonald's before he refuses to eat anything at Nhu Hoa, or after? Then inspiration struck. I'd never actually eaten at Gene & Jude's-- driven by and given up when I saw the length of the line, yes, but not actually eaten there. (To be honest, the anti-ketchup bias of the place always kind of put me off, I don't believe in hot dogs and mustard alone, it brings back the bologna and mustard sandwiches I had to make by the thousands when I volunteered on blood drives in high school.) So what the heck, even though I was sure I'd vote for it, just based on reputation, now I could do so actually knowing for myself.

    Image

    When they say "minimalist hot dog stand," they mean minimalist. What's with tamales being the only other thing on the menu? And has anyone ever ordered one?

    Image

    "Prison-like," someone once described it. Yes, I spent my time in line with the unshakable conviction that when I got to the head of the line, I would be told that I needed a Form 206a (Request For Tubular Meat Products) filled out, notarized and stamped at the office on Touhy before I could submit my Form 1077-D (Authorization To Enjoy Heated Comestibles).

    Image

    Please remove shoes and any metallic objects and place them in the deep fat fryer.

    Image

    Yeah, I know it looks exactly like Gary's picture. They only make one thing at the frickin' place, what do you want, a picture of the tamale? Believe me, they have a picture of it on the wall, you don't want a picture of it.

    But okay, yeah, I get it now. It's a 30s style hot dog, it's not just mustard alone, the relish provides the note of necessary sweetness that makes the dog a total taste symphony, the dog has a skin so thick it's almost unnerving to bite through, the fries pick up a little onion flavor (good) and mustard (less good) and thank Jude they're fresh cut because frozen fries with no ketchup would be too sad to eat, but these are good enough to eat without it. Gene & Jude's. Any color you want as long as it's black. Atmosphere to renew your driver's license by. But yeah, a great Chicago dog, and a great Chicago(land) dog stand.
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  • Post #33 - December 17th, 2005, 5:14 pm
    Post #33 - December 17th, 2005, 5:14 pm Post #33 - December 17th, 2005, 5:14 pm
    PIGMON and I went to Gene & Jude's last night. What can I say--it was great. Everything about it from top to bottom...great. The fries could've been crisper, but the guy behind the counter just said, "Next time just ask--it's no problem."
  • Post #34 - December 17th, 2005, 5:15 pm
    Post #34 - December 17th, 2005, 5:15 pm Post #34 - December 17th, 2005, 5:15 pm
    Mike G wrote:When they say "minimalist hot dog stand," they mean minimalist. What's with tamales being the only other thing on the menu? And has anyone ever ordered one?


    Yes.

    These tamales are in many ways "pretend" food. I'm not sure there is actually any meat in them, but at the center there is colored corn meal core to simulate the presence of meat, and the colored part does taste differently than the non-colored part, but overall it could use a could chili bath (a la Mother-in-Law, as documented by the intrepid ReneG).

    I've ordered these tamales twice -- both times because I didn't think I could eat two hot dogs and accompanying half-pound of fries. My current solution: order two dogs, eat two dogs, eat one fries, avoid tamales.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #35 - December 17th, 2005, 6:25 pm
    Post #35 - December 17th, 2005, 6:25 pm Post #35 - December 17th, 2005, 6:25 pm
    LTH,

    It should be noted that Gene and Jude will be closed for vacation from January 1-16.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #36 - February 26th, 2008, 8:35 am
    Post #36 - February 26th, 2008, 8:35 am Post #36 - February 26th, 2008, 8:35 am
    Gene & Judes remains one of the standard bearers of the minimalist school of Chicago Hot Dogs. Though it still surprises me that Jimmy'sdoesn't have a GNR designation, that's no reason why Gene & Judes' award doesn't deserve to be renewed. I'm all for it!
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #37 - February 26th, 2008, 12:18 pm
    Post #37 - February 26th, 2008, 12:18 pm Post #37 - February 26th, 2008, 12:18 pm
    I'm just going to out myself and admit that this is a place I've never understood the admiration for. To me, it's pretty much just another Vienna Beef shop. I mean, I appeciate the snappy, natural-casing dogs but they can be had at any number of places in town. And when it comes down to it, I prefer a larger dog. The 10/# variety served at G&J's don't really do much for me. The fries are pretty much always soggy -- how could they not be, wrapped up in the dog and allowed to steam as they are? There's no seating and the line is usually ridiculous.

