Poochie’s may have moved to slightly bigger digs, but fans will still get the same feel and great hot dogs at the new location.
The restaurant has been on Dempster Avenue since 1969, moving from 3832 Dempster St. to 3602 Dempster St. in April. Under the same ownership since 1992, Poochie’s has gathered a loyal following and plenty of accolades, which it proudly advertises by mounting framed copies of newspaper articles on the walls.
It also celebrates Chicago sports accomplishment with a wall of framed newspapers as well as photos of the city’s stadiums. The new space has three flat-screen TVs that are typically tuned to news or sports. There’s plenty of seating, with black tables and a mix of black chairs with red cushions and black booths with red trims.
When we stepped up to the counter, a server quickly came over to take our orders. While both my brother and I wanted hot dogs, I encouraged him to try something different for the sake of my review and when he asked what was good, the server said the burgers were the best. He went for the cheddar burger ($4.19) and I asked for a Chicago-style hot dog ($2.59).
The restaurant seems to take its Chicago-style hot dogs seriously. There’s a sign that says never put ketchup on a hot dog and the list of toppings posted on the order board includes ketchup at the bottom, followed by several question marks.
The dog was great, a plump and juicy Vienna beef frank served on a poppy bun and loaded with the classic mix of chopped onions, vibrant green relish, sport peppers, a slice of pickle and mustard and sprinkled with celery salt.
Poochie’s menu highlights its “famous cheddar burger,” but we found it very delightful. The bun was nice and fresh and the patty was just right.
Luckily the food comes out fast at Poochie’s, so I was still working on mine when my brother's dog arrived. The char dog had a nice char flavor.
We each ordered a side of fries ($1.99), which are served in portions so large that you could easily share it. The fresh cut fries were hot and crispy, higher quality than you’ll find at most counter service places, and so good that we didn’t have trouble finishing off our orders.
In the end, Poochie’s offered a quick and affordable place for a solid and filling lunch.