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Foie Gras Ban
February 18, 2007 6:20 AM   Subscribe

Hot dog joint hit with foie gras fine. The City of Chicago Health Department has issued a citation to a Northwest Side eatery (Hot Doug's, all all places!) for serving foie gras in voilation of the city ban. “People are actually dying from the cold, and I’m getting hassled because of some sausage,” owner Doug Sohn said Friday afternoon...
posted by Durwood (70 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
“I was impressed. I’d like to see them react that quickly to anything in the city,” Sohn said.

Looks like someone didn't bribe his alderman.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:31 AM on February 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


So... the gist of the article is that some business owner broke the law and was fined. Correct? And the point of your FPP about someone breaking the law and getting caught is... what? Outrage?

What the fuck, Durwood?
posted by dobbs at 6:37 AM on February 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


interesting link
posted by farishta at 6:40 AM on February 18, 2007


In a bit more than a century from now, a young man will find a cache of perfectly preserved foie gras. He will open it and enjoy it. He will bring it to the high priests (from the temples of Syrinx) to demonstrate its lustrous beauty and texture, and proclaim that such a wondrous thing must be shared with the population at large in such a troubled time. In dread fear they will do everything in their power to destroy the young man and his delicious foie gras. And thus the cycle of revolution and repression continues.
posted by psmealey at 6:42 AM on February 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


You're absolutely right, dobbs. Of all the hot dog joints serving foie gras, why did they have to bust this one?
posted by ardgedee at 6:44 AM on February 18, 2007


Live free or die! or something...
posted by dash_slot- at 6:44 AM on February 18, 2007


And the point of your FPP about someone breaking the law and getting caught is... what? Outrage?

Do not question the will of our all-benevolent masters! Their whims are forever wise and just!

(And seriously, if the 49th Ward re-elects that smarmy bastard Joe Moore, can we give it to Michigan or Canada or something? Please?)
posted by IshmaelGraves at 6:48 AM on February 18, 2007


Of all the hot dog joints serving foie gras, why did they have to bust this one?

I don't know. But I'd start by looking for a woman named Ilsa.
posted by Cyrano at 6:50 AM on February 18, 2007


What the fuck, Durwood?

dobbs, I just wanna say it's refreshing to see someone actually take the time to spell out "what the fuck" instead of that tired old WTF. I like words. Words are good. And you know what else? "What the fuck, Durwood?" just has a great ring to it. It sounds like something one could (and should!) say to anyone, not just people actually named or nicknamed Durwood. Sort of like, "fuck you, Charlie!"

I just wanna say it over and over again: What the fuck, Durwood? What the fuck, Durwood? What the fuck, Durwood?

Fantastic.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:56 AM on February 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


you cooked it for her, you can cook it for me!
posted by pyramid termite at 6:58 AM on February 18, 2007


Hey Hot Doug,

c'mon now, you wouldn't want me force feeding you so that your liver became engorged- so I could sell it for $85/lb
posted by stevejensen at 7:00 AM on February 18, 2007


In dread fear they will do everything in their power to destroy the young man and his delicious foie gras. And thus the cycle of revolution and repression continues.

This comment makes me hunger for a greasy heaping of foie gras and Rush's 2112.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:04 AM on February 18, 2007


it seems as long as he has those livers, he'll never be lonely
posted by pyramid termite at 7:15 AM on February 18, 2007


"So what's this all about?"
"Oh, it's that silly mortal, y'know...Donald or something."
"I see. What's he complaining about this time?"
"He couldn't get froie gras at a hot dog stand!"
"Of course not. Probabally wanted Samantha to prepare it for him."
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:18 AM on February 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


i am seconding flapjax regarding 'what the fuck, durwood?' it has an awesome ring to it. i'm gonna run around saying it all day.

unfortunately 'what the fuck, dobbs?' doesn't have the same balance of cadence as 'what the fuck, durwood?' so in this case, i think it just stands as a question.

