Dog days | Rock Candy

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dog days

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 4:47 PM

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Southwest Little Rock is all about immigrants these days, but not all of the noteworthy additions are Latinos. There's also the Chicago family that left Illinois behind 15 years ago and opened Lynn's, an outpost for Chicago specialties and other familiar fare — burgers and fried catfish, chicken nuggets and wings. It's just around the corner from a Salvation Army thrift store and prices are in keeping with the location — a classic Chicago hot dog with a fat sack of crisply finished fries and a fountain drink cost a mere $4.15. That dog: It's built around one of the chewy Vienna brand dogs familiar to all Chicagoans. Same for the polish sausage.

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You can get the hot dog topped many ways, including with chili, but we opted for the traditional Chicago dressing — neon green pickle relish, mustard, a slice of pickle, fiery sport peppers and some chunks of fresh tomato, all topped with a sprinkle of celery salt. We took points off for the standard hot dog bun, instead of the poppy seed variety. Be warned, it's a mess, but in a good way.

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We also dug into another Chicago specialty, the Italian beef ($6.05 for the sandwich only). By custom, big chunks of meat are braised in a spicy broth, then sliced and served on a fat hoagie roll with lots of pan juice for dipping. We suspect the beef at Lynn's comes pre-made from a Chicago supplier, rather than being cooked on premises. It's a little dry. But a cup of the salty, herbed jus makes up for that. You can choose a mild, medium or hot blend of pickled vegetables and peppers for a topping (the giardiniera, if you want to get technical.). We chose hot. It was. This is a whopper of a sandwich, a meal. A companion liked her Philly cheese steak, though she was a little puzzled by the honey dipping sauce. Lynn's is a spartan, self-serve place, but the folks are friendly and accommodating. You'll feel like you're eating with family.

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