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Charred Slab of Delight (Poochie's in Skokie)

Charred Slab of Delight (Poochie's in Skokie)
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  • Post #31 - August 7th, 2006, 7:58 pm
    Post #31 - August 7th, 2006, 7:58 pm Post #31 - August 7th, 2006, 7:58 pm
    This Friday evening, Poochies is hosting the third in a series of vintage car shows from 7-10 PM. The show is open to cars from 1976 and earlier, and prizes will be given out for the best examples in several categories. (The Muscle Car category in particular caught my eye. . .). Reportedly, the last show featured 57 cars. With a char-dog, it might make a fun night out. Call for details: (847) 970-1040.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #32 - August 21st, 2006, 8:14 am
    Post #32 - August 21st, 2006, 8:14 am Post #32 - August 21st, 2006, 8:14 am
    eatchicago wrote:Nephew Michael wasn't tempted to try Poochie's famous cheddarburger?

    Michael,

    Nope, he was in a hot dog frame of mind, though his mom had a char cheddarburger and thought it grand.

    No solo picture of the cheddarburger, though a hint of bun can be seen in the upper right.

    Poochie's
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #33 - October 14th, 2006, 6:46 pm
    Post #33 - October 14th, 2006, 6:46 pm Post #33 - October 14th, 2006, 6:46 pm
    Gotta say, Poochies ain't always so great.
    We were nearby at the "Market on Oakton", so we made our first stop at Poochie's for a Char Salami. Although the bread was good, the salami quality was mediocre and not at all charred (more like warmed salami). Not to mention it did not have the pickle on it we requested.
    To be honest, I've done better with cheap supermarket salami and a cast iron pan.

    Fortunately, Market on Oakton and Super H market made the trip to Niles well worth it.
  • Post #34 - November 17th, 2007, 10:24 pm
    Post #34 - November 17th, 2007, 10:24 pm Post #34 - November 17th, 2007, 10:24 pm
    while driving past Poochies, i thought i saw a sign on the window telling customers to watch them on an upcoming episode of Check Please.
  • Post #35 - November 18th, 2007, 1:16 am
    Post #35 - November 18th, 2007, 1:16 am Post #35 - November 18th, 2007, 1:16 am
    gp60004 wrote:while driving past Poochies, i thought i saw a sign on the window telling customers to watch them on an upcoming episode of Check Please.


    I saw that too!
  • Post #36 - March 27th, 2008, 9:38 pm
    Post #36 - March 27th, 2008, 9:38 pm Post #36 - March 27th, 2008, 9:38 pm
    I was wondering if anyone knew where to get a char salami sandwich. The only two places I know of are Herm's Palace and Poochies, both in Skokie. Poochies has the better of the two since it is sliced thicker and charred slightly less. Any where else in the city or suburbs?
    http://hungryz.com/poochies
    http://hungryz.com/herms
  • Post #37 - March 27th, 2008, 10:02 pm
    Post #37 - March 27th, 2008, 10:02 pm Post #37 - March 27th, 2008, 10:02 pm
    HungryZ wrote:I was wondering if anyone knew where to get a char salami sandwich. The only two places I know of are Herm's Palace and Poochies, both in Skokie. Poochies has the better of the two since it is sliced thicker and charred slightly less. Any where else in the city or suburbs?
    http://hungryz.com/poochies
    http://hungryz.com/herms


    Hi,

    Wish I had all the time in the day to follow people's blogs. Do you mind copying and pasting your opinions here?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #38 - March 27th, 2008, 10:11 pm
    Post #38 - March 27th, 2008, 10:11 pm Post #38 - March 27th, 2008, 10:11 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    HungryZ wrote:I was wondering if anyone knew where to get a char salami sandwich. The only two places I know of are Herm's Palace and Poochies, both in Skokie. Poochies has the better of the two since it is sliced thicker and charred slightly less. Any where else in the city or suburbs?
    http://hungryz.com/poochies
    http://hungryz.com/herms


    Hi,

    Wish I had all the time in the day to follow people's blogs. Do you mind copying and pasting your opinions here?