people have been openly defying this ban in chicago ... this is, to my understanding, the first time it's being enforced. looks like this guy is taking the hit for being civilly disobedient. should be interesting to watch it unfold in the illinois courts.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 7:18 AM on February 18, 2007


"Durwood" sounds like the slower cousin of one of the blues brothers.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 7:22 AM on February 18, 2007


What the duck, Furwood?
posted by Balisong at 7:23 AM on February 18, 2007


durwood and his brother hurwood

"hurwood, durwood, what the fuck?"
posted by pyramid termite at 7:24 AM on February 18, 2007


I was pretty excited by the idea of a hot dog joint. Then I realized...
posted by srboisvert at 7:26 AM on February 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


What about the horses?

A special prize to the person who identifies that famous Chicago phrase.
posted by SteveInMaine at 7:32 AM on February 18, 2007


I lived a few blocks from Hot Doug's when it was still on Roscoe, before the fire.

The surprising thing about this is that the city is enforcing in any way a law that Daley has said he doesn't like. Yeah, I know the City Council overrode his veto and everything. But this is King Richard II we're talking about.
posted by veggieboy at 7:36 AM on February 18, 2007


What the fuck, Durwood?, indeed.
posted by disillusioned at 7:42 AM on February 18, 2007


Hurf durf liver eater?
posted by lalochezia at 7:47 AM on February 18, 2007


next up, the trans-fat ban in NYC. heavens!
posted by brandz at 7:47 AM on February 18, 2007


Bert Natras, Steve. I like my lobsters with maple syrup.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:48 AM on February 18, 2007


You want mustard wid dat?
posted by briank at 8:14 AM on February 18, 2007


So, stevejensen, you haven't seen how the birds queue up to be the next to get gorged?
They seem to love it, and it's not like they're being forcefed, as they have no muscles to swallow, so it is only mimicking their natural method of taking in food. It's not like forcing food down past the throat muscles of a mammal.
Frankly, there are far worse things being done to animals for food, all of which I aviod as best I can. Battery farming or many types of animal is far worse than foie gras. If the birds seemed at all scared I would change my tune, but seeing as how humane it seems, as I say, particularly compared to most (truly the majority in terms of production) farming...
posted by opsin at 8:23 AM on February 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hurf durf liver eater?
posted by lalochezia


No, no, you've got it all wrong. Hurwood durwood liver-eater.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 8:26 AM on February 18, 2007


“People are actually dying from the cold, and I’m getting hassled because of some sausage,”
I'm not sure what people dying from the cold has to do with Foie-Gras and how selling goose liver sausage to people with the money to buy it helps those people. I'll try that out next time I'm busted for speeding. "Do you realize you were doing 110 mph in a 55 mph zone?" "Yes, but people are freezing to death in Chicago and you're going to write me a ticket?"
posted by substrate at 8:35 AM on February 18, 2007


Oh Chicago, how I loathe love your corrupted soul. Where even fine upstanding newspaper reporters are not safe from a hospital's 74 person (!) private army police force.
posted by ninjew at 8:46 AM on February 18, 2007


about 6 a.m. Friday, he posted the day’s specials on his restaurant’s Web site, including “Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage with Truffle Sauce Moutarde and Armagnac-Truffle Chicken Mousse” for $6.50.

Oh please, please, please, I beseech you, come to Raleigh, darling Hot Doug, where thou shall be worshipped as the god thou art.

The second complaint led to an inspection, in which officials found foie gras in a walk-in cooler but not on the menu.

“They insisted it wasn’t for sale,” but that the fatty liver was for “personal use,” Hadac said.


