One Great Dish: Belly Shack's "Belly Dog"

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Oct 18, 2010 3:20PM

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Really, with hot dogs like this, Chicago could be on the cusp of a tubesteak renaissance. Hot on the heels of raving about Big Star's Sonoran, I decided to revisit Bill Kim's Belly Shack Friday. Like Urban Belly before it, Belly Shack suffered from seasoning problems. Also like Urban Belly before it, Belly Shack has gotten into a groove worthy of its street food-inspired fare.

One of the specials Friday was the "Belly Dog," which used to be a regular menu item. Now it's a special and I was told was soon to re-join the regular menu. The Belly Dog has undergone some changes since it was first introduced. Gone are touches like Kim's kim chi salsa and splitting the wiener in half lengthwise. Now it's just a standard hot dog served on flatbread and topped with chili paste, crispy egg noodles and crispy green papaya. It's also served with fries and a side of curry mayo for dipping. I finished eating the Belly Dog almost as soon as the dish was delivered to my table. The "less is more" approach to the Belly Dog serves it well. It may very well be the best $9 I've ever spent on a hot dog.