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The definitive Chicago hot dog

The definitive Chicago hot dog
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  • Post #181 - May 28th, 2019, 3:31 pm
    Post #181 - May 28th, 2019, 3:31 pm Post #181 - May 28th, 2019, 3:31 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:In reference to the OP, here's a screenshot of the online order dialog box at Byrons's website . . .

    Image
    Byron's website screenshot

    It does show lettuce, cucumber and green pepper as available condiments, and even provides a 'beg for it' ketchup option! :lol:

    =R=


    Right - but the header is "Hot Dog" not "Chicago-Style Hot Dog" which is what the OP was asking about.
  • Post #182 - May 28th, 2019, 3:41 pm
    Post #182 - May 28th, 2019, 3:41 pm Post #182 - May 28th, 2019, 3:41 pm
    chicagojim wrote:Right - but the header is "Hot Dog" not "Chicago-Style Hot Dog" which is what the OP was asking about.

    Well, even if it did, just because Byron's says so, doesn't make it true. :P In response to the OP's inquiry, the origin of those condiments on a dog may extend no further back than Bryon's (website).

    Here's some fairly definitive marketing material from Vienna Beef . . .

    Image
    Vienna Beef Chicago-Style Dog

    And then there's the aforementioned Depression Dog, etc . . .

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #183 - May 28th, 2019, 3:49 pm
    Post #183 - May 28th, 2019, 3:49 pm Post #183 - May 28th, 2019, 3:49 pm
    I've written about this before; it remains of interest to me, mostly because it seems so under-covered and also, I've never seen a good answer (there's no good answer for the standard 7 either, but that's for another thread, right).

    As I've noted before, there used to be a more robust counter-Vienna school of Chicago hot dog. The primary definers (it seems) were a variation of the word tasty in the name, a Leon's dog instead, and the addition of the garden, fresh veggie toppings--the lettuce, cuke and green pepper. I would add, although Vienna places like Gene n Jude's do too, the Tasty school used seedless buns. As far as I know, there are ZERO Tasy places left.

    When I was growing up in Niles, there was Tasty Pup. Because the skinless Leon dog reminded me more of an Oscar Meyer weiner and the fact that we rarely went there--we were Booby's fans and Booby's was Vienna--it always seemed to me that Tasty=gentile.

    But like I say, I have no idea where the toppings came from.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #184 - May 28th, 2019, 3:58 pm
    Post #184 - May 28th, 2019, 3:58 pm Post #184 - May 28th, 2019, 3:58 pm
    Thanks, but let's do a reset with the hope that I can get an answer to my question ...

    ronnie_suburban - let's call your definition of a Chicago-style hot dog the "classic" style that uses the magnificent seven we all know and love.

    Let's also acknowledge that there are other sub-variants such as the "depression dog" that exist within the genre. And that can also include a sub-variant hot dog with all the classic ingredients plus lettuce, cucumber, and bell pepper.

    My question is does anyone know the origin of lettuce, cucumber, and bell pepper on a Chicago-style hot dog? I'm not looking for assumptions—I'm looking for specific knowledge, sources, etc.

    I already know one Chicago-style hot dog expert has said the "additional" toppings are "most authentic" (see below). I'm trying to get to the history and origins.

    What makes Byron’s stand out isn’t the dog itself. As Rich Bowen points out, 'There are two kinds of Vienna Beef Hot Dogs. There are the ones you can buy in the supermarket and they are skinless, they don’t have a casing, they don’t have a sheep intestine casing, and Byron uses those.' Bowman says that if he used the one with the casing, the ones with the snap, it would be his favorite dog, 'without question,' but he stills considers Byron’s Chicago’s most authentic hot dog because of the toppings. 'It’s not just the Magnificent Seven: mustard, relish, onions, tomato slices, a pickle spear -- relish and celery salt and hot peppers. You can also get cucumber and lettuce and green pepper. So it’s literally, the proverbial garden on a bun.'
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #185 - May 28th, 2019, 4:02 pm
    Post #185 - May 28th, 2019, 4:02 pm Post #185 - May 28th, 2019, 4:02 pm
    Thanks for the info, Vital Information!! That's really helpful—and interesting!

