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NYT: Get a Chicago-style hot dog ... in NY

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HungryHoward Jun 18, 2003 12:08 PM

Good article in today's New York Times food/dining section on Chicago hot dogs (Vienna Beef produced) being served out of restauranteur Danny Meyer's hot dog cart in Madison Square Park.

Unfortunately, beyond the regular toppings, Meyer is practically offering "salad on a dog" -- as lettuce, cucumbers, green pepper and even a house vinaigrette is available.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/18/din...

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    SC RE: HungryHoward Jun 18, 2003 03:21 PM

    there are places here that put lettuce on a dog - blechhh. I hate that. I've even come across cabbage! The article also claims that the authentic chicago dog is boiled only. I would differ in that a real authentic dog is steamed. Boiled, then charred a la "chardog" is an acceptable variant to me (my preference, in most cases). I should go reread the article, but I don't recall any mention of pickle spears or celery salt. Funny this article should appear in the wake of the little NY v. Chicago hotdog flame war that took place here recently.

    10 Replies
    1. re: SC
      d
      David Hammond RE: SC Jun 18, 2003 03:30 PM

      SC,

      You evince shock at putting cabbage on a hot dog, and although it is outside the realm of standard Chicago dog condiments, I actually like a little sauerkraut on a dog, now and again. Sauerkraut offers the pickle punch, but unlike spears, its string-like nature makes it infinitely malleable and capable of being molded around the dog. A big problem I have with “salad dogs” (though I like them in principle) is that the big hunks of tomato and other veggies make it almost impossible to eat veg and dog together – you pretty much have to eat the salad off the dog, and then the dog itself, in that order, which seems wrong.

      1. re: David Hammond
        m
        mark RE: David Hammond Jun 18, 2003 05:42 PM

        Exactly. That's why the "Chicago dog" has always seemed utterly hopeless to me. If something is going to go around proudly sporting a regional label (e.g. Chicago pizza, Cincinnati chili, whatever) then it ought to work as a whole taste/texture experience with the elements either deliberately separate, or coalescing. The "Chicago dog" accomplishes neither and remains and ungainly, unblended mound of disparate textures and flavors as a result; just a bunch of large chunks of salad and condiments eaten off the top of a hot dog.

        The NY (Nathan's/Sabrett's) dog with mustard and kraut melds beautifully the sour condiment flavor of the cabbage with the mellowness of the meat and the heat of the mustard, while the textures do the same - soft bun, crunchy cabbage, chewy dog. Perfect. Almost like a little bit of Alsatian charcuterie on a bun.

        And I'm not at all getting into the futile NY vs. Chi. silliness here. Just expressing a particular culinary preference.

        1. re: mark
          k
          Kirk RE: mark Jun 18, 2003 06:12 PM

          Both versions are exquisite in their own way. As is the Cincinnati chili dog, and the Texas chili dog. Not to mention the Chicago Polish and the Milwaukee brat.

          There is, gentlemen, a time and a place for everything.

          1. re: mark
            e
            Ed Fisher RE: mark Jun 18, 2003 07:15 PM

            I think the toppings work sometimes, but in general I think they get in the way of the dog. For example, on a Thuringer for hot dougs i don't mind having everything on it. But on his fire dog, i'd be happier with just mustard and celery salt, maybe a pickle.

            I think a lot of it also depends on the quality of the dog.

            A side note, vienna beef claims a chicago hot dog can be cooked via steaming, grilling, boiling, or (gag) microwave. Which makes me not trust vienna beef much anymore. Personally, I think grilling is the way to go. The char adds a nice texture and flavor.

            The bun, however, should always be steamed.

            -Ed

            1. re: mark
              d
              dongstadden RE: mark Jun 18, 2003 10:08 PM

              oh boy, here we go again. i'm keeping my mouth shut this time.

              can't we all just get along? i mean it's just a friggin hot dog.

              1. re: mark
                d
                David Hammond RE: mark Jun 18, 2003 11:22 PM

                I like vegetables on my dog: chopped onions and tomatoes, as well as cukes in their natural form and pickled.

                I like hot dogs. Big ones.

                I like eating all this together…slathered with catsup, mustard and glow-in-the-dark piccalilli.

                I got a big mouth, so I can handle it, so what's the problem?

                It's the BUN!

                The bun – the poppy seed bun – is not BIG enough to accommodate all this good stuff.

                So how come the bakers at Rosen’s – or even Wonder for that matter! – don’t simply design a larger bun to accommodate more veggies and condiments?

                It so simple. It would work. The time has come to think outside the bun-as-usual.

                1. re: David Hammond
                  j
                  joan RE: David Hammond Jun 19, 2003 01:15 PM

                  david, you've gotta check out the dogs in toronto. i know i've posted about them before, but they are great. several varieties (called sausages), with oversized buns. all the carts have the same jars of toppings, plus many mustards you add yourself (so its jusssst right). ah....i look forward to my annual trip to the film festival when i get to indulge.

                  1. re: joan
                    g
                    G Wiv RE: joan Jun 19, 2003 02:44 PM

                    Joan,

                    My wife and I were in Toronto last year, a very enjoyable city to visit. I agree about the hot dogs being quite good and, if you can believe it, took a picture or two of the stands. [smile]

                    Enjoy,
                    Gary

                    Toronto Hot Dog Cart

                    Image: http://www.sptsb.com/TorontoHotDog.jpg

                    1. re: G Wiv
                      e
                      Ed Fisher RE: G Wiv Jun 19, 2003 03:11 PM

                      that guy doesn't look very happy about having his picture taken :) did he ask for money for his pose?

                      -Ed

                      1. re: G Wiv
                        j
                        joan RE: G Wiv Jun 21, 2003 10:31 PM

                        thanks for the pictures gary, they're keepers, joan

            2. h
              HungryHoward RE: HungryHoward Jun 19, 2003 10:05 AM

              As if I didn't know this was going to escalate into the regular dog debate...

              Speaking of which, here's a link to NYT food critics Grimes and Asimov duking it out on the better dog.

              Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/18/din...

              1 Reply
              1. re: HungryHoward
                r
                RST RE: HungryHoward Jun 19, 2003 10:15 AM

                LOL
                Quote: "The Chicago dog is hard to handle. It should come with a lobster bib".

                Puhleeze! Didn't know that New Yorkers are such sissies. Whatsthis? They eat hotdog with pinkies up in the air or what?

                LOL

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