    Regards,


    I would be glad to add some of my opinions here. I just found the forum only a few days ago. I'm really enjoying the passion for local food by the knowlegable members. For anyone that's interested, I also occasionaly write on NBC5.com/streetteam.
  • Post #39 - March 28th, 2008, 10:43 am
    Post #39 - March 28th, 2008, 10:43 am Post #39 - March 28th, 2008, 10:43 am
    I recently had a grilled salami sandwich at Eleven City Diner, at 11th and Wabash, just south of the Loop. Thick, grilled slices on challah, and I added mustard. Couldn't be much simpler, but I liked it.

    Jonah
  • Post #40 - October 4th, 2008, 4:27 pm
    Post #40 - October 4th, 2008, 4:27 pm Post #40 - October 4th, 2008, 4:27 pm
    I hate to cast aspersions on something I didn't know until just now is literally a Stevez family tradition. This will be like going over to your mother's house to insult her Thanksgiving turkey, or possibly, like going over to Betsy Ross's house to tell her her flag design is ugly.

    But I must do it. The Poochie's char salami is a bad sandwich based on a bad idea.

    Here's the problem. Salami is a lovely, dense meat, cured (at least when done properly) to a chewy texture.

    Grilled sausages are fresh sausages, not cured at all, grilled so that the juices flow and the pop like a tomato in your mouth when cooked just right.

    Grill a dry, chewy salami and the resulting meat has approximately the texture of a grilled hunk of HubbaBubble. I found the combination of curedness and grilledness overpowering, and not in a good way, more like a chewing on the wall after your house burned down kind of way.

    I also thought the fries, though seemingly executed correctly, had a weird flavor to them like they're using some oddball oil nobody else uses. Of course, maybe if they'd salted them I wouldn't have noticed that they tasted off.

    Poochie's seems like it should be a great place, it certainly smells good and the quality of ingredients looked high, but I didn't finish either of my choices and left, really quite surprised that I didn't like the place or its famous dish at all.
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  • Post #41 - October 4th, 2008, 5:40 pm
    Post #41 - October 4th, 2008, 5:40 pm Post #41 - October 4th, 2008, 5:40 pm
    Mike G wrote:I hate to cast aspersions on something I didn't know until just now is literally a Stevez family tradition.

    But I must do it. The Poochie's char salami is a bad sandwich based on a bad idea.

    Grill a dry, chewy salami and the resulting meat has approximately the texture of a grilled hunk of HubbaBubble. I found the combination of curedness and grilledness overpowering, and not in a good way, more like a chewing on the wall after your house burned down kind of way.


    Mike,

    Even though I don't love the sandwich, I have to disagree with you that the char salami sandwich is not only bad, but based on a bad idea. I think it's a good sandwich which could be great with a few changes.

    Kosher salami, for the most part, is a fresh sausage, and not cured and dense, like soprasetta. Poochie's salami slabs aren't cut from the aged medium and hard cured salamis that you see hanging at room temperature in better deli's, but come from freshly made and refrigerated product, like Bests Kosher (my guess), but possibly Vienna or another producer. The type of fresh salami that many people still buy from deli counters all over town. I picked some up last week at Kaufmann's and recently saw it at Lincolnwood, among other places.

    For my taste, the ratio of bread to salami is too high, and I believe that the sandwich would also benefit from being on a softer, squishier roll. When I'm at Poochies, I discard the top of the roll.

