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Old 08-28-2019, 10:53 AM
Ukulele Ike is online now
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 17,697
Downtown Cleveland had decent NYC-style hot dog carts back in the mid-70s. Then somebody brought in new carts with bright blue awnings that offered chili dogs. DAMN good chili dogs. That was my first eye-opening experience.

Living in NYC the cart franks have only been so-so....I generally opt for a split hot sausage (a Polish Boy knockoff) with kraut, brown mustard, and that goopy onion sauce. And the chili dogs at Nathan’s in Coney Island are a only a pale shadow of the old Cleveland dog.

For a TRANSCENDANT frank, Chicago is your town. I first had a fully-loaded at either Byron’s on Halsted or Ziggy’s on Clark (both long gone), and all over town since. Fatso’s on the West Side does an excellent version now, but they grill the franks instead of steaming them.

A joint in Brooklyn offered a “Chicago style dog” several years ago, but it disappointed. Better to try to make one yourself:

Steam (or grill) an plump all-beef frank, the closest you can find to a Vienna Beef.
Place it on a poppy-seed bun, if you can get one.
Spread with yellow mustard (Plochman’s is a Chicago brand), neon-green relish (I skip this; I hate relish), chopped raw onion, a slim dill pickle spear, thin wedges of ripe tomato; a few dashes of celery salt, and top with 3-4 hot sport peppers (buy a jar on your next Chicago trip, or online)
Serve with fresh thin fries and a can of Old Style.
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