As discussed in the last post about Chicago, there are rules to ordering. One of the biggest menu crimes you can commit is to order the thing you know will be wrong. Along the same lines it is also a crime not to order the thing. You know, the one thing you have to order in a city. In Philly it’s Cheese Steak, in Cleveland it’s a Polish Boy, in Maine it’s Lobster Rolls.
In Chicago it’s a hotdog. Not just any hotdog. There is a certain assortment of toppings that make this dog unique to Chicago. Until this trip I had not had one. This was an issue.
Recently a fast food chain started offering hotdogs topped in regional styles. I had heard of the Chicago dog before this but the daily reminder via commercial started my quest. I realized that as an official foodie, food writer and generally chubby girl it was my quest, nay duty to eat this hotdog and report back to you.
And I don’t even really care for hotdogs.
That’s not entirely true. I enjoy a good hotdog now and then but much like burgers and corned beef hash I have had some of the best so sub par just won’t do. I grew up eating Hebrew National dogs. All beef, lots of garlic and no unidentified objects. So you can see my dog bar is high.
There are a couple of places in Chicago known for their dogs. My hotel was right next to one of the most famous!
July 28th, Superdawg www.superdawg.com (oh and there’s two giant hotdogs on the roof!)
A classic drive in with indoor seating – this place was busy even on a random Thursday. The wall is now covered in older versions of their packaging, newspaper clippings and pictures of more memorable guests. This is the place to be. There are other options on the menu but I knew what I wanted – a Superdawg with the works. In Chicago this means a poppy-seed studded, steamed soft bun, snappy hotdog (there is debate over the pork/beef issue) neon green relish, mustard, a large pickle spear, slices of tomato and hot peppers. Many places also give a dust of celery seed but Superdawg does not.
There are many places where ordering Ketchup will get you removed from the premises. At Superdawg they will just give you a dirty look and point to a dispenser. They will not put it on for you.
My lunch was delivered in a paper pastry box. The dog nestled in a pile of crinkle cut fries.
To my shock the fries were crispy – no special request needed. As crispy as the fries were the bun was soft from the steam. The Dog had a great beef flavor and snap. The zing from the mustard worked well with the sweet/sour pickles. The veggies were fresh, crisp and surprising. Oh and those hot peppers – they’re not kidding around. I had a nibble of one. I was good there.
This was one of the best hotdogs of my life. Probably right up there with a chewy bacon wrapped concoction I still dream about.
Chicago you have redeemed yourself! Well to be fair Chicago it was not your fault I ordered poorly earlier. Ok Chicago, I have redeemed myself!
Until we eat again,