Chicago doesn't have an insignificant Colombian population, so I can't understand the rarity of the perro caliente
, unless the prohibition on ketchup is so entrenched among the majority of hot dog eaters that those with more equatorial tastes in tube steak fear to leave the closet. If the Colombian hot dog makes Chicago's garden on a bun look conservative in comparison, our minimalist Depression dog
looks downright puritan. Here's how they do it in the (way) south: a bun, a regular skinless wiener, and, layered on top, some combination of crushed potato chips, shredded chicken, honey, pineapple sauce, hard-boiled eggs, mustard, ketchup, and "pink sauce," which is just ketchup mixed with mayo.
Could you eat something like that in public? If the answer is yes, your safe place is Rapidito, a fairly new Colombian snack shop on an otherwise soulless stretch of Diversey in Lincoln Park. If you're an urban attention seeker you can even eat this $4.99 monster on the patio in full view of your judgmental peers. Your ability to enjoy it depends whether you think sausage is just a mere delivery vehicle for mouthfuls of sweet condiments and the occasional whole quail egg. The crushed potato chips valiantly add some texture to this slippery tsunami of goo, but if you can detect a hot dog under all that then ¡enhorabuena! to you.
Rapidito also deals in something they call "arepizzas," which are essentially arepas
, or corn cakes, topped with a variety of stuffs like pork belly and aji sauce ($4.99); steak, potato chips, and pink sauce; or sauteed shrimp and avocado ($5.99). Less controversial snacks can be found on the menu, like salchipapas
, hot dogs with little whole potatoes drizzled in pink sauce; chicken or steak skewers; arepas with cheese; and a range of drinks from coffee to Colombian sodas to unusual juices like mulberry, soursop, or tree tomato (otherwise known as the tamarillo).
But let's be real. Rapidito's principal mission is to serve as the command center for a guerilla army of wiener libertines. Rapidito, 1855 W. Diversey, 773-857-3999