    I think it's just me because there is obviously great love for this place but when it comes to well-run Vienna beef hotdog stands, I don't believe there's a whole lot of difference between the top and the bottom. G&J's doesn't transcend the others for me and in fact, I find it somewhat annoying in its minimalism. As a friend of mine once said, it's a hotdog, not a life lesson. So, break out the ketchup and get over yourselves! :lol:

    Obviously, I'm the one person here who doesn't think Gene & Jude's GNR status should be renewed. :wink:

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #38 - February 26th, 2008, 12:31 pm
    Post #38 - February 26th, 2008, 12:31 pm Post #38 - February 26th, 2008, 12:31 pm
    Ronnie, the hot dog is merely a delivery system for Gene & Jude's true greatness: freshcut fries with a tinge of onion and mustard from being wrapped inside paper with them.

    Ketchup would ruin that. But if you want to put it on a dog, sure, why not?
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #39 - February 26th, 2008, 12:32 pm
    Post #39 - February 26th, 2008, 12:32 pm Post #39 - February 26th, 2008, 12:32 pm
    Mike G wrote:Ronnie, the hot dog is merely a delivery system for Gene & Jude's true greatness: fries with a tinge of onion and mustard from being wrapped inside paper with them.

    Ketchup would ruin that. But if you want to put it on a dog, sure, why not?

    No, I don't put ketchup on hotdogs. I'm just advocating freedom! :D

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #40 - March 16th, 2008, 4:49 pm
    Post #40 - March 16th, 2008, 4:49 pm Post #40 - March 16th, 2008, 4:49 pm
    Better late than never - stopped by G&J's this afternoon for 2 with everything. It was my first trip ever, and part of my own personal Be a Better LTH'er project. How can you not like a place that only has 3 things on the menu, when they're done to minimalist excellence like these dogs/fries? (I skipped the tamale, and don't really think I'm missing anything there.) While I side with SteveZ on the "why isn't Jimmy's a GNR yet?" aspect of things, G&J's is certainly a Great Neighborhood Restaurant. Even if Jimmy's has the better fries.
    Writing about craft beer at GuysDrinkingBeer.com
    "You don't realize it, but we're at dinner right now." ~Ebert
  • Post #41 - March 19th, 2010, 9:25 am
    Post #41 - March 19th, 2010, 9:25 am Post #41 - March 19th, 2010, 9:25 am
    Sorry, but I don't get Gene and Judes. The hot dog was nothing exciting, and the fries were less than stellar. They certainly weren't improved by being wrapped up with the hot dog. I guess if you grew up with this place there's the nostalgia factor, but consider me unimpressed.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #42 - March 19th, 2010, 9:40 am
    Post #42 - March 19th, 2010, 9:40 am Post #42 - March 19th, 2010, 9:40 am
    As a person who did not grow up in Chicago, I absolutely do see the appeal to Gene and Judes beyond the nostalgia factor. Every time we take a trip from OHare we look for ways to stop by G&Js to grab a hot dog. The bun is always soft, the dog always snappy, and the fries are always fresh cut and fried after you order. Sure there are a ton of hot dog shops in Chicago, and it can be hard to differentiate, but I see Gene and Judes as the perfectly executed hot dog stand. I definitely support their renewal.
  • Post #43 - March 19th, 2010, 9:45 am
    Post #43 - March 19th, 2010, 9:45 am Post #43 - March 19th, 2010, 9:45 am
    They could offer ketchup packets for kids. Since they don't, our family doesn't stop here.

