Some people find comfort in food. Recently, I was searching for something I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but I knew I needed comfort food. Everyone’s idea of comfort food is different. For me, it’s something familiar. After living in a Chicago suburb for 10 years, familiar to me is a good hot dog. But not just any old hot dog, but a good Chicago-style dog with condiments galore, including tomatoes, sport peppers, a steamed poppy seed bun and celery salt. I found one at Zacky’s Hot Dogs on South Range Line Road, Carmel.
My family ordered a few things to get a good sampling of the menu. Our tray was covered. I ordered a Chicago Dog, chili cheese fries and a one-fourth slab of ribs.
The Chicago Dog was perfect, matching my memories of life in Chicago. Zacky’s nailed it, down to the Vienna beef dog and neon-green relish like the famous dogs served not far from Wrigley Field.
While I haven’t had chili cheese fries in a long time, this well-seasoned chili was wonderfully balanced. The chili wasn’t too spicy and an abundance of it covered the generous order of french fries. It was all topped with a heap of melted, shredded cheddar cheese.
Finally, we indulged in a small order of smoked ribs with the sauce on the side. The ribs were succulent. The meat easily fell off the bone and had clearly been treated with a well-seasoned (not spicy) dry rub prior to smoking. The barbecue sauce was not spicy to me, but my daughter said it had a “zing” to it. Overall, the ribs were delicious.
I’m looking forward to my next visit to Zacky’s. Zacky himself came out and sat next to us, striking up a conversation. I’m glad I found a place that provides the familiar flavors and personalities of Chicago without the three-hour drive.
Zacky’s is located in the Carmel Walk Plaza, between 116th Street and Carmel Drive, and is open Tuesday through Saturday. Check out the Web site at zackyshotdogs.biz for the full menu, and some super coupons.
- What: Zacky’s Hot Dogs
- Where: 131 S. Range Line Rd., Carmel
- Info: Visit zackyshotdogs.biz or call 848-5088