    Funny, I also don't love Poochie's fries, and I'm not sure why. Not greasy enough?
    "Bass Trombone is the Lead Trumpet of the Deep."
    Rick Hammett
  • Post #42 - October 4th, 2008, 6:04 pm
    Post #42 - October 4th, 2008, 6:04 pm Post #42 - October 4th, 2008, 6:04 pm
    Well, herein I should chime: stopped at Poochie's yesterday (the whistle-stop tour is getting bewildering) I had an absolutely excellent dragged-through-the-garden dog - what made it stand out to me (the dog itself being a nice, snappy Vienna but otherwise ordinary) was the heavy hand with quality toppings: an entire pickle spear (unlike some places that offer 1/8th or 1/16th of a pickle,) two or three slices of very rich tomato, a pile of onion, and three or four sport peppers. I also ordered (at this stage, fearing for my own health) the fried mushrooms and have to wonder if they bread them there? With a typical frozen breaded mushroom, you bite into empty space because the mushroom has lost all its water content when frozen - not so, here - after breaching the crunchy topping I immediately struck mushroom gold. They were really good, I'd only intended to eat a few and pouf, found the bottom of the bag.

    However, the fries also struck me as odd, and I didn't finish them. I don't know about the flavor - I found the texture distracting. They are clearly fresh-cut, but it was as though they were using boiling potatoes; they seemed almost waxy.
  • Post #43 - October 4th, 2008, 7:53 pm
    Post #43 - October 4th, 2008, 7:53 pm Post #43 - October 4th, 2008, 7:53 pm
    Evil Ronnie wrote:Kosher salami, for the most part, is a fresh sausage, and not cured and dense, like soprasetta. Poochie's salami slabs aren't cut from the aged medium and hard cured salamis that you see hanging at room temperature in better deli's, but come from freshly made and refrigerated product, like Bests Kosher (my guess), but possibly Vienna or another producer. The type of fresh salami that many people still buy from deli counters all over town. I picked some up last week at Kaufmann's and recently saw it at Lincolnwood, among other places.

    For my taste, the ratio of bread to salami is too high, and I believe that the sandwich would also benefit from being on a softer, squishier roll.

    I grew up on fried-salami sandwiches, usually served on onion rolls or challah. But instead of slabs, the salami was sliced in rounds, fried, and then layered on the bread.

    I still think this is one of the best things to do with fresh kosher salami, rendering out some of the fat and giving it better texture. Otherwise, I prefer hard salami, which is the fresh product that's been hung to age and cure. My family often bought them fresh and hung them ourselves.
  • Post #44 - October 4th, 2008, 9:12 pm
    Post #44 - October 4th, 2008, 9:12 pm Post #44 - October 4th, 2008, 9:12 pm
    LAZ wrote:I still think this is one of the best things to do with fresh kosher salami, rendering out some of the fat and giving it better texture. Otherwise, I prefer hard salami, which is the fresh product that's been hung to age and cure. My family often bought them fresh and hung them ourselves.

    I've never had the interest in fried salami sandwiches, although I may try one if I'm ever in the neighborhood of Poochies and can overcome a Pita Inn falafel craving. The best thing in my mind for rendered kosher salami is to scramble some eggs in the salami fat. Mmmmmmm.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #45 - October 5th, 2008, 4:09 pm
    Post #45 - October 5th, 2008, 4:09 pm Post #45 - October 5th, 2008, 4:09 pm
    JoelF wrote:The best thing in my mind for rendered kosher salami is to scramble some eggs in the salami fat. Mmmmmmm.

    Then layer them on the sandwich with the fried salami. Yum.
  • Post #46 - October 6th, 2008, 9:38 am
    Post #46 - October 6th, 2008, 9:38 am Post #46 - October 6th, 2008, 9:38 am
    Poochies has too much bread for the amount of salami in the sammich. I prefer Frankly Yours in Niles in the Village Crossing center on Touhy. They slice their salami width-wise, and char-grill it to perfection.

    5699 W Touhy Ave
    Niles, IL 60714
    (847) 647-9099
  • Post #47 - March 31st, 2009, 2:32 pm
    Post #47 - March 31st, 2009, 2:32 pm Post #47 - March 31st, 2009, 2:32 pm
    Stopped by Poochie's for lunch last Saturday, where we had the quintessential Chicago hot dog stand experience . . .

