There’s a sizeable and devoted population in Southwest Ohio who are expatriates from Chicago. And whether you’re from the South Side or Arlington Heights, or you just paid a visit to the loop, one thing is clear: People who leave Windy City miss the place. Fortunately, Ohio is peppered with little spots like this one, where Vienna Sausage is a gold standard, and where photos of John Hancock Tower are required. Chicago Gyros and Dogs does Chicago street food in a way that few other places can emulate.
The Chicago dog, the veritable litmus test of a true Chicago food lover. Is it true to form? Absolutely. The Vienna sausage base dragged through the garden with sport peppers, tomatoes, celery salt, and the works. I love the ketchup bottles on the tables — a true litmus test of the Chicagoan spirit. For those who have never graced Chicagoland, ketchup is a cardinal sin on the Chicago hot dog. There’s too much else going on there.
Aside from the menu of burgers and other fast food is a mouth-watering menu of different gyros which happen to be one of my favorite things. The basic gyro is what I got, and wow, is it huge. It’s a basic concept on paper, just tomatoes, onions and lamb meat over tzatziki sauce. But the gyro meat is absolutely delicious. I think they might flash-fry it, or maybe they just brown it a little until it’s a little crispy. Either way, don’t get it with anything else, like I did. I expected it to be smaller, and the thing filled me up. And I loved every single bite.
What I really like about the restaurant, though, is the great friendly sense of the place. I like it about being in Chicago, big city, friendly people. And it’s almost like a microcosm of that here. People talk about memories of Chicago, two strangers struck up a conversation at a table nearby and it turned out they both lived in the same neighborhood of the South Side. There’s a definite love for that city that I haven’t seen for other cities, and it’s cool to see that it’s something that brings people together.
If you’re a former Chicagoan, this is absolutely a sumptuous place to go to drown those feelings of homesickness. If you’ve never been to the Windy City, this is a place to go for an appetizer of what that city is like. I highly recommend it!
- The Chicago hot dogs: true to form. Absolutely a must.
- Gyros here are some of my favorite in town, but take note, they’re absolutely huge.
- Food can be made to-go for extra convenience.
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