Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Thanksgiving Hot Dog

+ Introduction of New VI Family Restaurant Scale

People have their cherished Thanksgiving food traditions; a special stuffing, a way with the turkey. Growing up, my mother cooked a good dinner for sure, and when it was not her, it was an almost equally talented Aunt. My mother even has a dish, a cheesy, gooey, 60's style, with canned green olives, corn dish thing that's on the table each year. Still, I have another cherished holiday tradition, one we revised this year, the holiday hot dog. See, each year, while my mother was hard at work, or we were otherwise waiting for the big dinner, we needed a meal. My mother would send me the two blocks away to our neighborhood hot dog stand, Ira's. Even with the big meal ahead, I'd have two Vienna dogs, all the works, minus onions, plus a bag of average fries on Thanksgiving.

This year, maybe because I was reminiscing anyways about the hot dog tradition, but also to reward the hard work that the three girls did raking leaves, we hit a newish hot dog spot not too far from us, Ody's at the intersection of Grand and Austin. I asked someone who looked vaguely in charge (he was not the owner), why they opened here. Ody's is a ground up, orange and red brick, investment of a building, and frankly one that baffles me. The stretch of Grand from Narragansett all the way to maybe Cicero, which Ody's sits in, is like the crash reconstruction center of the city, with endless junkyards, body shops, auto re-builders, window fixers and other related businesses. Perhaps dent and ding men make for a hearty lunch crowd. Perhaps such workers work late hours as Ody's is also a 24/hr operation.

Foodwise, it's striving for a bit of the Maxwell aura with a large, above average Polish saw-sage, grilled onions on top. I'm glad my wife ordered it as I have a reason to return. The hot dogs were only about average, with a skinned snap but also too luke warm, the bun being really too cool. The fries are fresh cut, but to prove some point, very below average. I tried to get them to cook some longer but that did not help in the least.

Now, I was realizing that when I do the occasional restaurant review, I need a gimmick so I can get picked up by Helen and the mmmmm midweek links guys. I cannot do food porn as after losing one camera, my older daughter went and broke the next camera. A new camera is out for at least 2008. I aint gonna wow them with MikeG-esqe wit, nor can I be as stunningly original as Hat Hammond. My odd finds never seem to strike the fancy the way ReneG's does, something I suppose having to do with his damn scholarship. But do they have the VI Family ten thumb system?

The four of us each has a thumb to rate. Then because my wife felt the scale too narrow, I decided to add in the Elijah thumb, two extra thumbs for contingencies, balance and a theoretical ten point scale. And how did it work at Ody's?

Both parents gave it one thumb. The kidz each gave it one and one-half thumbs, insisting that the scale allowed for such measurements, and Elijah gave it one thumb, for a total of 6 thumbs (outta 10).

Ody's Drive Inn
6001 W. Grand Ave., Chicago
6 Thumbs Up

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