    Image
    Great fries -- hot and crispy


    Image
    Jumbo Char-Dog with mustard


    Image
    Char Cheddar Burger


    Image
    Char Cheddar Burger, medium-rare interior


    Image
    Charred Salami Sandwich on French Bread with Mustard and Grilled Onions
    This was actually dessert for my son, who was still hungry after eating the jumbo char-dog pictured above. Yes, he opted for the cured meat daily double. This was his first experience with grilled salami and needless to say, he was quite enamored.

    There's not much I can really say about Poochie's that hasn't already been said (or that the pictures don't convey). At about 12:30 on a Saturday afternoon, the place was bustling but service was quick and friendly. They seem to be very consistent and while I don't get there very often, it's nice to know that when I do, the food is great and always seems to cure the craving.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #48 - April 1st, 2009, 10:34 am
    Post #48 - April 1st, 2009, 10:34 am Post #48 - April 1st, 2009, 10:34 am
    Great pictures, Ronnie, reminding me it's been too long since I've swung by Poochie's. I think I know one of the places I'll be hitting this weekend. Thanks.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #49 - April 1st, 2009, 1:57 pm
    Post #49 - April 1st, 2009, 1:57 pm Post #49 - April 1st, 2009, 1:57 pm
    I think this place deserves way more love than I see it getting. I have been a big fan of this place for many many years, and do not think there are many places that match up to the good food and service they offer.
    Maybe its just me but I prefer Poochies burger over paradise pups, it might be that i have NEVER had to wait in a line for my food here.
  • Post #50 - April 2nd, 2009, 7:58 am
    Post #50 - April 2nd, 2009, 7:58 am Post #50 - April 2nd, 2009, 7:58 am
    I wish they'd go back to a simple Rosen's-style sesame seed bun: their current meat-holder is far too bready and cornmeal-y for its own good.
  • Post #51 - April 2nd, 2009, 8:26 am
    Post #51 - April 2nd, 2009, 8:26 am Post #51 - April 2nd, 2009, 8:26 am
    Agreed on the burger. A Rosen bun can be squooshed easier. In fact, I had a mondo char-salami yesterday and, while it tasted excellent, I couldn't help but think that a grilled Cuban-style bread might be a better choice for that sandwich as well. Thinner, more compact.
  • Post #52 - April 2nd, 2009, 11:15 am
    Post #52 - April 2nd, 2009, 11:15 am Post #52 - April 2nd, 2009, 11:15 am
    Gotta respectfully disagree on the bun. I really love the corn-dusted version that we had on Saturday. It's a nice change that enhances -- but doesn't alter -- the overall 'hot dog stand' identity of the burger. Just my .02.

