Saturday, June 13, 2009

Chris' Little Chicago

The very large majority of my restaurant reviews reside on, which is where I first started writing about food. When I started this food blog, I grappled a bit with whether to put new reviews here, instead; I ultimately decided to leave them on Yelp, because I think it's very useful to have a pool of information about a restaurant in a single, easily-accessible place.

However, because Yelp doesn't allow me to integrate photos into my reviews the way I can here, sometimes the temptation to cross-post is just too strong. So, below is a verbatim cross-post of my new Yelp review of Chris' Little Chicago - seen here with the photos, for your viewing pleasure.

I was first introduced to Chicago style hot dogs at my beloved Red Hot Lovers in Ann Arbor, where I went to college. It was love at first bite; the big, juicy dogs smothered in toppings I'd never even heard of (hello, sport peppers and celery salt) took my breath away. And the waffle fries...ohhhh, those perfect, perfect waffle fries...

But I digress.

Since moving to Austin, I have many times bemoaned the fact that there aren't any good Chicago dogs to be found here (or Jewish deli sandwiches...what is up with that?). So when I heard about Chris' Little Chicago, I hurried down for a visit just as quickly as I could.

Chris' Little Chicago is just a little red trailer in the middle of a totally overgrown field off S. Lamar. There are a couple of ramshackle tables surrounding it...definitely not an upscale dining experience.


Service was extremely friendly, and I was able to place my order very quickly and with little fuss. I had eyes only for the Chicago style dog - an all-beef Vienna dog covered in tomato wedges, a pickle spear, day-glo-green relish, chopped onion, mustard, sport peppers, and celery salt. The sweet woman working there told me that Chris went through 25 bags of fries before he found the right ones, so I had to order a side of those, as well. The combo - dog, drink (canned soda or bottled water), and fries - cost $6.50.


I thought the dog was very good. The toppings were perfect, really; my only minor beef (rimshot) was with the dog itself. It was a little on the small side and kind of watery - I really like my hot dogs to have a firmer, more dense texture. The fries were perfectly cooked and tasted great, as advertised, although I'll admit that I personally prefer plain fries to seasoned fries, particularly with a very flavorful dog (like those waffle fries at Red Hot Lovers...ohhhhhh). But if you like seasoned fries, these were a nice representation of that genre.

The dogs at Chris' Little Chicago don't quite live up to the Chicago dogs I hold so dear in my memories, but they're about as good as any you'll get in Austin.

(4/5 stars)

Chris' Little Chicago
3600 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 300-1791


  1. Mmmm... Red Hot Lovers' fries. Even I remember that pleasure.

  2. I have never been to Ann Arbor or Chicago, but Chris serves the best Chicago dog that I've ever had. I have eaten at Mels in Tampa, which was my previous best. I try to find Vienna beef wherever I go, and I am very passionate about Chicago dogs. The old Lucky Dog on Spicewood and the remaining Lucky Dog up in Pflugerville don't even come close to Chirs' place.

  3. I was there today eating some great dogs and he (chris) was very excited because he had just ordered brand new picnic tables for his spot. So now only can you get great food the seating well be even better. BTW the field was mowed and the view of the greenbelt was beautiful


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