The thuringer sausage was the star at Hot "G" Dog for the Reader's Aimee Levitt. Levitt's missed that taste of the garlic-and-pork encased meat since Doug Sohn shuttered Hot Doug's last year. It seems that Hot "G" Dog, which is run by Sohn's longtime cooks the Garcia brothers, (two former Hot Doug's line cooks) does a good job at copying some of Sohn's magic.
Levitt never tried the other specialty sausages or duck fat fries at Hot Doug's, so she lacks a baseline for comparison. However, on their own, the specialty sausages at Hot "G" Dogs were "fantastic," she writes. But even of the ones she ate, Levitt writes that the sausages aren't exactly the same, as the casings don't offer the same snap and the Chicago dog "seems smaller and overwhelmed by its toppings."
The atmosphere is different, Levitt admits, as Hot "G" Dog lacks a significant ingredient: Sohn's way of interacting with customers. Juan Carlos and Octavio Garcia tried to copy the old environment, even appropriating the same ordering pad that Sohn famously used at the counter. While Sohn at first gave the Garcias his blessing, in a recent interview on WBEZ's "Afternoon Shift," he channeled former NBA star Rasheed Wallace. Wallace famously provided vanilla answers at a press conference, for fear of being fined by league officials for saying some inflammatory after a tough loss. Beyond that, listen to the interview where Sohn talks about the possibility of selling sausages at supermarkets.
Part of the appeal for Levitt was that Hot "G" Dogs and the Garcias don't have to cope with long lines or large crowds. Perhaps those lines will grow once school lets out for summer vacation.