Joe Rocco

Michael's Chicago Style Red Hots (1100 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-765-DOGS) just opened about a month ago, but Michael Hoffman's mildly spicy red hots have been big shots in the Windy City since 1977. There are four questions you'll need to answer pretty quickly after entering the shiny-tiled frankfurter stand (unless you're one of those who doesn't mind holding up the line). Allow me to provide some frank advice: (1)What's the difference between a hot dog ($2.69) and a char dog ($2.79)? Ten cents (heh heh--that's what the manager behind the counter answered when I asked). But seriously, one is boiled, the other grilled. Go with the char. (2) Single char or double ($3.79)? Double your bang for a buck. (3) Chili ($4.09) or cheese ($3.19) on top? Neither -- these are Chicago dogs, meaning you get a choice of about a dozen toppings to plop atop the pup as is. Ask for "the works," even though it does sort of soggy up an otherwise splendid, freshly steamed poppy bun. (4) How're the yellow fin tuna sandwich ($5.79), mini pizza ($4.59), falafel pocket ($4.89), and veggie burger ($4.09)? Let me answer that with a question: Who cares? The char burger ($3.69), though, is surprisingly tasty, as are signature cheddar fries ($2.49).

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