Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Chicago Style Hot Dog

Let me just say right now, that these are awesome, and you will never convince me other wise. It is an art to get the ingredients perfectly balanced, and like the finest crazy sushi roll, the Chicago dog parts must exist in harmony. Here's what you get:

1) Steamed poppy-seed bun
2) Vienna Beef or other all beef tasty dog with natural casing for snap, not quite as overtly beefy as say a Hebrew National or other kosher dog, but defnitely not mushy like a Ball Park
3) Two tomato wedges placed on one side of the dog
4) A pickle wedge (kosher dill type, not some weird Vlassic thing) placed on the other side of the dog
5) Chopped onions
6) Relish, of an oddly blue-green color, sweet with definite spice flavor
7) Mustard
8) Plus/minus two small, think hot Italian "sport" peppers
9) Dash of celery salt

It's a little messy, and since the bun is really soft from steaming by the time you get to the end the bun is smooshed tight like a form fitting hug on the end of the dog. If over-steamed it can split, but not usually a problem. I urge you to get all the toppings to experience it authentically. Ketchup is an abomination to this dog, even in the ketchup loving midwest. They consider this a ketchup-free zone. I am not quite a purist in that I love it when the place (Michael's for instance- they actually have a branch in Ft. Lauderdale) also offers "char-dogs" or "fire-dogs"- the exact same toppings but they grill those bad boys. Magnificent.

Verdict: Delicious


Blogger Yosef said...

I had just recently heard of this type of dog. Evidently there's a place in Charlotte that serves these, as well as Carolina-Style Hot Dogs, which have Cole Slaw on them. Personally I hate cole slaw, and there are very few hot dogs better than a Dairy Queen Chili Cheese dog.

7:55 AM  
Blogger The Uncanny Canadian said...

They are delicious. The one adaptation I have not seen is using the Toronto-style challah-poppy seed bun. These buns would get loss soggy and hold the igredients together better since they are larger. I don't know what the challah flavour would do to the balance, though.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Pinko Punko said...

I can't handle chili cheese- but cole slaw is good on sandwiches, I love it on pulled pork, etc. Never had it on a dog, but I think it would be good, I guess. Yosef, you have to try one of these dogs, plus they usually have celery slat for the fries which is great.

Also, Italian Beef. Gregor Samsa has an assignment for one of those for Delish/Disgust

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Geenie Cola said...

I've been thinking of what to write about the ever so delightful Chi-dog.
Being from the midwest and Chicago, I have to admit, there is NOTHING better. Well, an Italian Beef is equal. You can not ditinguish between the two when it comes to who's number 1.

12:40 PM  
Blogger fulsome said...

Italian Beef. But that's probably because I'm not a Chicagoan.

That is not to say the Chicago Hot Dog is not a tasty treat.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Seitz said...

Delicious, depending on where you get them. Portillo's is the classic, but they only use raw onions. Still, a tasty dog nonetheless. However, for the true experience, you really need to go to the Wiener's Circle on Clark at Wrightwood. They char-grill the dogs there if you prefer (and I do). Also, they use grilled onions if you prefer (and oh boy, do I!). Plus, if you go there after about 8:00, the young, black, not particularly attractive servers (they're all the same after a while) will shout obscenities at you for no apparent reason. It's part of the schtick. If you go there really late, like 2:00 am, you'll see drunken idiots yelling right back at them, while half the place is laughing hysterically, and the other half is cowering uncomfortably. This joint was also covered on Insomniac with Dave Attel a year or two ago. It was about 2 minutes from my apartment until I recently moved about 5 minutes further away.

As for Italian Beef sandwiches, these are really weird. They're very tasty. I like mine with sweet peppers and onions, and with the bun dipped in the juice (I likea the juice). But for some reason, you can't get these anywhere outside of Chicago. I mean, I'm sure it's possible, but I never heard of these things until I moved from LA to Champaign about 7 years ago. Now that I live in the city of Chicago, these are a semi-staple. I mean, sure, Philly has cheesesteaks, but everyone has heard of a Philly cheesesteak. There are unfortunate souls all over this land who have no idea what an Italian beef sandwich is. Sad, really.

Of course, as a native Angeleno, I'd trade them all for a few local In-N-Out franchises.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Seitz said...

Also, I should note that my personal preference is without the peppers (I feel them coming out something fierce), extra celery salt, and grilled onions. I take off the tomatoes and pickel and eat those separately, then eat rest of the dog. I'm weird that way. I do that with Gyros, too.

3:13 PM  
Blogger mdhatter said...

what seitz said, except I seriptitiosly hide the tomato in the napkin.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Clif said...

Makes me want to move back to Chicago. The hot dogs here in DC are disgusting, being all served up from tepid water on dry buns by sidewalk vendors who received their culinary training in various refugee camps in starving countries.

They also offer up an oddly-titled indelicacy called a "Half-Smoke." Some carts mispell these as "Half-Smocks" which sounds like a costume from Desperate Housewives. It's some kind of sausage weiner, probably confected from DC rat roadkill. The really adventurous get the Ethiopian hot-sauce which kinda cuts the "gout de trottoir" but not entirely.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Pinko Punko said...

Yeah, but you need to experience it the trafitional way before you pimp your ride as it were. If I were gonna try it your way, I'd have to get two, one normal to appease the gods, and the second one to experiment. The peppers don't add much cuz they are a little bit tough, if you get the allowable char-dog, it adds grill flavor so that gets around the onion thing (even on an In and Out- grilled onions are too dominant). Hiding the tomatoes is legit if you hate tomonatoes. I know there are freaks out there like that. Cheese on it is an abomination and will be punished severely.

10:32 AM  
Blogger mdhatter said...


I resemble that remark.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Seitz said...

It is physically impossible for grilled onions to be too dominant.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous pop renaissance said...

i look at that picture and i picture someone screaming "you got yer salad on my hot dog!" with the requisite "you got yer hot dog in my salad!" reply.

being the pickiest eater ever, this dog makes me shudder in fear and wish my relationship with my mother was better so i could hide in the folds of her dress until she told me it was safe to come out.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

To Maxwell Street for a dog and a polish!!!

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been finding almost all of my sushi rock here

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