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Judging by the line outside Paulina Meat Market a few weeks ago, there's an inexhaustible appetite for Doug Sohn's encased meats on a bun. So at the end of this month the late Hot Doug's returns again for the Dog Dayz of Summer, which features Doug's dogs, beer from Goose Island, and "punk and country bands" on June 27 and 28 at the Goose Island Barrel Warehouse (605 N. Sacramento). Tickets are $75 and get you beer tickets, dogs, and duck-fat fries for one of the four sessions. Doug just announced the precise menu today; scroll down on the ticket page to see it.
• In other hot dog happenings, psychology professor, hot dog scholar, and author Rich Bowen (who spoke with us about the history of encased meats last month) leads the discussion "Hot Dog Chicago: 1983 and Thereafter" from 10 AM to noon on June 13 at Kendall College (900 North Branch). E-mail email@example.com to reserve a spot.
• The Windy City Smokeout, a locally founded barbecue festival, is getting fancier this year; out-of-town joints like the Salt Lick from Austin, Texas, will be competing against local favorites like Lillie's Q and Smoque. Also Memphis-based Gus's Fried Chicken will be sampling their stuff before they open in Chicago, and TV personalities Myron Mixon (BBQ Pitmasters) and Adam Richman (Man v. Food) will be the judges. Also, country music. Check it out July 10-12.
• The Royal Thai Consulate General of Chicago will be hosting its annual Thai Festival June 17-19 in Federal Plaza, with food, dancing, and more stuff. It's free and runs from 11 AM-6 PM.
• Hey, remember when I interviewed the owner and chef of MFK? Well two chefs later the restaurant is the subject of a piece by Sarah Freeman at Zagat asking "Can a restaurant operate without an executive chef?" The answer seems to have a lot to do with the owners being a highly experienced restaurant couple, for sure, but check it out—it poses some good questions about our chef-driven scene.
• You know who not to steal plants from at three in the morning in Old Town? A guy with 12,000 Twitter followers, for one. Nick Kokonas, co-owner of Alinea and others, had plants stolen from his yard, and is publicizing on social media the security footage of the crew who did it (and who apparently took the time to look up the species of some of the plants on their phones while midtheft). Be on the lookout for a highly professional crew of horticulturist douchebags, I guess.
• What's the least popular term relating to food? Apparently it's "moist," according to researchers. Yet we all love moist towelettes! (H/t Renee Suen.)
• This was shot in a restaurant, so that's enough of an excuse for me: comedian Kevin Pollak imitates comedian Albert Brooks trying to tell the Aristocrats joke, and deconstructing it along the way. Not as NSFW as you might expect, though still NSFW.