Cobra Lounge turns Chicago staples into soups, including Italian beef, hot dogs

CHICAGO -- A Chicago restaurant, brewery and music venue is stirring the pot in the city's West Loop neighborhood.

Cobra Lounge and All Rise Brewing has begun transforming Windy City classics like hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches into savory soups for the fall.

"I've been threatening to make hot dog soup for a very long time," Chef Jason Gilmore said. "Clearly it doesn't sound that appetizing because most people think of hot dog water."

Cobra Lounge and All Rise Brewing GM Louie Mendicino had doubts about whether a hot dog could work as a soup, but said his chef is a savant when it comes to putting a little bit of Chicago in the food he makes.

"He's really good at developing, curating and crafting a dish that will make people go, 'I didn't think that would work, but I can't wait to try it,'" Mendicino said.

The "Hot Dog Soup" has all the Chicago-style ingredients you would expect: Vienna beef hot dogs, pickles, onions, mustard, tomatoes and celery salt. The Italian beef soup is made with beef drippings and garnished with toast points, homemade giardiniera and mozzarella cheese.

"I think the only thing he hasn't done yet is a pizza soup," Mendicino said.

Visit cobralounge.com for more information.