The frosty gent sporting a grey fedora politely stepped aside and let the plain jane place her order for "coupla dogs with cukes 'n peppers." He blew into his cupped hands and stamped his feet, playing for time while his eyes crawled the streets searching for the enforcers. Satisfied, he stepped up to the window and growled out of the side of his mouth, "Fatty McLiver sent me. Make mine a "personal."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:05 AM on February 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Is the experience that your average hefer and swine undergo on the road to becoming a bacon cheeseburger any less cruel? That's what bugs me about the foie gras ban; it's arbitrary and inconsistent. Given what a minor percent of consumption foie gras represents, I can only write off Joe Moore as a grandstanding attention whore. Were he really interested in the ethical issue he would take all the energy the city has wasted on this issue and use it to make "Fast Food Nation" required high school reading.

(Veggieboy- where did you live? I used to live on Hamilton, across from the Audabon School.)
posted by puddnhead at 9:21 AM on February 18, 2007


what really bugs me about this isn't that fois gras is being sold ... but ... “Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage with Truffle Sauce Moutarde and Armagnac-Truffle Chicken Mousse” ain't something they offer at the a&w or the dq, is it?

i mean these are supposed to be HOT DOGS, damn it!
posted by pyramid termite at 9:35 AM on February 18, 2007


Anyone who has a problem with foie gras has never met a goose. Evil, evil motherfuckers.
posted by stavrogin at 9:41 AM on February 18, 2007 [3 favorites]


c'mon now, you wouldn't want me force feeding you so that your liver became engorged- so I could sell it for $85/lb

Geese aren't people, stevejensen...

For fucks sake stop anthropomorphizing everything, people!
posted by wfrgms at 9:45 AM on February 18, 2007


Bert Natras, Steve. I like my lobsters with maple syrup.

You were SO close, Smart Dalek, but I'm afraid you lose on a spelling technicality. That famed alderman's name is Burt Natarus. The "What about the horses?" quote arises from Natarus' wish to put diapers on Loop horses, so they wouldn't soil the city streets.

I guess we'll have to put the foie gras prize back in bucket number 6.

Damn, I miss the quirkiness of Chicago sometimes. Except, of course when it's colder than Maine. Or over 100 degrees and humid in the summer. Or when the Bears lose the super bowl.
posted by SteveInMaine at 9:58 AM on February 18, 2007


WTF D?
posted by sweet mister at 10:10 AM on February 18, 2007


For fucks sake stop anthropomorphizing everything, people!

You think that suggesting animals feel pain is anthropomorphizing?
posted by dobbs at 10:10 AM on February 18, 2007


Or perhaps that non-human living creatures are undeserving of your compassion?
posted by baphomet at 10:28 AM on February 18, 2007


Boy I'm getting hungry. How's 'bout a nice Foie Gras and Loggerhead Turtle sandwich on two slices of toast and a dollop of spotted owl mustard, Oh and real cat sup.
posted by Gungho at 10:52 AM on February 18, 2007


The fancy restaurants have been giving foie gras away, saying it is "not for sale", as the law reads, to get around the ban. "It's an item given away, complimentary," DiFonzo said. "We don't believe in the ban." Hot Dougs also serves fries cooked in goose fat some days of the week, poor geese. I have never eaten there, the line is always out the door.
posted by lee at 11:03 AM on February 18, 2007


It's amazing how far Chicago will go to make itself unappealing to restaurateurs.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:19 AM on February 18, 2007


Or perhaps that non-human living creatures are undeserving of your compassion?

i do feel sorry for the crows these days ... with winter here and all the squirrels, raccoons and possums holed up in their trees, more or less, they don't have much in the way of road kill to eat ... and have no opportunity to practice their unique form of compassion upon robin eggs and little fledglings ... neither do the barn owls get to sympathize with the mice much these days ... and the coyotes don't have much of a chance to sneak out of the swamp to commensurate with people's household pets

once spring is here of course and the turkey vultures appear, i'm sure that things will become much more sympathetic all around ... if only the panthers and the wolves would come back to michigan, we would have a totally harmonious ecology ...
posted by pyramid termite at 11:35 AM on February 18, 2007


So what's your point? That living things kill other living things? I'm well aware of that. But that doesn't justify unnecessary cruelty.
posted by baphomet at 11:50 AM on February 18, 2007


“Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage with Truffle Sauce Moutarde and Armagnac-Truffle Chicken Mousse” for $6.50.