    =R=
    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

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

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #53 - April 2nd, 2009, 5:39 pm
    Post #53 - April 2nd, 2009, 5:39 pm Post #53 - April 2nd, 2009, 5:39 pm
    eatchicago, a man after my own heart...
    Here I thought I was secretly the only one nurturing the love of the Poochie's Char Salami.
    I like mine with mustard and grilled onions.
    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.........
    SUCH a guilty pleasure.
    great pictures too
    I also think a crunchier roll would be an improvement,
    but nothing improves on the char salami itself...
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #54 - April 2nd, 2009, 7:44 pm
    Post #54 - April 2nd, 2009, 7:44 pm Post #54 - April 2nd, 2009, 7:44 pm
    Every time I see these pics I drool and it makes me think I need to hightail it to Poochie's to try one. I have not yet but will hopefully very soon. And since I don't know what the Poochie's one tastes like, I thought of trying to make it at home as others have done. I have a large piece of Venison Summer Sausage that can give this sandwich a very interesting flavor. It will be interesting to make it at home, then see how much better Poochie's is, or maybe not. This is me thinking out loud. Sorry.
    "I Like Food, Food Tastes Good" - The Descendants
  • Post #55 - April 15th, 2009, 3:18 pm
    Post #55 - April 15th, 2009, 3:18 pm Post #55 - April 15th, 2009, 3:18 pm
    I tried Poochies and had to say I was underwhelmed. I ordered the char salami (mustard, grilled onions, sports peppers) and fries. The charred salami kind of reminded me of eating a polish sausage and not necessarily better than something i could create at home. I also think the bread roll it is served on is not the best. The sandwich seemed kind of boring to me. The fries, while fresh, had a wierd taste to me too. They seemed kind of dry and I think maybe could be more greasy or salty as mentioned above. I could see why its a GNR given its history with the neighborhood, but I'm not so sure its worth a special trip to eat there.
  • Post #56 - April 15th, 2009, 4:32 pm
    Post #56 - April 15th, 2009, 4:32 pm Post #56 - April 15th, 2009, 4:32 pm
    I think they fry in peanut oil, which could be what's putting everyone off. I like their fries. :shrug:
  • Post #57 - April 20th, 2009, 4:00 pm
    Post #57 - April 20th, 2009, 4:00 pm Post #57 - April 20th, 2009, 4:00 pm
    I went back last weekend for a char salami and thought it was ok. I was craving the sammich after reading this thread again, but it let me down.

    The bun was actually much softer than i remembered but the salami had little flavor. I think ti was actually cut too thick and whatever char had been imparted was soon occluded by the thickness of the meat.

    My two fave salami options in the area are:

    1) Dear Franks in Niles on Dempster - sliced and chargrilled for maximum char taste.

    and

    2) The Bagel in Old Orchard Mall - the salami mlet sammich saddles the flat-grilled slices in a canopy of muesnter cheese on grilled bread. Add raw onions and a touch of Grey Poupon and you're in for a culinary masterpiece.
  • Post #58 - April 20th, 2009, 4:41 pm
    Post #58 - April 20th, 2009, 4:41 pm Post #58 - April 20th, 2009, 4:41 pm
    I think the best char salami sandwich I ever had, was at a place in Morton Grove near Central on Dempster (I think its a Dunkin doughnut/Subwaste now) that closed quite a few years ago called Mallo's. Their salami was 2 perfect 3/8" thick slices cut lengthwise and charred on both sides on a fresh Gonella bread roll; my favorite way to get it was with cheese, grilled onion & mustard only.

    I guess the next best I've had is Booby's in Niles.

    The problem with cutting the salami chub into anything less than a 1/2" thick, be it circles (Max's Dawg House http://www.maxsdawghouse.com in Libertyville does it this way), or a full lengthwise cut, is that if the slice is too thin, then char grill burns the delicate meat way past just being crisp and drives out all the moisture. Thus making the meat taste like burnt grease and ash. Now I realize there has to be a good char on the meat! But there is a balance that has to be maintained in order for the sandwich to work right.

    Anyway, ever since Mallo's closed, I've been aimlessly wandering the streets looking for that lost love...
  • Post #59 - April 20th, 2009, 8:33 pm
    Post #59 - April 20th, 2009, 8:33 pm Post #59 - April 20th, 2009, 8:33 pm
    Mallo's also had a great burger, but they usually had the TV turned up too loud.
  • Post #60 - April 21st, 2009, 6:10 pm
    Post #60 - April 21st, 2009, 6:10 pm Post #60 - April 21st, 2009, 6:10 pm
    Any thoughts on how our favorite pastime sandwich will be affected by the demise of the Best Kosher/Sinai 48 brands by Sara Lee http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2009/jan/23/science/chi-oped0223selljan23

    I've noticed that finding those last few remaining chubs in the local supermarkets is now becoming impossible, and I suspect that within a month, the true Northside sandwich tradition as we all know and love will be extinct.

    In my opinion; Hebrew National just doesn't cut it when it comes to this sandwich, so this is a terrible loss...

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