Before you get any naughty ideas, know that Chubby Wieners is named after the owner's Uncle Chub. Clean and sparse, four green booths, a counter and an open kitchen occupy a space that's colored by a colorful mural of Chubby the hotdog.
"Basically anything with chubby in front of it is really big," said the counterstaff at this Lincoln Square hot dog shop, explaining the difference between the regular cup and the chubby cup of soda. Indeed, size is the only difference between the three-inch kiddie-size hotdog (99 cents), the traditional Chicago-style dog ($2.25) and the "FamousChubby" dog ($3.35), a girthy seven-inch hotdog with a diameter of more than one inch.
No matter the length, any hotdog can come slathered in onions, relish, pickle, tomatoes, jalapeno and celery salt, and each is nestled in a poppy seed bun. Hotdogs also come with a handful of fries, which are chubby yet crisp, with a bit of the skin still on. The French fries, like the onion rings, are hearty enough to shake the role of mere sidekick and can also be ordered with cheese or chili and cheese.
Though hotdogs take the spotlight here, plenty of attention has been paid to other parts of the menu, including chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, cheese sticks, soup, salad and chili. Big spenders should consider the Capitalist Pig, a chubby dog served with a Johnny Walker Blue Bottle for $250.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Rockwood