In River Grove, Illinois is a little place called Gene & Jude’s Red Hot Stand. My dad took my sisters and I there when I was about 15. He had been going there since he was a little boy and could get a hot dog, fries and Coke for 25-cents. Today it’s $2.50. 

Gene & Jude’s is a VERY no-frills establishment. You walk in, stand in the fast-moving line, state your order, move to the register and pay. NO ketchup resides in the building. Topping options are: onions, relish, mustard and sport peppers. Ask for ketchup and they will laugh. Every hot dog also comes with fries. Fresh cut fries. Your hot dog is placed on a piece of parchment paper, the fries are laid on top of it and the whole thing is rolled up and handed to you in a nice, little package.  There are no tables or chairs. Just an 18″ deep counter for you to stand at and eat the best hot dog and fries you were ever have. Another option is to eat at the tailgate of your truck in the parking lot.  It is the absolute hot dog heaven…no, I take that back. It’s the ultimate food heaven.

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