Thursday, August 13, 2009

Don't Forget the Celery Salt: The Paupered Chef on Chicago Hot Dogs

I think this was the greatest hot dog I've ever eaten.

This doesn't have to do with How to Cook Everything, or Mark Bittman, and it's not even that recent (the post is a few weeks old). But I'm having some technical difficulties with our next regularly scheduled post. So: Blake Royer has an ode to the Chicago Hot Dog up on over at The Paupered Chef. Says Blake:
The Chicago Hot Dog is, perhaps, one of the most improbable food combinations in the world. We do know this: it shouldn't work. A towering, precipitous bundle, loaded up with so many condiments that it's twice the volume of the dog itself. It threatens to fall apart, to be so absurd it forgets its provenance as a hot dog. It's misguided, it's madness. Yet it's mad enough to succeed brilliantly.
It's complete with instructions and pictures (his form when it comes to mustard application, it should be noted, is a perfect ten). And Blake touches on what might be my very favorite part of the Chicago dog: "The only thing it doesn't need is ketchup."

The only thing I can't back, no matter how authentic, is the steamed dog. I need mine grilled. Luckily, that's fine by the Paupered Chef team. At least I don't insist on ketchup.

Find a way to eat one of these. Going to Chicago is probably the best way: Wieners Circle is good, Murphy's is better (that's where I ate the hot dog pictured above). If you're in New York, the Shake Shack serves a Chicago Dog (unfortunately renamed the "Shack-Cago Dog") that I think comes respectfully close to the real thing.

Let me know your favorite hot dog in the comments; also please let me know if you care to weigh in on the "Wiener Circle" vs. "Wieners Circle" vs. "Wiener's Circle" debate.

How to Make a Chicago-Style Hot Dog [the paupered chef]
Murphy's Red Hots [yelp]
Wiener Circle [yelp]
Shake Shack [official site]


  1. everyone (meaning me) just calls it wiener circle

  2. I love the Chicago dog. I'm a Superdawg fan

    New York has a new dog, Bark Hot Dogs in Brooklyn.