Jesus, $6.50? The hot dog stand here sells rancid smokies for that.

In all seriousness, this ban is absurd. Fois Gras is an easy target. It's French, and it's elitist. Is it cruel? Probably a little. Is it more cruel than industrial hog farming? I'd say just the opposite.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:52 AM on February 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


On a side note: holy shit, my dad's nickname for my fiance is Durwood. "What the fuck, Durwood" is how he says hi. Syn-chro-ni-ci-ty baby!
posted by supercrayon at 12:12 PM on February 18, 2007


OF COURSE this whole foie gras thing in Chicago centered around corruption and favoritism with a healthy dose of stupidity.

I mean, have you BEEN to Chicago lately? They dye the river GREEN in a few weeks for christ's sake, but they don't even need to because the whole river is so completely polluted, it's green most of the time anyway.

Plus, the whole area is blighted to death with industrial waste, the city is a driving nightmare leading to more and more pollution, and, well, let's just say the guys I see peeing in the streets on a regular basis aren't helping things either. It seems like everyone in the city just pitches in to make it as nasty as possible.

This is not a city of environmentalists. Why they are taking a stand on goose liver, I don't know.
posted by Muddler at 12:22 PM on February 18, 2007


Muddler, I am guessing that you did not grow up in Chicago. It is cleaner than it has ever been. There are flower gardens in the middle of the main roads for god's sake, well, on the north side anyway.
You forgot to mention the rats, pigeons, and recent college graduates from all over the midwest.
posted by lee at 12:34 PM on February 18, 2007


But that doesn't justify unnecessary cruelty.

necessary and cruelty are both subjective concepts
posted by pyramid termite at 12:56 PM on February 18, 2007


Or perhaps that non-human living creatures are undeserving of your compassion?

I'm sure the three women bludgeoned to death yesterday in Joe Moore's hellhole of a ward would take comfort knowing that even though Joe Moore can't be bothered to keep the neighborhood safe for people, the geese have got nothing to worry about. The six children who died last month because the slumlord — who sits on Joe Moore's zoning board and whom Joe Moore continues to defend — was too cheap to spring for smoke detectors? I'm sure their families understand that Joe Moore's got his priorities, and deciding what everyone outside his ward (because God knows no one's going to try selling fucking foie gras in a shithole like the 49th) gets to eat rates a little higher than than they do.

It's a good thing I moved. If I had to deal with Joe Moore and his entourage blocking the entrance to the El station and lunging and shouting at anyone who tries to avoid their fucking glad-handing this election season — like I did last year — I just might snap.

I'm not sure what people dying from the cold has to do with Foie-Gras and how selling goose liver sausage to people with the money to buy it helps those people.

Right, because obviously the resources of the City of Chicago are inexhaustible, and the diversion of those resources toward every two-bit buffoon's exhibitionist exercises in political wankery will have no effect on the ability of the city to do things that actually fucking matter.

Yes, I know I get a bit unhinged every time Joe Moore gets mentioned on MetaFilter. What can I say? I'm still scarred from living that fucker's ward, and it's cheaper than therapy.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 1:35 PM on February 18, 2007


serving foie gras in voilation

*flourishes*

"Voila, le foie gras! Savourez bien!"
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:07 PM on February 18, 2007


But that doesn't justify unnecessary cruelty.
I would bet my life that you have never been to a farm where foie gras is made. That you have never seen the geese line up, voluntarily, to get all that food funneled down their gullets, looking all fat and happy.

And if you saw that, and still thought it was unusually cruel and deserving of special protections, then I would hazard a guess that you have never seen commercial beef, chicken or pork operations.

Foie gras geese live very good lives by the standards of commerically maintained animals.

The only people who can support this ban are the anti-elite, the uninformed and militant vegans who think of it as a stepping stone.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 3:08 PM on February 18, 2007


Not quite, Tacos.