    As I've noted before, there used to be a more robust counter-Vienna school of Chicago hot dog. The primary definers (it seems) were a variation of the word tasty in the name, a Leon's dog instead, and the addition of the garden, fresh veggie toppings--the lettuce, cuke and green pepper. I would add, although Vienna places like Gene n Jude's do too, the Tasty school used seedless buns. As far as I know, there are ZERO Tasy places left.
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #186 - May 28th, 2019, 4:06 pm
    Post #186 - May 28th, 2019, 4:06 pm Post #186 - May 28th, 2019, 4:06 pm
    MungryJoe wrote:ronnie_suburban - let's call your definition of a Chicago-style hot dog the "classic" style that uses the magnificent seven we all know and love.

    Actually, I think that was chicagojim. I just posted the marketing graphic from Vienna Beef.

    MungryJoe wrote:My question is does anyone know the origin of lettuce, cucumber, and bell pepper on a Chicago-style hot dog? I'm not looking for assumptions—I'm looking for specific knowledge, sources, etc.

    I already know one Chicago-style hot dog expert has said the "additional" toppings are "most authentic" (see below). I'm trying to get to the history and origins.

    What makes Byron’s stand out isn’t the dog itself. As Rich Bowen points out, 'There are two kinds of Vienna Beef Hot Dogs. There are the ones you can buy in the supermarket and they are skinless, they don’t have a casing, they don’t have a sheep intestine casing, and Byron uses those.' Bowman says that if he used the one with the casing, the ones with the snap, it would be his favorite dog, 'without question,' but he stills considers Byron’s Chicago’s most authentic hot dog because of the toppings. 'It’s not just the Magnificent Seven: mustard, relish, onions, tomato slices, a pickle spear -- relish and celery salt and hot peppers. You can also get cucumber and lettuce and green pepper. So it’s literally, the proverbial garden on a bun.'

    Does Bowen (or is it Bowman?) offer any information about this? It really feels like an outlier to me but as far as I'm concerned, he can put ketchup on it, too. As long as I don't have to eat it . . .

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #187 - May 28th, 2019, 4:15 pm
    Post #187 - May 28th, 2019, 4:15 pm Post #187 - May 28th, 2019, 4:15 pm
    Sorry, ronnie_suburban! My mistake.

    Looks like it's "Bowen"—the other spelling must be a mistake.

    This, unfortunately, is all I have on it now: https://www.thrillist.com/eat/chicago/c ... ers-circle

    It's not much. I'm looking for more info.

    Thanks!
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #188 - May 29th, 2019, 6:48 am
    Post #188 - May 29th, 2019, 6:48 am Post #188 - May 29th, 2019, 6:48 am
    I moved down that way in 1979 and I remember a place in Glenview Area called Franksville ( I remember seeing other Franksville places in other area's as they had a distinct building) and they had the cuke, lettuce, gp along with the other standards.
  • Post #189 - May 29th, 2019, 7:40 am
    Post #189 - May 29th, 2019, 7:40 am Post #189 - May 29th, 2019, 7:40 am
    The last time I saw cukes and lettuce (not sure about bell pepper) offered was at a stand that is now part of Assi Plaza, when that building was some sort of warehouse shopping like Service Merchandise (but not them, they were at Four Flags just north of there). That's probably at least 20 years ago though.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #190 - May 29th, 2019, 7:50 am
    Post #190 - May 29th, 2019, 7:50 am Post #190 - May 29th, 2019, 7:50 am
    Puckjam wrote:I moved down that way in 1979 and I remember a place in Glenview Area called Franksville ( I remember seeing other Franksville places in other area's as they had a distinct building) and they had the cuke, lettuce, gp along with the other standards.

    Now you’re taking me back. My family used to visit (maybe predating your visit)...

    Franksville
    3550 N Harlem Ave, Chicago
    (still The original building and sign)

    C5EBFC1A-8B7B-44E2-9D4F-262CC13887C8.jpeg

    ... and they used to have condiment islands in the middle of the floor.

    You would order your sausage at the counter and head over to top in any way you pleased.

    One island was cold toppings, another hot (cheese, bacon, chili, etc), maybe a third...

