Mostly hot dogs but some sandwiches and few slices of pizza.. The post is a bit long but here I go and hope you enjoy. And just a FYI, most of these hot dog photos are going to look more or less the same, haha... ;)
First up of course a Chicago Hot Dog. The poppy seed bun is steamed moist and fluffy and the natural casing Vienna Beef wiener, in this case boiled, had a mild but nice snap, good meaty flavor. Toppings are all the expected suspects of slices of tomatoes, sport peppers, dill pickle, chopped onions, mustard, celery salt and that so unnaturally bright colored neon green relish. :)
As good as the dog is, the best part for me is that it's great to know you can have an authentic Chicago Dog in this city as a meal with fries for only $4.25..
The Maxwell Street Polish Dog ($5.50) was from the recommendation of Jenne.
A nice grilled Polish Sausage where you can see it starting to split. The Polish was juicy and the grilling definitely helped in additional flavor. Topped with grilled onions, sport peppers and mustard. My new favorite dog at Lefty's!
I had a slice of deep dish sausage pizza ($3.25) one day. I've ordered a whole Meaty Pie once and it had the same yummy naturally sweet tomato sauce. The slice is not as deep and filled but for the price I thought extremely fair. The reheat from the oven as a single was great, the crust was much crustier and stiffer than what we had with a whole pie.
I had the Char-Cheddar Burger ($6.50) once..
Was pretty good where (if I remember correctly) the 1/3 pound patty was a medium coarse ground. The patty was on the lean side and maybe packed too tightly, decently moist but I thought it could be a lot more juicy judging how thick it was. Shredded lettuce in my burgers is not my thing but all the veggies which included red onions and tomato were all extremely fresh.
Little things here and there that I could easily ignore but I think what bugged me the most was the cheddar cheese where the flavor was quite sharp and had a waxy texture. Ironically it was good quality cheddar, just thought it distracted from tasting the beef. Sometimes the good ol' yellow Processed American just does the job best. But that's just me.. ;)
The slice of the sausage thin crust ($2.25) I had had a nice lovely crusty bottom. Might not be able to tell by the looks of the photo but these are pretty darn hot to hold..
I've been noticing my metabolism tanking eons ago but I feel I'm starting to become sensitive to sodium as well these days and I thought while the slice was good it was overall a bit too salty for me. Tasted great cold the next day though.. ;)
Perhaps a salad intermission is a good idea here.....
The House Salad Small ($2.75) was super fresh. A romaine iceberg mix with cucumbers, red onions, black kalamata olives and cherry tomatoes. Simple but good. Had it with the Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Next up the Char-Cheddar Dog.. ($5)
Essentially the Chicago Dog but with a grilled dog instead of boiled with some nice lovely char and a good slather of melted cheese.
The cheese had the smooth creamy consistency similar to the Whiz, and I mean that in a good way. These would be so great say, while watching a Baseball game??.. Actually any of these would be a huge leap from the currently produced by Wienerschnitzel at PETCO Park. Otherwise great stadium.
The Chicago Polish Sausage ($5.50). A fat Polish Sausage with all the bells and whistles you'd find on a Chicago Dog.
The boiled kielbasa here I thought could've had a bit more flavor and be juicier. Still very good but once you try the grilled Maxwell Street version it's hard to compare.
Down to the last two. Not a hot dog but the Homemade Italian Sausage Sandwich.... ($6)
Lovely grilled onions and bell peppers. So lovely.
The highly toasted super flaky bread acted like a defensive barrier for me to get to the yummy contents but once I got past the first few bites I did pretty well. Overall the balance was a bit too heavy on the bread but you could always tear some of it off I guess. Sausage had a nice but mild fennel flavor. It didn't quite reach the level of Pete's Quality Meats down in Little Italy but definitely not a bad option to have close by in my part of town.
And last but not least, the most simply named Char-Dog ($4.25).
This is your classic Chicago Dog with a grilled dog with some beautiful (and tasty) charred skin. Personally I prefer it to the original but I also love (and am never afraid of) a good char on my meats. The Char-Dog would be my next favorite to the Maxwell Street Polish Sausage.
BTW, I almost forgot about describing their fries but they're crispy potato-ey, perfectly salted and great. Ketchup on my fries but never on my Chicago Dog! :)
Hope everyone is enjoying the Labor Day weekend. Maybe grilling up some tasty hot dogs even. Cheerios.
Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria (Mission Hills), 4030 Goldfinch, San Diego, CA 92103