Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Memory Lane

While resting in bed this morning, trying to fight off a cold that is attempting to invade me, the new commercial for Sonic came on and immediately my mouth started to water and my mind was filled with fond memories of the Windy City.  They are featuring hot dogs the way they are made in certain cities and the Chicago style hot dog is one of them....yum-o! 
When I lived in Chicago, I experienced many of it's delicious native foods, but the hot dog is by far my favorite.  This hot dog reminds me of a gorgeous Spring day (the kind that makes you want to cry because you survived the Winter), walking up to Wrigley in your favorite Cubbies shirt/hat and smelling the sweet smell of all beef kosher hot dogs wafting through the air (don't mind the smell of stale beer...it goes away after you drink a few).  If you are me, once inside, you head straight to the hot dog vendor and then find your seat.  This sucker is loaded full of yummy goodness and is very messy to eat.  Don't mind the rubber neckers, just dive right in and try not to stain your shirt with mustard. 

If you have never had the pleasure of eating a Chicago style hot dog, here is what goes into one:  (Warning: Do not deviate from this blueprint in any way...it is perfect just the way God made it.)

First, you must start with a steamed poppy seed bun.

Next, you add a boiled all beef kosher hot dog (if you can find Vienna brand...it is always best).

Then, you add some diced white onion.

Next, add some NEON green relish.
Note: It MUST be neon green or it will not be authentic.  Yes, it looks scary at first,
but suck it up...you can handle it.

The next step is the fresh tomato slices; cut these slices in half...they fit better.

Then you add the dill pickle spear.  (Yes, non-Chicagoians, this is weird...just stick with me.)

After that comes the sport peppers.  These are spicy, so I just add a few, but go nuts if you feel so inclined.

Then add a dollop of mustard.  Never, I repeat, NEVER ask for ketchup on a hot dog in Chicago.  They will shame you, throw things at you, beat you in the alley, and put a permanent hex on your home. (OK, maybe not, but they will give you a very hard time....I like ketchup...sue me!)

Last, but not least, comes my favorite part.  Add a dash of celery salt over the entire thing....pure genius.

This is what you have made:

If you do not live in or around Chicago, I urge you to run, not walk, to Sonic and try one of these dogs.  Your idea of the hot dog will be completely changed and the common BBQ/picnic/tailgate/etc. will be ruined forever (unless you bring your own condiments...which I recommend.)

You're welcome.

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