A genuine Chicago Hot Dog right here in the Duke City?
First Visit: May 23, 2012
Your chances of finding a genuine Chicago Dog here used to be as good as finding a real Green Chile Cheeseburger in Chicago. Nil.
Until now, when I discovered The Chicago Dog on Central between 2n3 and 3rd.
What is a Chicago Dog? The Chicago Hot Dog is to Chicago as the GCCB is to New Mexico: a signature food item and singularly excellent token. A Chicago-style hot dog, or Chicago Dog, is a steamed or water-simmered all-beef frankfurter on a poppy seed bun, originating from the city of Chicago, Illinois. The hot dog is topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green (neon) sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers; and a dash of celery salt. ] The complete assembly of a Chicago hot dog is said to be “dragged through the garden” due to the many toppings.
Some minor variants eist, adding ingredients such as cucumber slices, but the canonical recipe does not include ketchup, and there is a widely-shared, strong opinion among many Chicagoans and aficionados that ketchup is unacceptable. Just like you don’s put ketchup on a GCCB. A number of Chicago hot dog vendors do not even offer ketchup as a condiment while those who do often use it as a litmus test.
Many sources attribute the distinctive collection of toppings on a Chicago-style wiener to historic Maxwell Street and the “Depression Sandwich” reportedly originated by ‘Fluky’s’ in 1929. Vienna Beef frankfurters, the most common brand served today, were first sold at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Both the founders of Vienna Beef and the proprietors of Fluky’s were Jewish, which accounts for the wieners’ pork-free, kosher-style character.
To be sure, there are imitations in the Land of Enchantment. I have run across such nefarious abominations in both Santa Fe (what do they know) and Albuquerque, and I won;t tell you where. And turnabout is fair play: There is a sacreligious version of the exalted GCCB served in Chicago at the DMK Burger Bar a few blocks fro, Wrigley Field. Here is what I wrote abuut that thing on Urbanspoon:
“First, I need to tell you that you can’t get a genuine Chicago Hot Dog in New Mexico.
Since turnabout is fair play, neither can you get a genuine Green Chile Cheeseburger in Chicago.
“Urbanspoon lists1376 burger joints in Chicago. The much vaunted DMK Burger Bar on North Sheffield in Lake View (43 joints, including my much beloved Ray’s Bleachers) lists their version on their menu as:
#4: Roasted Hatch Green Chile, Fried Farm Egg, Sonoma Jack, Smoked Bacon.
Wrong, as even little children in New Mexico know. Bacon? Egg? And rumor has it that they mix stewed onion in with the Hatch. Sacrilege. Strike three, yer out! This Cubbies fan cannot abide this imposter. Hatch does not make an otherwise delicious burger a GCCB.
“As the late U. Utah Phillips would say in his celebrated version of his song Moose Turd Pie, ‘Good, though.'”
But I digress. I need to tell you about the dog. All the canonical ingredients are present and cucumber slices have been added. The doc is a ¼-[b all beef Vienna hot dog. The bun is poppy-seed encrusted, abd not toasted (correct). Sport peppers, neon relish, tomatos, onions, ans yellow spicy mustard complete the huge handful. One bite, and I was transported back to Chicago, where I lived for 15 years. During baseball season, I would stop at Byron’s Hot Hog Haus on Irving Park almost under the Sheffield El platform, pick up a bag with really greasy (but great) fries that grease stained the white paper bag, and proceed to the bleachers to watch my beloved Cubs. Sitting in the bleachers is a hoot: Bleacher Bums would bet on anything. I would often pay for my meal by betting an unsuspecting mark that Adolpho Phillips would scratch his nuts when he came up to bat (a sucker’s bet—he always did). The dogs at Byron’s were my favorites, and these at The Chicaho Dog are every bit as good.
The restaurant is tiny — about 499 sq, ft. There are two small tables and counter space for about ten hungry eaters inside, and a bunch of tables outside. Get there early for choice seating.
So I have found heaven on Central. There is also a Chicago Beef on the menu. I will try that on my next visit. Maybe I’ll really pig out and gulp down a dog and a beef. Or maybe I’ll pick up a bag and take them to Isotpes Park. Not Wrigley, but it’ll have to do.
Life is good.
Who are these folks, and how did this happen?
Rivkela Brodsky / Journal Staff Writer, wrote on Mon, May 21, 2012:
“A taste of Chicago has joined the food lineup on Central between 2nd and 3rd NW. Co-owner Jeff Jump says 90 percent of products there come from the Vienna Beef Co., located in Chicago. Nobody else here does that.
“The owners also run a Chicago Dog operation at Tingley Coliseum – available when concerts or other events happen at the venue – and at the flea market at Expo New Mexico, which is open on weekends. The original venue was on Ewbank, and it opened in 1982.”
Jump and Danny Santistevan purchased the company from Jump’s parents three years ago. Jump’s parents moved Chicago Dog to Albuquerque in 1982 from Chicago. Jump lived and was raised near Addison and Harlem on Chicago’s west side.
Welcome to the Duke City Downtown.