By Tommy Carrico, Executive Entertainment Editor
If there’s one thing every kid who grew up on the south side of the tracks in Mt. Prospect can agree on, it’s that there’s nothing to do. We outgrew Sunset Park and Big Surf, Keefer’s Pharmacy moved to Northwest Highway, Weller Creek is buggy in the summer and freezing every other time of year, and everything else was deemed too far before our drivers’ licenses came around.
Here’s the thing about hot dogs: they’re all pretty good. The dogs served at Portillo’s, Rand Red Hots, Heffy’s and Frankie’s all make for a special treat at the Carrico household. Even Sub Express, Hubby’s submarine-specialist neighbor across the tracks, offers a respectable hot dog alternative for weirdos like my brother who don’t eat sandwiches.
Hubby’s best selling point is its location. On the corner of Main and Evergreen, Hubby’s is able to simultaneously serve both as a short bike ride from Lincoln Middle School and a quick drive-in for those of Prospect’s students who go out for lunch. If it plays its cards right, Hubby’s can be the hangout spot southern Mt. Prospect kids so desperately need.
However, location is far from the only thing Hubby’s brings to the table. One feature that sets Hubby’s apart from standard hot dog places is its “Haute Dog” menu, which features four cleverly named specialties that you won’t find anywhere else. While I haven’t tried any for myself yet, a friend of mine who was with me during my first visit only needed about ten seconds to devour his “French Poodle,” which is topped with brie, Dijon mustard, and French onions.
If hot dogs aren’t your style, each toppings option can be made into a burger for an extra dollar, and Hubby’s also offers a beef and sausage menu. Not to be overlooked are Hubby’s crinkle-cut fries, whose balance between crispy exterior and soft interior gives the likes of Portillo’s a run for its money.
That being said, Hubby’s has some kinks to work out before it establishes itself as one of Mt. Prospect’s staple restaurants. Its location was formerly used for car detailing; to call it cozy would be an understatement.
In addition, Hubby’s uses about three fourths of its space for the staff and the rest for customers in line. Combine this with the brand new, short staff that greeted me on a busy Friday evening, and you get a wait time you won’t find in the Portillo’s drive through. In other words, until the hype dies down a little, Hubby’s is best enjoyed as a takeout place with a call ahead of time.
In short, Hubby’s has potential. As a business that originally started as a hot dog stand downtown Chicago, the transition to a suburban shop may not be as clean as one would hope, but Hubby’s hindrances are the kind that new restaurants often go through; with experience, the job behind the counter only gets easier and faster. With the talk and support it’s getting from locals, Hubby’s Dog House could be in Mt. Prospect for the long haul.