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Apr 27, 2006 02:36 PM

Chicago Hot Dogs in Bonita Springs

  • r

A former Chicagoan has just become a very happy man. I found a true Chicago Vienna all-beef hot dog stand in Bonita Springs. It's a cute little restaurant bar that serves Vienna hot dogs(anyone from Chicago will know those are the real things)on buns, also imported from Chicago. However, no poppy seeds on the buns. The owner, a former Chicagoan himself, said much of the population down here can't handle poppy seeds. They have all the usual trimmings and lots more for those not accustomed to the original style(sauerkraut,catsup,etc. for you new yorkers and such). However, no fries. Instead, they offer fritos topped with chili and cheese. Sounds good but I didn't have the chance to try those. It's only open for lunch and i really suggest any hot dog lover make a beeline to this retaurant.


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  1. Hey Rev .......

    Maybe a place serving hot dogs, but surely not a "true Chicago Vienna all-beef hot dog stand" as stated!

    NO POPPY SEEDS? (you bought that lame excuse of people down here not being able to handle them?)



    And sin of all sins - CATSUP?

    Again, it may be a very nice restaurant serving up hot dogs amongst other things, but it just ain't a "Chicago Hot Dog Stand"!

    8 Replies
    1. re: FrankT

      Hi, Frank T.!
      No, you misunderstood Rev. Andy. What he was saying was that even those who understandeth not the Chicago hot dog, people such as New Yorkers, who put sauerkraut and catsup on a hot dog, can be accomodated. He wasn't saying that these things should be put on a Chicago hot dog. The absence of a sesame seed bun is a disappointment (some crunch would be lost), but if everything else on the hot dog is genuine, I, for one, can live with it. Rev. Andy, the next time I'm in Bonita Springs, I'm there! Thanks.

      1. re: gfr0397

        Hi back GFR,

        I don't mean to belabor a point, because I did understand the good Rev was not suggesting that kraut be put on a Chicago dog. I was objecting to his calling this place a "true Chicago Hot Dog Stand". No self-respecting Chicago Hot Dog Stand would deem it necessary to accomodate others who "not understandeth" the entire concept!

        Make sure you check out Bob Mervine's post above. He, as usual, gets into the heart of the matter.

        1. re: FrankT

          Frank, you're correct that a true Chicago stand wouldn't accomodate any other tastes, however, if you want to succeed in business with a product from a different region, you're going to need to cater to other tastes. Even places like McDonalds offer different local choices in various regions and especially international establishments. As much as I would love Superdawg(my all time favorite which any Chicagoan would recognize) to open here it wouldn't happen and would probably fail if it did. In the end, it all starts with the dog, and this being Vienna, means much pleasure for me.

          1. re: RevrendAndy
            s.m. koppelman

            Superdawg has ketchup available. Is Superdawg inauthentic too?

            1. re: s.m. koppelman

              The ketchup is for the fries. And I doubt they would leave that place if they tried to use it on their hot dog. :)

              1. re: RevrendAndy

                OK, I'd like to take my hotdog loving Mom up to Bonita for a great meal. But would you mind telling this Southern gal what a "sports pepper" is?

                1. re: claudia

                  It's a small to medium size, rather fat, fairly mild to medium spiced pepper, actually called a sport pepper. They are usually pickled in vinegar. They are served whole, slid between the bun and the dog.

                  They can be hard to find. The Publix I shop at in Orlando has them, but they are fairly easy to find online.


      2. re: FrankT
        s.m. koppelman

        Frank, a few weeks back in a post on Chicago dogs here in Broward you seemed pretty happy with Michael's in Fort Lauderdale. And why not? It's a branch of a place in Highland Park, IL.

        On a recent visit with my honey, they had ketchup available, which sort of made sense given that they also make fries and drive-in style burgers. They also had chili and cheese by the steam table next to the sport peppers and neon-green relish, for people who want Detroit-style coney dogs, and even -- horrors! -- sauerkraut in case someone comes in wanting a dog with mustard and kraut, although that sort of thing isn't mentioned on the menu board.

        My companion simply asked for a Chicago dog and none of the forbidden condiments were placed on it. Despite the presence of the unholy, non-Chicago condiments on the steam table, the Chicago dog seemed untainted by their proximity and emerged on the counter on its Rosen's poppy-seed bun with pickle spears, sport peppers, neon-green relish, celery salt and such. Definitely no ketchup. The world did not come to an end, and the Chicagoans who came in while we were there ordered Chicago dogs to go, two or four at a time, and did not seem bothered by the pump bottle of ketchup next to the soda dispenser and napkins.

        I think even the sainted Hot Dog Heaven, alleged mother of all Florida Chicago-dog stands, has a pump bottle of ketchup on the counter.

      3. As much as I love all sorts of sausages and hot dogs, especially the "drag in through the garden, Chicago dog -- I was somewhat dissapointed to learn awhile back that foodservice giant Sysco can, and will, supply each and every component of an authentic Chicago dog, from Vienna wiener to the relish to the sport peppers -- to any restaurant that wants to serve them.

        That does not make them Chicago dogs, alas. There is an indefinable magic, be it the celery salt or the poppy seed buns, that many purveyors either don't understand or choose to cut corners on.

        So the question here really is -- does a tested and true Chicago dog fanatic love the meal. If not, the restaurant has missed the boat. I'm a bit suspicious, even though I've never tried the place, if they don't keep the catsup under lock and key, to be doled out only to those unsavory characters who ask for it on any dog. They should not, of course, under any circumstances, be allowed to sully a Chicago dog with that sweet red sauce.
        Oh, they will lie and tell you it's for the French fries. But be wary of that ruse . . .


        2 Replies
        1. re: Bob Mervine

          Bob, I probably spoke a little too soon when I said this was a true Chicago hot dog stand. Must have been the afterglow from an excellent Chicago dog. Of course it's not a true stand because they offer the options of dogs from other regions. Also, no fries and no poppy seed buns. To be honest, I didn't notice if it was even the true relish, as i'm strickly a mustard, onion, and sport pepper guy. However, it was a vienna dog with a good bun. I loved the hot dog. Any expat Chicagoan will love this hot dog.

          1. re: RevrendAndy

            Are "sport peppers" the same as pepperoncini?