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Lake Forest Left Bank is Top Dog

The Left Bank's cheese dogs have been a North Shore staple for decades.

Not a lot has changed at Left Bank since it first opened its doors in 1966 - and the people of Lake Forest wouldn't have it any other way.

At first glance, the limited menu, which includes hot dogs, "not-so-sloppy-joes" and tuna salad, doesn't seem to be particularly noteworthy - that is, until you take your first bite.

"I've been coming here since I was seven years old," said Andy Bungert, a lifelong Lake Forest resident. "I came here all of the time in high school for lunch!"

The cheese dogs in particular are a real local favorite. The recipe is simple - a hot dog and bun, with a dollop of cheese sauce on top. It's a simple yet perfect blend of flavors.

The combination is the exact same as its been since Left Bank first began in the early 1960s as a hot dog and snack stand by Forest Park beach - and remains just as beloved by North Shore residents, having been described as a "Lake Forest staple". 

Lane Pasquesi took over the restaurant from his grandparents in 2001, making it truly a family business.

Another iconic dish that's remained the same over the years is the "not-so-sloppy-joe," which is a hollowed-out bun filled with Pasquesi's grandmother's original recipe.

"It's definitely an institution," Pasquesi said. "[The Left Bank] is a part of me. I've never changed how it's done - we just do our thing, six days a week...I've really tried to keep it as much the same as possible." 

And with the friendly atmosphere, the family connection and a can't-go-wrong menu, there's no doubt that Left Bank will be around for many years to come.

Special Bonus! Mention that you saw this article on Patch and get a free large drink at Left Bank.

D'skidoc December 08, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Hey J L someone spent a lot of time and effort to make that photo look like plastic with "natural" cheese coloring. Don't you know it's an art to make food look that real.
J.Lyn December 08, 2012 at 08:45 PM
D'skidoc...The food stylist did a great job...LOL...of keeping me out of there! : p
Jennifer Fisher December 10, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Wow, The Great Gazoo is the best (and only) honorary title I've ever been given. Awesome! I cover Evanston so Lake Forest is out of my purview...but feel free to make some suggestions on Evanston restaurants we should stop by in the future.
Nitro76 December 11, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Stevie, I think your post was completely out of line. The Pasquesi family has been running a clean and friendly restaurant for over 40 years, in my opinion they must be doing something right! If the food isn't your cup of tea then don't eat there. Didn't anyone teach you that if don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all? Let people go experience The Left Bank and develop their own opinions about it.
Stevie Janowski December 11, 2012 at 06:42 AM
Thanks Nitro, I actually retracted much of my statement, and credited their sloppy joe. Great comment Nitro!

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