Credit: Eric Futran

mystery corn dawg at Franks ‘n’ Dawgs

1863 N. Clybourn

Europeans use silverware for the craziest things: Everest’s French chef Jean Joho has told me he eats even emburgers with a knife and fork; my Italian grandmother nibbled fried chicken, meticulously, with silverware. But the hot dog remains a militantly hands-on foodstuff—especially that variant called the corn dog, and that holds true even at Franks ’n’ Dawgs, where the creations of chef Joe Doren show a European influence in saucing and fancy-pants condimentation. The reconceived “Mystery Corn Dawg” at Franks ’n’ Dawgs is lightly embraced in an almost fluffy coating of Anson Mills cornmeal batter—about as close to a bun as you’ll get with this traditionally American county fair fare, which is more often encased in hard-fried armor. The default wiener inside is a sausage the chef chooses more or less at random (that’s the “mystery”), but you can also specify which tube steak you’d like corndogified. It’ll come served with sauerkraut and, soon, house-made mustards.