Price Point: $16 for house garlic sausage sandwich at Dusek’s
Few places in Chicago care about beer as much as Dusek’s (1227 W. 18th Street, 312-526-3851; dusekschicago.com) in Pilsen. Along with a gargantuan draft list and a bottle list that could double as a book, the waitstaff knows that it is their duty to get beer to you as quickly as possible. It's breathtaking. The order will have barely left your lips when a frothy mug hits the table. Which means you could drink yourself silly in a matter of minutes, unless you fortify yourself with some food.
Few foods go better with beer than sausages, so why not go with the house garlic sausage sandwich? Instead of some meaty monstrosity, the sausage feels like a hot dog that grew up, got a nice job, and started dressing the part. The pickled apple slices and shaved fennel add brightness and crunch, and a mustard vinaigrette brings some zing. Dusek’s eschews the standard side-split bun for a top-split one, which is also soft on the inside and toasted crisp on the outside. The sausage itself is, as the name suggests, pleasantly garlicky, and almost creamy (in a good way)—the kind that won’t give any resistance as you bite in.
The sandwich comes with a mountain of beef-fat fries. These are essentially the same as the excellent ones served at Dusek’s sister restaurant, Longman & Eagle. Consider yourself fortified.