We’ve all heard that Hot Doug’s in Avondale is amazing. Indeed, there are many out there who claim HOT DOUG’S HAS THE BEST ENCASED MEAT IN THE WORLD!!! Bon Appetite even ranked it as one of the top 50 restaurants on the planet. And I am not going to argue that. I am only going to say that my experience was transformative. Long line snaking (mmm…what a great idea for a sausage meat) outside and around the corner of the restaurant be damned.
- Hot Doug's
I ordered the extra special game of the week, the cherry-infused venison sausage. It was a toss up between that and the bacon and cheddar elk sausage, but the fig mustard on the venison sold me. From my very first bit of that slightly sweet, slightly spicy, smoky venison sausage topped with browned on the edges provolone cheese, I entered my happy place – and I’m not really an encased meat foodie fanatic – only to occasionally step out of the venison-sausage-happy-eating zone to mix it up with the scrumptiously crispy duck fat fries. Mmmm.
- Venison Sausage
Obviously, this is all to say that Hot Doug’s is tots splurge-worthy. It is also reasonably priced and there is something endearing in the democratic process of the long line that nobody, it seems, is too good or too important to cut. But it is the restaurant namesake, owner, and front man, Doug Sohn, who completes the experience. Taking each customer’s order, Doug has the uncanny ability with his friendly small talk and “great choice” and “yeahs!” to make every customer feel like their order was the absolute best choice (or two. or three.) on the menu …and oh how smart they must be for coming up with that on their own!
Try Hot Doug’s Encased Meat Emporium and Sausage Superstore at 3324 N. California Ave.