I support this ban for another reason: geese are major assholes, by far the greatest dickheads of all domestic animals. I hate to see them getting fat & happy on all that yummy extra food.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:02 PM on February 18, 2007


Sorry, and please remember, it's not, as far as I'm concerned, any comment on the relative merits of this post, but I just gotta say it again:

What the fuck, Durwood?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:26 PM on February 18, 2007


Tacos is right -- all things considered, fois gras geese live freaking exemplary lives compared to your average battery farmed chicken or activity-deprived pig.

This reminds me of the PETA outrage over wool because sheep often have their tails docked to prevent a disease which essentially boils down to having itchy, itchy fly maggots in their butt. Don't know about you, but if I was a sheep, I'd rather have my tail docked than maggot-butt.

And, because I can't resist either -- what the fuck, Durwood?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:51 PM on February 18, 2007


Hot Dougs also serves fries cooked in goose fat some days of the week, poor geese. I have never eaten there, the line is always out the door.

Actually, he fries them in duck fat.

They can have my duck fat fries when they pry them from my cold dead hands.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:15 PM on February 18, 2007


Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh. Now I'm thinking about the time I caramelized onions in a pan with duck fat and threw in shredded duck breast / wild mushrooms, then dumped the whole shebang on wild mushroom-flavored pasta.

Aww, whadja have to go and do that for, TheWhiteSkull? Now I'm hungry.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:29 PM on February 18, 2007


TheWhiteSkull - by the time your dead hands are cold, that duck fat'll have congealed into something rather nasty.

Aside from that, those duck fat fries sound like the most wonderlicious mouthgasm going!

bitter-girl.com - Aww, whadja have to go and (etc)
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:12 PM on February 18, 2007


Tacos, do you have any other sources for this idea that the birds line up voluntarily? I mean, this producer mentioned in wikipedia says the birds come to him, but I think we can expect him to be biased. There's this EU report that says the birds try to avoid feeders. Could the lining-up behavior be the result of imprinting?

Or maybe you at one of those humane foie gras farms.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:52 PM on February 18, 2007


TheWhiteSkull writes "Actually, he fries them in duck fat."

That's all I need to know. *books flight to Chicago*



bitter-girl.com writes "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh. Now I'm thinking about the time I caramelized onions in a pan with duck fat and threw in shredded duck breast / wild mushrooms, then dumped the whole shebang on wild mushroom-flavored pasta."

And you? You're pure evil. Can I come over for dinner?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:08 PM on February 18, 2007


I would hazard a guess that you have never seen commercial beef, chicken or pork operations.

This reminds me of an old Dennis Miller joke where he says an animal lover will step over a homeless person to spit on someone wearing a fur coat. He of course ignores the fact that 99% of all other people are ignoring both of the problems.

The people who ralled for the foie gras ban are not stupid or ignorant. I'd wager they're better informed about these things than most people. People who claim that they're ignoring the more inhumane practices of factory farms are ignorant in thinking the rallyers picked the most inhumane practice to ban--no, they picked the battle that was most easily won. And who can blame them? It's not as if the years of protesting factory farms and other animal cruelty ever got them anywhere.

As a 17 year vegetarian who hates PETA, I was happy about the ban and I hope Doug has to pay fines thru the nose for breaking the law.
posted by dobbs at 12:31 AM on February 19, 2007


Oh dear. I had been assured Chicago was a civilized place. Now I'll have to remove it from my list.

Foie gras, at least in its natural form, is devine. I can't imagine it in a sausage, sounds stupid. But as itself, perhaps with some toast points, is truly devine.

I've never found geese to be evil. They've always treated me decently, one even proposed to me one day (but, you know, mixed marriages never work. I refused to accept his offering of a twig to start our nest). None the less, foie gras is devine.

Cruel to the geese? Maybe, I don't know. It's not like every goose in the world is being turned into foie gras. Just a few, and, for those of us who would eat of this devine thing, we pay for the priveledge (and sometimes pray for it, too, I should imagine).

