Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Michelle Obama Should Shut Down Gene & Jude's Hot Dog Stand

Gene & Jude's were ranked best
hot dogs in nation by several surveys
Our petite First Lady, Michelle Obama is in Chicago today to lecture us on inner city "food deserts" and later dine with members of the upper 1% to cajole them out of their money for her spouse's campaign.

As most know, the svelte Michelle has spent her White House years busily sermonizing over the need for healthy food.

She has been shaming and forcing schools into replacing nachos and pizza with carrot sticks. She has bullied soup makers into purging their products of dreaded salt.

And she has sponsored a "National Dance Day" to encourage us sluggards to exercise so that we too might have buttocks and thighs as firm and pert as her very own.

So while she is back here, I say she should take a side trip out to suburban River Grove and safeguard our very lives by shutting down that house of gastronomic terrors and early sclerotic death, Gene & Jude's Hot Dogs.

I was recently out in the near Western Chicago suburbs with a friend who regularly works out that way and he insisted that we lunch at the famous Gene & Jude's hot dog stand.
By 11:30 the place was packed
with lots of city employees

I had never heard of the joint, but he raved about it. He said it was voted the best hot dog in America, bar none. And sure enough, an internet search revealed that it was voted as making America's best hot dog by "Every Day with Rachel Ray" and the "Serious Eats" blog.

When we got there at around 11:30 the place was already packed. The parking lot was 80% full and a line snaked around the interior of the diner-like edifice.

Inside, assembly line style, 11 workers mechanically took and filled orders for Gene & Jude's very limited menu of hot dogs, double dogs and tamales and fries.

All the dogs came with heavily salted, fresh cut, oily fries packed in the wrapper atop the dog. In a rather idiotic nod to Chicago tradition, you can't get ketchup there, even for your fries. But the counter along the walls had at least a dozen full-sized cardboard salt containers, in case you wanted an extra dose.
Self-appointed food
nanny Michelle Obama
I noticed that the place was packed with Chicago city employees (the city is just across River Road) and airport employees. One guy wearing a shirt emblazoned with "Airport Security" walked out with about eight orders. Seems like the TSA crowd needs oily fast-food fare to fuel up for a busy afternoon of goosing and groping the travelling citizenry.

The place has been inducted into the Vienna Beef Hall of Fame, but I wasn't exactly bowled over by their dogs. I'd rather mine slathered in green relish and mustard with tomato slices, raw onion bits, a kosher pickle atop and a dash of celery salt as opposed to Gene and Jude's rather Spartan garnishment of mere onions and mustard.
Still the fact remains that the iconic establishment is very popular and wildly unhealthful. This is of particular import to the Chicago taxpayers, since so many city payrollers flock to the joint. We will be stuck with the bills for their artery cleaning and post-gripper care and future gripper prevention.

Self-appointed food nanny Michelle Obama should swoop right in there and snatch up those death provending salt cans. She should confiscate those cancerous red hots and pour those gallons of artery clogging oil (is it unsaturated?) down the drain.

Michelle should give them the ultimatum -- fresh raw vegetables and fruit juices fill your menu from now on or out of business you go!

But just as Chicago's school kids are filling cafeteria trash bins with Michelle's healthful celery stalks and carrot sticks -- with a menu like that -- out of business Gene and Jude's would go.