Eating Chicago

There’s a fairly awful festival in Chicago each summer called “Taste of Chicago.” It’s not good for a number of reasons (crowds, port-o-potties… need I go on?). The truth is: you’ve got to loosen your belt to get to know this city. There’s no wading, tasting, nibbling, or pussy-footing around. You’ve got to eat your way through.

This is nearly a religious topic for me. From Wolfy’s to Alinea, there is delight in culinary Chicago. And with that, I’ll start at the beginning. The Chicago Hot Dog.

First, a confession. I hate hot dogs. They don’t taste good most ways. And that is the beginning of the beauty of the Chicago Hot Dog.

Properly served, here’s what it is: a hot dog topped with mustard (duh–can you eat them without it?), raw onions (diced), cucumbers (sliced, halved), pickle spear, pickle relish, tomatoes (sliced, halved), optional sport peppers, and celery salt. All of this comes cuddled up in a poppy seed bun. It is glorious.

And yes: clearly one of the appeals for me is that it is very difficult to taste the actual hot dog.

So: where to get one? Wiener Circle. Wolfy’s. Hot Doug’s. Superdawg. Gold Coast Dogs. This is our native food, people. You will be blessed if you have the honor of eating one.

Image credit: Vienna Beef

Image credit: Vienna Beef

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One response to “Eating Chicago

  1. It’s really important to note that the ketchup symbol in the above image is a joke. Never, ever put ketchup on a hot dog if you are over the age of 10. I am pretty sure it’s against the law.

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