Portland >Wayne's Chicago Red Hots
I have no regrets about leaving Chicago for Portland. None. Chicago is lovely to visit. Like all big cities, it tries to corral you in the nice parts when you visit, so that you do not have to smell or see the ugly wobbly bits that make up most of the city. Living in Chicago is like carrying around a big rock that is towing a boat. Everything hurts and grinds and the only way to manage it is to get blind drunk until you no longer care that you've grown a Ditka mustache and say things like "The Jewels" when you are referring to the Jewel (a grocery store).
In my occasional bittersweet nostalgia, however, I do have a few things that haunt me. I long for the distinctive chirpings of cardinals that used to live in my side yard, all red and cool looking amidst the blight urban blocks of grim city. When I get melancholy hunger pangs, they cry out for the chaotic perfection of the Chicago hot dog: Vienna beef dog from the water, steamed poppy seed bun, diced raw onion, tomato, nuclear relish, pickle, sport peppers, mustard (no fu*@ing ketchup!), celery salt and a side of crispy fries upon which ketchup is allowed.
This is the screaming child on an airplane of hunger pangs. This is the mad desperation of a man jammed in a closet with "Love will find a way" by Pablo Cruise stuck in his head chewing his own hand off so he might jam bits of it into his ears. This yearning cannot be put down easily. It bites back. When this hunger calls you have two choices: pony up a few hundred and hit the airport for ORD, or come to Wayne's. Find me at Wayne's most days.
Wayne's is great!. I am shocked that there's actually real Chicago style hot dog place in Portland. Wayne's is it! They use real Vienna Beef dogs and make them the right way from the green relish to the poppy seed bun. There's usually baseball playing, most likely cubs or sox or some other sports during the winter. Since moving here I've been disappointed in all these American style food places, especially pizza and BBQ. That's why I am blown away about Wayne's. It's the real Chicago deal. I am hooked.
The only authentic Chicago Style Dog in PTown. This is the only place serving Vienna Beef, Chicago's signature dog. They do it right. (Note to those so called transplanted Chicagoians: A Chicago Dog is not a Costco pork-filled mystery thingy with a limp pickle and a dry bun.) This is a REAL Chi dog. They also have great fries (try the Wrigley Fries, with no bean chili and cheese). There are other goodies like the Ditka, a foot long chili dog with fresh garlic or the coveted Italian Beef sandwich, get it with a side of au jus and they don't charge you extra. Lot's of Cubs stuff, there's always games on the TV with jazz playing in the background. My girlfriend loves the "Treehugger" which is a tofu dog "dragged thu the garden" as they say, meaning all the trimmings including tomato wedges, peppers, etc. There's plenty of cheap, cold beer and I love the ambient "all-walks-of-life" that frequents the joint. There's plenty to love about Wayne's.
Not to be confused with Chicago hot dogs-not even close!. You can fool the fans but you can't fool the players! I'm from Chicago and this place shouldn't advertise any authenticity to the real deal. I've gone to Waynes three times over the past few months and had their hotdogs twice and a polish once. I left feeling cheated because the meat, bun and ingredients were lacking the Chicago experience, ala distinctive flavor. Maybe it's the way they cook/reheat them? I wanted this place to live up to its billing. The only saving grace are the fench fries. To top it off this food has Lake Oswego prices on N. Martin Luther King Drive? The previous reviewer needs to check out other hot dog joints in the area if he thinks these are a discount price. Several other hot dog places in Portland give you more flavor albeit without the Cubs pictures.
Best dawgs ever (this is for the N Williams joint). I'm so happy Wayne's came into our neighborhood. It's cheap, the owners are funny and very friendly and definitely have the imported Chicago accents going on. Yeah I'm not a baseball fan but I still like hanging out and having one of their polish dogs and heavenly fresh cut French fries (just plain, the chili nacho version is too much for me). As someone who does not normally like hot dogs (esp those fat, loaded with preservative versions in a soggy bun) this place is awesome. I'd eat here once a week if my arteries allowed it.
Why is this place even still in business?. The hot dogs are pretty nasty, the little bodega across the street has better tasting hot dogs. Every time I walk in this place I feel like I have walked into a some exaggerated sports bar, I swear the port belly manager guy gives me the locals the evil eye every time. IF you like baseball and undercooked hotdogs with way too many toppings and passive aggressive "one refill only" signs then this is the place for you.I don't really wish this place out of business , I just wish it would move out of the neighborhood so we get that space rented out to something more in-tune with the style of north portland (which does not mean gentrified established better suited for south texas). Seriously though the busiest I have ever seen this place was during the snow storm, and then only 3 people where in there.
Died and gone to Wrigleyville!. This place is AWESOME!!! Not only can you watch the Cubs game, they have authentic Chicago dogs, the best we've had outside the Windy City. The icing on the cake is the NEON green relish. Everyone that works there is great and the food is incredible. If you appreciate a good Chicago dog, check this one out!
BIG DOGS!. I had the "Ditka Dog" and a beer. It was a full foot long smothered in chili and cheese, just the way I like it. And Latoya mohawk ROCKS!!!
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