One of the more storied hot dog stands in Chicago is Gene and Jude's Red Hot Stand in suburban River Grove (see map).
Gene and Jude's began in 1952 when partners Gene Mormino and Julius "Jude" DeSantis opened the doors. Jude DeSantis' son, Fred, took over the place in the 70's and his son, Matt, took over for him when Fred died in 2002.
Where a lot of hot dog stands in the Chicago area will also sell burgers and Italian beef sandwiches, it's basically just hot dogs. Well, that and, for some reason, tamales. Oh, and hand cut french fries. In fact, the fries are the good, greasy kind that complement the hot dogs tremendously.
I went in one afternoon when they weren't too busy. You order at the far left end of the counter and move to the right to pay and then pick up the food.
I got a double dog - two grilled hot dogs in a bun topped with onions, mustard, pickle relish and hot peppers. And an order of fries with a Coke. And don't ask for ketchup - even for the fries. They don't have it.
And it was good. I liked the grilled taste to the hot dogs. They were crisp and juicy. And the fries were great. It was a killer crappy food experience.
One of the great things about Gene and Jude's is that they're open late - until 1 p.m. or later on some nights, depending upon how busy they are. In doing some research on Gene and Jude's, I found some forums where people said that they've gone in there after 3 a.m. to get hot dogs.
Gene and Jude's is no frills, a short menu and good food. Concentrate on one thing and do it right. And they do it right. It's a trippy little place. Visit it if you can.