The Dish: Dogout


Carter Horan

The Dish is a multimedia food review segment co-produced by Will Davis and Carter Horan. Each week, they will travel to a North Shore restaurant to try, discuss, and evaluate the eats on in and around Lake Forest.

Led by owners Norman and Jill Braverman, Dogout is a small business located in the Bannockburn shopping center south of Lake Forest’s West Campus (2567 Waukegan Road). The small, throwback hot dog, burger, and gyro shop prides itself on taking care of all customers’ needs. The restaurant is not online, so there is not a way to look at a menu, but their reviews speak very highly of their hamburgers, Chicago-style hot dogs and gyros with homemade tzatziki sauce. These aren’t the only things they offer, however, as they also boast a large variety of other items such as a shrimp basket, brats, salads, Italian beef, and turkey burgers. The restaurant is a classic for West Lake Forest residents, but others may have never heard of this secret spot due to its location. In order to make sure the reviews we read were valid, we decided to make our way down Waukegan Road to the one and only Dogout.

Affordability: 8.5/10

Dogout definitely made a great impression right off the bat with their cheap, affordable prices. We got a gyro with tzatziki sauce, a hot dog with everything on it, a hamburger with everything on it, two medium fries, two medium drinks and a cheese sauce all for a total of $23.83. We ordered all of this to get a good feel of their main entrees. Compared to most other restaurants this would definitely come in on the cheaper end of things. In addition to having low prices, the serving sizes were definitely large enough to share as we probably could have fed three people with the amount of food we ordered. $23.83 for three people in today’s world is considered a bargain. The fact that we were able to get great food for a great price was 100% one of the more exciting things about this restaurant. It is absolutely a great place for high school kids who have a smaller budget when it comes to meals.

Environment: 6/10

Dogout is located in the east corner of the Bannockburn shopping center next to Jersey Mike’s and Sports Clips. The restaurant is known for its giant mural that covers its walls. It features a variety of sports featuring unique athletes–from football players to a figure skater. A number of articles were also framed on the walls regarding their successful family-owned business. But, the walls and floors do show signs of wear with chipping paint, along with rusted stools and worn down plastic outdoor chairs/tables. It is clear that the restaurant isn’t kept in the best shape in front of the counter. Still, don’t let the wear and tear take away from the quality people and food that is presented. The business clearly takes advantage of their small space with seating inside and outside. Dogout is tucked away in a high competition area with other competing stores and restaurants. The business doesn’t get the recognition it deserves since it isn’t located in a food “hot spot.”

Food Quality: 7.5/10

With so many options lining the menu, we decided to try and order as much as we could so that we really could fully analyze the different types of cuisine that they offer. We ordered a gyro with homemade tzatziki sauce on the side, a hamburger with everything on it, a hot dog with everything on it, two fries, some cheese sauce and two drinks. We were both very excited about the quality of the gyros. The meat was thinly sliced, succulent and served on a nice soft, warm piece of pita bread. The addition of the homemade tzatziki sauce made the sandwich irresistible. It would definitely be considered one of the best gyros we’ve ever tried. Unfortunately, we felt like the addition of toppings to the hot dog sort of overpowered the flavor of the hot dog. The dog definitely has a lot of potential, but we feel like we may have overdone it with the toppings. The hamburger was pretty average if we’re being honest. The patty was thin and had good flavor, but didn’t really have the wow factor that we were looking for. Another thing that did impress us was the fries and the cheese sauce that we ordered as a side item. The fries had great texture and had just the right amount of salt to give them proper flavor. When paired with the cheese sauce, the two were delectable. The cheese sauce was thick and very creamy which went perfect with the fries. Overall, the food was impressive but we really wish we had seen a little bit more from the hamburger and the hot dog. The gyro and fries were most definitely the greatest from the Dogout’s menu.

Service: 8.5/10

The people that operate Dogout are the ones to count for their success. Dogout workers give you a friendly feel like no other “fast casual restaurant” we’ve visited. From a welcoming “What can I help you guys with today?” to the final “Thanks for coming in, guys!” the service made up for the environmental downfalls. Many little things surprised us and made our visit better than expected. The free refill system and the 5 and half minute food preparation time were intricate details that made big differences during our visit. One worker even spoke out to ask us about high school, and mentioned that he grew up with Mr. Goldstein. The personable and friendly nature of the people who work at Dogout left us feeling confident about the restaurant’s service and attitude towards customers. Dogout is a small casual spot that we would recommend to anyone looking for a good meal made by good people.

Spear Rating: 3.5 SPEARS (out of 4)