by Xavier Sanchez
One semester wasn’t enough to cover all of the amazing restaurants in Dubuque. Fortunately, this semester holds promise for many more opportunities. This February starts strong with “Dawgs,” which is a shack-like stand that sells Chicago classics- from Chicago-Style hot dogs to Italian Beef sandwiches. I knew I had to make it there since I grew up so close to Chicago, similar to many Loras students. The Chicago influence can be traced throughout the city, which makes Dawgs the perfect stop.
Dawgs is owned and operated by Randy and Marianne Black. Randy originally is from the Oklahoma City area. He headed to Chicago to be a trial attorney. After 17 years of being a trial attorney, Black left it all behind and headed to East Dubuque to begin his life in food. For 17 years, he ran Randy’s Hill Top Bar and Grill. He spent some time at the old and new Diamond Jo Casinos where he went from assistant Executive Chef to Head Chef, according to 365Ink. Following this part of his career, he was nostalgic for the Chicagoan influence and felt Dubuque was missing this taste of Chicago. Thus, his new restaurant began.
The menu includes 15 items, providing variety without the indecision. Their prices are reasonable for a college student, considering the quality and portion size. Menu items range from $1.75 to $7.00.
For my visit, I went with a chili-cheese dog, fries, and a tamale. The dog came on a steaming bun, topped with Dawg’s homemade chili sauce, cheese, and onions. You have the option of shredded cheese or melted nacho cheese. The fries are freshly cut, fried till they’re crispy yet maintain a soft and tasty inside. Salt is added for flavor. Personally, I found these fries to be some of the best in Dubuque.
Dawgs is open five days a week, Tuesday — Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday — Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. In winter, it is best to use the drive-thru option, as there is limited eating space inside. During the summer, they have seating available outside to enjoy the outdoors. It is a little over a mile away from campus and located at 245 W. 2nd Street (2nd & Locust).