Stuffed Steve

Stuffed with food, not with content

Have a Heart

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I like to watch people eat alone.  Call it creepy, but there’s just something about watching someone eat food they like when they’re by themselves.  There’s just a look of comfort on their face that really makes you feel for them.

The moment I remember my brother most for was when we were still probably in grade school.  I got really mad at him for some reason, so before he went to tennis lessons, I poured salt in his water.  I tagged along to watch him drink it, and after working up a sweat in the hot sun, he comes for a water break.  When the water hit his lips, he looked startled, spit it out, shook his head, and tried again.  Same effect.  There’s something heartbreaking about seeing that innocence, someone simply wanting a cup of water, and having it be saltwater that can make you pity a serial-killer, nevermind your own brother.  I promptly grabbed his water bottle, ran home, and got him some good water (we lived close).

So it’s the same feeling when I see someone eat, though instead of having their food turn out to be saltwater, it ends up being what they needed.  And there’s a look that comes across their face that words just can’t describe.  Watch someone eat a bowl of soup by themselves on a cold day and know what I mean.

I recently watched the movie “Crossing.”  It’s about a North Korean family and it’s supposed to be really sad.  It really did nothing to me.  However, the scene I remember is a girl in a marketplace eating food that had dropped into the dirt.  This vividly brought to mind a news-piece that ran on some Korean news station about North Korea.  In it was a man eating noodles in a similar marketplace.  And at his feet, picking up his scraps, was a small, emaciated boy.  It’s hard to shake something like that.  The relationship we have with a necessity of life might change in the cultural context, but it’s an intensely personal relationship with very real consequences.


Written by Stuffed Steve

May 4, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Posted in randomaneous

Hot Diggity Doug’s

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This story begins in the summer of 2008.  I was home watching TV and some show on either the Travel Channel or the Food Network was airing an episode on Chicago food.  To be honest, nothing really spiked my interest until they mentioned a place that served something I’ve never heard of before.  Fries cooked in duck fat.  The place was called “Hot Doug’s,” and not only did they have fries cooked in duck fat, they also had all sorts of sausages served in traditional hot dog fashion.  Peep their menu because words can’t do justice to the type of variety they have.

Some of that variety

Some of that variety

Remember that this was in the summer of 2008.  My memory is fuzzy, but I never had a free weekend to get down to Chicago (duck fat fries are only served Friday and Saturday), and so when it was time to go to school in Champaign, the quest for these elusive fries had to be put on hold.

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into semesters, and the dream faded from my mind.  Langston Hughes once wondered what happened to a dream deferred.  The answer could be that it waits for Anthony Bourdain to visit the place on “No Reservations” and then resurrects its firey passion.   Well at least that was the case with Hot Doug’s.  So spring break started and there was a journey to Hot Doug’s only to be curtailed by a 3 block long line.

Like this, but with lots of people in a line

Like this, but with lots of people in a line

Yes, 3 blocks.

In the world capital of hot dogs.

So we ended up eating dim sum in Chinatown and eating some wonderful BBQ pork buns as well as durian bubble tea (yummy!…?).

So what really happens to a dream deferred?  It waits for my roommate to go down to school early and instills in him a desire for some encased meats.

Me and my roommate got there at around 11am on a Friday, and the line wasn’t yet out the door.  Considering ourselves lucky, we waited for a couple minutes and finally met this vaunted Doug.  He will chat with every customer, my roommate gave him props on that since it gives his staff time to make each order and it does wonders for customer service.  So props Doug.

I ordered a Salma Hayek (andouille sausage), a Chardonnay-Infused Rattlesnake Sausage with Sweet Peppadew Dijonnaise and Cumin-Gouda Cheese, a corn dog, and an order of duck fries.   My roommate ordered something else.

This guy ordered something too

This guy ordered something too

The Salma Hayek was really good.  A nicely spiced sausage with enough kick to stand up to the bread and other condiments without being too overwhelming.  Probably my favorite thing I had.

Bottom Left: Rattlesnake, Right: Salma Hayek, Above: Corndog.  Also Pictured: Duck fat fries!

Bottom Left: Rattlesnake, Right: Salma Hayek, Above: Corndog. Also Pictured: Duck fat fries!

The Corn Dog was almost as good, but suffered from some mushiness.  The outside was wonderfully crispy though.

I was a little disappointed with the rattlesnake sausage.  Apparently rattlesnake does not have a lot of flavor so it was completely overwhelmed by the dijonnaise and even more so by the cheese.  I wasn’t really a fan.

Duck fat fries tasted a lot like regular fries, I guess I really can’t complain though.  As my roommate said, “You can’t expect me to go here and not order them.”

Due to the insane amounts of variety, I would totally go back and try more stuff, though if the line is 3 blocks long, you can’t go wrong with going to Chinatown and getting some bbq pork buns (mmmm).

Pork Buns

Pork Buns...mmmm

Hot Doug’s
3324 N. California Ave., Chicago, IL 60618
Mon-Sat 10:30am-4:30pm

Written by Stuffed Steve

April 6, 2009 at 10:49 pm

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Food For Thought

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I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to write until I get some work done, but for now, I leave you with an interesting little site.

It lists the requested final meals of various Texas death row inmates.  They range from nothing (literally), to the extravagant (”Two 16 oz. ribeyes, one lb. turkey breast (sliced thin), twelve strips of bacon, two large hamburgers with mayo, onion, and lettuce, two large baked potatoes with butter, sour cream, cheese, and chives, four slices of cheese or one-half pound of grated cheddar cheese, chef salad with blue cheese dressing, two ears of corn on the cob, one pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream, and four vanilla Cokes or Mr. Pibb”), to the bizarre (”Asked that final meal be provided to a homeless person”).

Anyways, check it out, it’s an interesting site.  I read about this a while back and apparently though inmates can ask for crazy stuff, they’re usually restricted to whatever is in the kitchen that day (just ask the inmate who wanted shrimp salad and ended up getting a cheeseburger…well I guess it’s a hypothetical since you can’t really ask him).

I think my last meal would be something that gives me explosive diarrhea so they have something fun to clean up…or maybe I’ll just settle for a can of coke.

Written by Stuffed Steve

March 30, 2009 at 11:45 pm

Posted in cool links

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Howdy Howdy Howdy!

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I was talking to my awesome cousin Annie about a trip to Hot Doug’s and she told me to make a blog about food.

Just a disclaimer, I know almost nothing about food or writing, so the only reason why I made a food blog is because it’s the internet and anyone can do anything on the internet (except maybe fly).

So sit back and enjoy, entries are soon to come!

Written by Stuffed Steve

March 30, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Posted in randomaneous

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