Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Scooby's Red Hots


Scooby's Red Hots is a small restaurant near Downers Grove North High School and, subsequently, within walking distance of our house. With the location and funky exterior, I had really hoped that Scooby's could turn out to be our neighborhood joint, a place to hang out when we just didn't feel like cooking. Unfortunately, it turns out that Scooby's is a dump. What's the difference between a dump and a joint? According to David Rockwell, restaurant designer, "A dump is a place on the way down; it probably didn't start out being a dump. A joint is and always has been a joint." From Alan Richman: " A joint has no high concept. It just is. It is a safe haven in a culinary world that swirls with inconsistencies. It is a respite from fast food, small food, tall food, and fancy food."


Maybe at one point Scooby's was a joint, but now it's a tired, dirty dump, with uncaring cooks, a shabby interior and exterior, and relatively bad food. We had burgers, chicken tenders, and hot dogs, all edible but not interesting, paired with limp fries. I shouldn't have been surprised, though - I've never ridden, run, or driven past and seen many people inside. Plus, it's a hot dog place, right? Maybe I was expecting too much. Oh well, the search for a neighborhood joint continues.

How about you? Is there a neighborhood joint near you? A place you always end up when nothing else comes to mind?

Scooby's Red Hots on Urbanspoon

13 comments:

  1. There was a pub my wife and I used to always go to. Just down the road - a short drive. Good food; good people; plenty of TVs for sports. Out Saturday hangout for College Football. Unfortunately, they just re-did the bar and it no longer feels comfortable. It feels more compressed and less relaxing. We're looking for a new place.

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  2. For some reason this reminded me of a stop we made on our 83 mile bike ride the other day. We stopped at a small mom and pop type of market. We saw no bathroom, but I asked if they had one we could use and they kindly pointed us past the fry cook...so we headed back through the "kitchen" and to the bathroom where it appeared they had been rinsing the raw chicken in the bathroom sink. blurg...

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  3. We don't have a joint really but kind of..there is a tavern called Rock Creek Tavern that is about 5 miles away out on country roads...in an old barn...really cool actually (part of the McMenamins line of restaurants that is popular in the NW)...great micro brew beers, kid friendly, live music, beautiful scenery, pool, a deck...love it! Even a fire place. :)

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  4. It was a fun outing...but no need to go back.

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  5. We had a place like that near our house. We were all excited. Instead, it was a weird, high-priced hot dog stand that could have been called "all things fried...and hot dogs". It lasted about a year. Just got replaced with a micro-brew pub. Nice upgrade.

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  6. There was a great hot dog stand at the pier for years. Very good quality and always busy. But then it closed over the winter. Don't know why...

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  7. I think they outlawed real joints and dumps in Berkeley. Now the joints are pseudojoints…fancy, full-of-themselves places masquerading as joints. And the dumps are like drug dealers…they're there, but you have know someone who knows someone or search in scary neighborhoods after dark.

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  8. There's an Irish pub that hosts a local running club on Monday nights that I can't seem to get enough of. Runner-friendly, decent food, and beer you can't go wrong!

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  9. ironic ? Stopped at a place last night post race called Mustards. I have eaten there a few times over the past 10 years. My son's choice. However it was a hot dog. I had there Mayor Daly Dog,basicaly a loaded all beef dog with the pickle, tomato,celery salt etc.. Freakin awesome. Oh we also shared chilli cheese fries for some extra fat and cholesteral (sp ?)

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  10. No such luck here in Florida. Every place is a dump

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  11. The restaurant looks like it could be a "Joint"..... bummer that it is not :(

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  12. I think you should just stick to Portillo's. :)

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  13. Come south to Merichka's http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicagos-best/2011/03/best-of-the-southland-mirichkas-restaurant.html

    It's a few blocks from my house. I find myself escaping to there on a number of occasions lately especially since it's hard with the short one. But it's a local institution.

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