    Let me add: Though the fries aren't perfect, they are better than any frozen I've had.
    Last edited by teatpuller on March 19th, 2010, 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #44 - March 19th, 2010, 10:06 am
    Post #44 - March 19th, 2010, 10:06 am Post #44 - March 19th, 2010, 10:06 am
    jesteinf wrote:Sorry, but I don't get Gene and Judes. The hot dog was nothing exciting, and the fries were less than stellar. They certainly weren't improved by being wrapped up with the hot dog. I guess if you grew up with this place there's the nostalgia factor, but consider me unimpressed.


    We're arguing taste here, but I gotta say: it took two visits to G&J's before it "took." I would not characterize the hot dog as exciting, but it is satisfying and although "stellar" the fries may not be, they are fresh cut and the abundant grease is fresh enough, so the flavor is always good to me...and I do think wrapping the spud with the wiener benefits both (if only because the insulating potatoes keep the sausage warm). I didn't grow up with the place, but sometimes when we're driving by, I just want to stop in. I'm not sure I'd travel far to get there; it's not a destination for me; it's an impulse purchase that after my first few visits always makes me glad.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #45 - March 19th, 2010, 10:13 am
    Post #45 - March 19th, 2010, 10:13 am Post #45 - March 19th, 2010, 10:13 am
    David Hammond wrote:
    jesteinf wrote:Sorry, but I don't get Gene and Judes. The hot dog was nothing exciting, and the fries were less than stellar. They certainly weren't improved by being wrapped up with the hot dog. I guess if you grew up with this place there's the nostalgia factor, but consider me unimpressed.


    We're arguing taste here, but I gotta say: it took two visits to G&J's before it "took." I would not characterize the hot dog as exciting, but it is satisfying and although "stellar" the fries may not be, they are fresh cut and the abundant grease is fresh enough, so the flavor is always good to me...and I do think wrapping the spud with the wiener benefits both (if only because the insulating potatoes keep the sausage warm). I didn't grow up with the place, but sometimes when we're driving by, I just want to stop in. I'm not sure I'd travel far to get there; it's not a destination for me; it's an impulse purchase that after my first few visits always makes me glad.


    Certainly a matter of taste, and I'm sure I'll be in the minority. I was just disappointed after hearing so much praise.

    C'est la vie.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #46 - March 19th, 2010, 10:28 am
    Post #46 - March 19th, 2010, 10:28 am Post #46 - March 19th, 2010, 10:28 am
    jesteinf wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:
    jesteinf wrote:Sorry, but I don't get Gene and Judes. The hot dog was nothing exciting, and the fries were less than stellar. They certainly weren't improved by being wrapped up with the hot dog. I guess if you grew up with this place there's the nostalgia factor, but consider me unimpressed.


    We're arguing taste here, but I gotta say: it took two visits to G&J's before it "took." I would not characterize the hot dog as exciting, but it is satisfying and although "stellar" the fries may not be, they are fresh cut and the abundant grease is fresh enough, so the flavor is always good to me...and I do think wrapping the spud with the wiener benefits both (if only because the insulating potatoes keep the sausage warm). I didn't grow up with the place, but sometimes when we're driving by, I just want to stop in. I'm not sure I'd travel far to get there; it's not a destination for me; it's an impulse purchase that after my first few visits always makes me glad.


    Certainly a matter of taste, and I'm sure I'll be in the minority. I was just disappointed after hearing so much praise.

    C'est la vie.


    Maybe I can say this 'cause I'm such a G&J homer, but you think a place with one thing on its menu would be 100% solid, all the time, never waver, consistently constant. I can, however, vouch for the fact that it is not. I believe, but have not fully tested this, that G&J is at its worse when most overloaded. This causes the product to come out when not fully done, I believe. Still, I have had their stuff on quiet days that did not meet the qualifications of World's Greatest Hot Dog Stand. The thing is, those are still aberrations from my totality of experiences. I find, most of the time, that there is no better hot dog, Chicago style, in the Chicago area, and while the fries are not "the best" (not even better than Jimmy's), they are nearly always about as good as it gets.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #47 - March 24th, 2010, 7:31 pm
    Post #47 - March 24th, 2010, 7:31 pm Post #47 - March 24th, 2010, 7:31 pm
    Like Josh, the appeal of this place is completely lost on me. But, it's clear that it's a favorite around here. On that basis, I think it should be renewed even though I'm very unlikely to go there.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #48 - March 25th, 2010, 3:06 pm
    Post #48 - March 25th, 2010, 3:06 pm Post #48 - March 25th, 2010, 3:06 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Like Josh, the appeal of this place is completely lost on me. But, it's clear that it's a favorite around here. On that basis, I think it should be renewed even though I'm very unlikely to go there.=R=