If you think foie gras is cruelty to geese, don't eat it. If you feel the need to impose your ideas of morality upon me, count yourself with those god damned Fundamentalist idiots, and go to hell.
posted by Goofyy at 3:25 AM on February 19, 2007


they picked the battle that was most easily won. And who can blame them?

just about everyone who thinks the government ought to stay the hell out of trivial issues such as this ... it's absurd ... chicago can't get rid of crack but it can get rid of pate de fois gras?

damnit, they need an al capone of fois gras ... the godfather of geese with a roll of 20 to bribe the health inspectors and a tommy gun to punctuate anyone who tries to muscle in on his birds

i've never even had fois gras ... and i feel like buying some just to piss people off ...
posted by pyramid termite at 4:33 AM on February 19, 2007


ps for every damn goose that's stuffed and killed for fois gras there's something like 50 who get their asses shot off during hunting season

but, no, it's not like that hurts or something ...
posted by pyramid termite at 4:35 AM on February 19, 2007



Foie gras, at least in its natural form, is devine. I can't imagine it in a sausage, sounds stupid.


I'm pretty sure that it's not in the sausage, but used as a relish.

For more about Hot Doug's, here's an audio interview Hungry Magazine did with Doug, the owner. Dude's also been featured in Punk Planet and Gourmet magazine, which gives you an idea about the breadth of his clientele.

It's too bad; Hot Doug's is in my neighborhood, and it's a finally a decent day in Chicago to get out the office for some lunch. I could really go fer a "Shawon Dunston" with caramelized onions and brown mustard.
posted by pfafflin at 8:56 AM on February 19, 2007


Oh, I'm not questioning whether the guy puts together something worthy of praise. It's my own taste. I'm a purist. I'm the sort who feels guilty for having Bernaise on my filet, on the rare event I would do such a thing (just recently, in fact, as my main course after the foie gras. Belgian restaurant).
posted by Goofyy at 10:27 AM on February 19, 2007


Hot Doug's.... Man, I go there everytime I get the chance. I love that place. It is a little weird that the only place they're enforcing the law is a blue collar hot dog joint. Then again, it's a Chicago institution, and cops probably eat there. Btw, Hot Doug's has a Ribeye hot dog that is out of this world. If you live in the Chicago area and haven't been there - go. I've never had to wait longer than ten minutes or so, and it's worth it. Check out the specials: http://www.hotdougs.com/specials.htm
posted by xammerboy at 11:48 AM on February 19, 2007


It's likely being enforced at Hot Doug's because enough people filed complaints. I wouldn't worry about Doug, though. He saw the ban being passed, added foie gras to the menu, and got tons of publicity. He's been mentioned in nearly every news story I've seen about the ban. Just another reason why this is such a stupid law.

But thanks for posting the menu, xammerboy. I've been wondering where to find a good Chicago-style veggie dog.
posted by hydrophonic at 3:43 PM on February 19, 2007


Hot Doug is on vacation, btw. I just went by this afternoon. He's out until 3/2 or 3/3, something like that.

Here's the New York Times write-up of Hot Dougs, for those of you who don't understand that Doug is the Hot Dog God of Chicago, if not the nation. Keep in mind that the author of the NYT article is R.W. Apple, who's like this hugely famous writer reviewing a freaking hot dog restaurant.

For people who's been to Salumi in Seattle, it's a lot like that. Insane lines, great food, sort of crazy proprietor and staff, and so overloaded with tourists/first-timers that you want to not love it anymore but you still keep going back because it's so great.
posted by Mid at 4:58 PM on February 19, 2007


Hydro -- he's had foie gras on the menu for years, long before the ban, even before his first place burned down. I think, though, that he might have been making a bigger fuss about it on his signs and stuff since the ban. He even trademarked an alternative spelling for foie gras -- I think it was something like "fwoy graws"-- in an "effort" to confuse the health inspector!
posted by Mid at 5:01 PM on February 19, 2007


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