Professor Dog: What Up Dog hits the Mall
Tom Jakubowski isn't the only person with a hot dog cart on the Downtown Mall, but he's probably the only one with a degree from Hot Dog University.
"I've wanted to do this for years," says Jakubowski, who opened his What Up Dog hot dog cart on the Mall just a week ago. "And then I saw something about Hot Dog University on CBS Good Morning, and decided to give it a try."
During the Chicago-based two-day intensive course, dubbed "the Harvard of encased meats" by CBS, Jakubowski learned what's called "the art of the cart." But cooking and restaurants were already in his blood.
When Dish visited, his sister, Susan Jakubowski-Ostrowski, was lending a hand. The two grew up in the restaurant biz, as their father owned the Roy Rogers on Preston Avenue, where Bodos is now.
Jakubowski wanted to open his cart, which is parked in front of the Downtown Regal, last year, but a car accident interrupted his plans. But he's full steam ahead, serving up jumbo gourmet dogs from Boar's Head meats, along with 25 different toppings, nestled in buns from Chandler's Bakery. He also had his shiny, stainless steel cart custom-made in Arizona.
"I bet there's no one else on the Mall who has to cut their rolls before putting the hot dogs in," he says.
Indeed, the jumbo dogs are tasty, the condiments unique and many, and Jakubowski, in his bright white chef's smock, looks the part of an artist of the cart.