    Ronnie, I've got to agree with you on this one. I have nothing bad to say about the place other than I believe that it is "famous for being famous"

    Having grown up on "drag it through the garden" type hot dog stands (Wolfy's,Fluky's,Poochie's, et al ) the appeal of the minimalist hot dog is lost on me.
    "Goldie, how many times have I told you guys that I don't want no horsin' around on the airplane?"
  • Post #49 - March 25th, 2010, 4:02 pm
    Post #49 - March 25th, 2010, 4:02 pm Post #49 - March 25th, 2010, 4:02 pm
    Being the minimalist dog lover that I am, I've got to speak up for Gene & Judes. It's one of only a few real old-school dog places left that are still serving natural casing dogs with only mustard, relish, onions and peppers...the way they are meant to be eaten. A solid yes for renewal for me.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #50 - March 26th, 2010, 3:03 pm
    Post #50 - March 26th, 2010, 3:03 pm Post #50 - March 26th, 2010, 3:03 pm
    stevez wrote:It's one of only a few real old-school dog places left that are still serving natural casing dogs with only mustard, relish, onions and peppers...the way they are meant to be eaten. A solid yes for renewal for me.

    Echoing Steve's comments, a solid yes for me as well.

    Gene & Jude's count me a fan!
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #51 - March 26th, 2010, 3:06 pm
    Post #51 - March 26th, 2010, 3:06 pm Post #51 - March 26th, 2010, 3:06 pm
    I've also never understood the fascination with G&J's, but it seems like a solid board favorite to me. Yes on renewal.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #52 - March 26th, 2010, 3:15 pm
    Post #52 - March 26th, 2010, 3:15 pm Post #52 - March 26th, 2010, 3:15 pm
    gleam wrote:I've also never understood the fascination with G&J's, but it seems like a solid board favorite to me. Yes on renewal.

    At least in recent years, there seem to be at least as many "I don't get it" posts as there are "I love it" posts. Yet it seems that everyone who says "I don't get it," also says "but I realize everyone else loves it". Weird phenomenon.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #53 - March 26th, 2010, 3:18 pm
    Post #53 - March 26th, 2010, 3:18 pm Post #53 - March 26th, 2010, 3:18 pm
    Well, the criterion for renewal is "is it still as good as it was when it originally became a GNR?"

    I certainly don't think G&J's has gotten any WORSE :P
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #54 - March 26th, 2010, 3:19 pm
    Post #54 - March 26th, 2010, 3:19 pm Post #54 - March 26th, 2010, 3:19 pm
    gleam wrote:Well, the criterion for renewal is "is it still as good as it was when it originally became a GNR?"

    I certainly don't think G&J's has gotten any WORSE :P

    yep, that's why I haven't chimed in again on this one.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #55 - March 26th, 2010, 3:48 pm
    Post #55 - March 26th, 2010, 3:48 pm Post #55 - March 26th, 2010, 3:48 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    stevez wrote:It's one of only a few real old-school dog places left that are still serving natural casing dogs with only mustard, relish, onions and peppers...the way they are meant to be eaten. A solid yes for renewal for me.

    Echoing Steve's comments, a solid yes for me as well.

    Gene & Jude's count me a fan!


    My recent experiences at G & J have been excellent, from the dogs to the fries to the bunch tamales. I love the expansive parking lot and friendly people eating al trunko next to me. I continue to be a fan.
  • Post #56 - March 27th, 2010, 10:42 pm
    Post #56 - March 27th, 2010, 10:42 pm Post #56 - March 27th, 2010, 10:42 pm
    Santander wrote:My recent experiences at G & J have been excellent, from the dogs to the fries to the bunch tamales. I love the expansive parking lot and friendly people eating al trunko next to me. I continue to be a fan.


