by Nicole Watts
Anyone who likes chili dogs has an opinion about who has the best. My cousin was sharing the story of how she and her boyfriend went out one afternoon and hit several local places to see how they rated against each other and we decided this sounded like a fabulous way to spend an early Saturday evening. The best tip we got from Lisa & Jerry was that we should split a chili dog at each place instead of trying to eat a whole one at each stop. We started our journey around 5pm assuming this would be prime time Saturday evening and our best chance for getting a quality product.
Wonderdog is located at 2430 East Washington Street in East Peoria. They are open Monday – Thursday from 11-7 and Friday – Saturday from 11-8. The bun was fresh. The hot dog was basic. The chili was a nice, solid, meaty chili; which was bold without being spicy. The bun to hot dog ratio was perfect.****
The corndog at Wonderdog was exactly what you would expect in a corn dog, it was crunchy and had a smooth exterior. It did taste like a frozen corndog, but our corndog expert thought that was just fine.***
Emo’s Dairy Mart is located at 3618 N. Prospect Road in Peoria Heights. They are open Monday – Sunday from 10:30-10. They only accept cash. The hot dog and bun were both exceptional, but the hot dog was small and short. This made the hot dog to bun ratio pathetic at best. The chili was also delicious, but overpowered by the cheese. (We ordered a chili dog, but were given a chili cheese dog.) If Emo’s served a thicker hot dog and added more chili and skipped the cheese, they would have been the favorite.**
The corn dog at Emo’s was fresh, crunchy and delicious, but the presentation was lacking. The exterior of the corndog was burnt and cracked.***
Lou’s Drive In is located at 4229 N. Knoxville Ave. in Peoria. They are open Monday – Sunday from 11-10. The presentation of their chili dog was the best, but the taste was very disappointing. The chili was bland, the hot dog was bland and the bun had a strange plastic aftertaste.*
Sadly, they did not have corn dogs, so the corn dog aficionado was unable to give his take on their food.
Ice Cream Shack is located at 2313 NE Adams St in Peoria. They are open Monday-Sunday from 10:30-10. They only accept cash. This was the biggest disappointment. They had exceptional online reviews, but our experience was not on par. The hot dog to bun ratio was perfect, but everything was overpowered by the chili. While it did have a nice consistency, it was very dark and tasted old and overcooked. We each took one bite and threw the rest away.*
Their corndog breading was the best, but the hotdog had a rubbery consistency.*
We had also hoped to stop at Hofbrau, Mr. G’s, and B Easy, but their hours didn’t match up with our schedule. Maybe next time…