OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — If you're taking the advice of the experts and getting your holiday shopping done early, you could end up at the mall sometime soon.
A new restaurant at Oak View Mall has shoppers and walkers stopping in their tracks. As 3 News Now Anchor Serese Cole reports, it's all because of an American staple and a pretty cool vibe.
Oak View Mall is getting new life thanks to an old favorite.
"Can't go wrong with a hot dog," Owner Troy Gaines laughed.
Chicago Dog 42 owners Troy and Katherine Gaines believe there's something special about a good hot dog.
"Whether it's a hockey game, basketball, football or baseball, no matter what you do, there's hot dogs everywhere," Gaines said.
Three months ago, they started selling their delicious dogs inside the Oak View Mall Food Court.
But it's not just about the franks.
"Everything is trying to transport you out of Omaha and back to old school Chicago," he explained.
From the music to the decor, it's an experience.
"It's kind of a soda fountain kind of feel," he added.
It all starts in the kitchen. Katherine is a veteran hot dog maker.
"I've been eating hot dogs my whole life," she said with a smile.
Her dad has owned a Chicago Dog shop since the 70s. So, they use his recipes.
"We have a total of 19 items on the menu. The Chicago Dog is our signature," Troy shared.
The Chicago Dog comes with a pickle, tomatoes, relish, onions, sport peppers, mustard and celery salt.
"It's a lot of stuff that comes on it, but everything that is on it really compliments each other," he explained.
Two must-haves for a true Chicago Dog are a warm poppy seed bun and Vienna beef.
"It's the best hot dog you'll ever eat," Katherine said with confidence.
Not a hot dog fan?
"I tell everyone you think the Chicago Dog is the star of the show, but the Italian Beef is the best thing on the menu," Katherine stated.
"It's thinly sliced roast beef on French bread," she explained.
The Italian Beef Sandwich is made Chicago style, too.
"We wet the bread a little bit and then we put the roast beef in the bread," Katherine demonstrated. "We literally dip the sandwich in the Au Jus."
It's loaded with a veggie mixture and hot oil.
Reporter: This is the showstopper?
Katherine: Oh yeah, hands down!
If the Italian Beef Sandwich is a showstopper, the desserts are the grand finale.
"It's kind of crazy, sometimes we sell more milkshakes than we sell hot dogs," Troy chuckled.
This fall, they're making Pumpkin Pie milkshakes.
"It literally tastes like eating a piece of pumpkin pie," he described.
Troy says the pumpkin pie is infused right into the ice cream.
Chicago Dog 42 is bringing foot traffic back to the mall.
"We've done way better than we thought we would. The excitement in the community, especially since there isn't another Chicago style restaurant around, people have come in and they've been able to see what we do," Troy said.
He says what they do is simple: Focus on quality, serve fresh food, and bring a taste of Chicago right here to Omaha.
Chicago Dog 42 is in the Oak View Mall Food Court (3001 South 144th St.) right by JCPenney.
The restaurant can also bring the Chicago Dog 42 experience to you with their food truck.
Go to chicagodog42.com for details.
Here's something your wallet will appreciate. All their hot dogs are less than $7.00.
Here's a sample of their prices:
Chicago Dog $6.14
Arizona Dog $6.25
Chili Dog $6.29
Corn Dog $4.76
Italian Beef $8.89