    Many years ago G & J served great bunch tamales, but unless the menu changed in the last 2 weeks, or I am terribly wrong, there hasn't been a bunch tamale served there in 20 - 30 years or so.

    That said, I love Gene's and Jude's as much today as I did 40 years ago.
    Charter member of PETA - People Eating Tasty Animals
  • Post #57 - March 28th, 2010, 1:01 pm
    Post #57 - March 28th, 2010, 1:01 pm Post #57 - March 28th, 2010, 1:01 pm
    I agree with sentiments on both sides. I enjoy real Chicago Vienna beef hot dogs with mustard, onions, and a pickle wedge, I don't need and guess I don't care for the loading up with tomato slices and freaky-green relish and such. So, I like the hot dogs at G&J.

    But I'm with Ronnie and others too on being a bit mystified by the intensity of affection. In particular, I wish the fries were not bundled in with the dog and therefore steamed to a soppy mess. In the attractive pictures above in this thread, the good-looking fries are next to the hot dog and looking decently crisp. In reality they are usually packed onto the hot dog and so limp they almost require a fork to eat. The closest thing I have to a solution is to open the paper up as quickly as possible and get the fries away from the hot dog - which is not the kind of split-second vigilance you're supposed to have to apply to food you carry away from a stand-up place in a bag. (I could add this is my only complaint about Superdawg, too.)

    I'm all for Gene & Jude's remaining a GNR based on its track record, its single-minded devotion to its product, and how much the community loves it. Just sayin', I can also see where some would not get what the big deal is. Paradise Pup, close by on River Road, offers the same and a lot more, and frankly, that's where I'd stop first.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #58 - March 28th, 2010, 8:57 pm
    Post #58 - March 28th, 2010, 8:57 pm Post #58 - March 28th, 2010, 8:57 pm
    Gene and Jude's is the greatest hot dog on the planet, and it will always be an institution here in the River Grove / Elmwood Park area. I've always liked the fact that they don't have the tomato slice and the enormous pickle that other hot dog places have- Too much tomato slice and those huge pickles take away from the true star of the show- the Vienna beef dog.

    Why Gene and Jude's gets ignored by the Travel Channel in favor of a couple other places ( i.e. Superdawg and Hot Doug's ), I have no idea. To me, Gene and Jude's will always represent a true Chicago Style Vienna Beef Hot Dog.
  • Post #59 - March 29th, 2010, 12:45 pm
    Post #59 - March 29th, 2010, 12:45 pm Post #59 - March 29th, 2010, 12:45 pm
    deepdish wrote:Why Gene and Jude's gets ignored by the Travel Channel in favor of a couple other places ( i.e. Superdawg and Hot Doug's ), I have no idea. To me, Gene and Jude's will always represent a true Chicago Style Vienna Beef Hot Dog.


    My first reaction to this is that both Hot Doug's and Superdawg are much more photogenic, but after thinking about it, I suspect the answer is simpler. G&J's idea of marketing is as minimalist as their hot dog, so if and when a media outlet calls, they probably just do not reply. Or maybe they tell them to get in line with everyone else for a hot dog and not bother them. Either way, my guess is that G&J chooses to be ignored, not the other way around.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #60 - March 31st, 2010, 10:18 am
    Post #60 - March 31st, 2010, 10:18 am Post #60 - March 31st, 2010, 10:18 am
    I agree that Hot Doug's and Superdawg are superficially more photogenic. The dogs on the roof and drive-in aspect at Superdawg and the multitude of hot dog related trinkets and unique sausages at Doug's make each restaurant a real delight to all of the senses. That said, few things can bring a smile to my face as fast as getting a 5 lot at Gene and Jude's (2 or 3 for the now and the rest for munching later that day), taking a picture with my phone, and sending it off to create a little hot dog envy amongst my G&J loving friends.
    Greater transformation? Collagen to Gelatin or Water into Wine

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