    They also had a wide selection of sausages and buns. Normal, long, fat, corn...

    I really enjoyed visiting! My favorite by far.

    2BA98EAA-E75F-472A-A90E-AEC05549C988.jpeg

    F582CB94-E9EB-4789-A009-049D5F2E198B.jpeg
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #191 - May 29th, 2019, 8:42 am
    Post #191 - May 29th, 2019, 8:42 am Post #191 - May 29th, 2019, 8:42 am
    That's the place with the unique building and hot dog train. The one in Glenview automatically put the cukes, lettuce, and gp along with the original 7 on a dog with everything. I always remembered that because the only other one was Tasty Pup on Milwaukee, just north of Booby's (one of my favorites).
  • Post #192 - May 29th, 2019, 8:46 am
    Post #192 - May 29th, 2019, 8:46 am Post #192 - May 29th, 2019, 8:46 am
    Puckjam wrote:That's the place with the unique building and hot dog train. The one in Glenview automatically put the cukes, lettuce, and gp along with the original 7 on a dog with everything. I always remembered that because the only other one was Tasty Pup on Milwaukee, just north of Booby's (one of my favorites).

    The original chain put nothing on it (unless you got one of the standards) and it was up to you to top it anyway you wanted.

    I didn’t realize they were a nationwide chain!
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #193 - May 29th, 2019, 11:57 am
    Post #193 - May 29th, 2019, 11:57 am Post #193 - May 29th, 2019, 11:57 am
    Fascinating thread.

    VI, thanks for putting the "Tasty" approach in context. As far as I can recall, my only encounter with the style was a few years back right before the Oak Park Tasty Dog was razed; I figured I owed it to myself to try it before it was gone, despite middling-to-poor reviews dating back (at least) to the publication of Hot Dog Chicago. I remember laughing involuntarily when I unwrapped this, which was (to me) clearly a hot dog with hamburger toppings slapped on top.

    Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 12.44.28 PM.png Tasty Dog Oak Park RIP

    A seedless bun cannot not be goyish.
  • Post #194 - May 29th, 2019, 12:03 pm
    Post #194 - May 29th, 2019, 12:03 pm Post #194 - May 29th, 2019, 12:03 pm
    ndgbucktown wrote:Fascinating thread.

    VI, thanks for putting the "Tasty" approach in context. As far as I can recall, my only encounter with the style was a few years back right before the Oak Park Tasty Dog was razed; I figured I owed it to myself to try it before it was gone, despite middling-to-poor reviews dating back (at least) to the publication of Hot Dog Chicago. I remember laughing involuntarily when I unwrapped this, which was (to me) clearly a hot dog with hamburger toppings slapped on top.

    Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 12.44.28 PM.png

    A seedless bun cannot not be goyish.

    A Salad Dog :)

    I actually used to enjoy Tasty Dog as an occasional alternative. I remember when the restaurant was on the south side of Lake. Had a certain charm.

    When they first opened the put a lot more lettuce than in your picture, an entire handful. You would have to eat the salad before you could start on the dog.

    I had some friends that referred to it as Nasty Dog. :)

    They also used to make deep fried tacos (aka: Jack in the Box, Burger King) but towards the end they had replaced them with a traditional.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #195 - May 29th, 2019, 12:14 pm
    Post #195 - May 29th, 2019, 12:14 pm Post #195 - May 29th, 2019, 12:14 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    ndgbucktown wrote:Fascinating thread.

    VI, thanks for putting the "Tasty" approach in context. As far as I can recall, my only encounter with the style was a few years back right before the Oak Park Tasty Dog was razed; I figured I owed it to myself to try it before it was gone, despite middling-to-poor reviews dating back (at least) to the publication of Hot Dog Chicago. I remember laughing involuntarily when I unwrapped this, which was (to me) clearly a hot dog with hamburger toppings slapped on top.

    Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 12.44.28 PM.png

    A seedless bun cannot not be goyish.

    A Salad Dog :)

    I actually used to enjoy Tasty Dog as an occasional alternative. I remember when the restaurant was on the south side of Lake. Had a certain charm.

    When they first opened the put a lot more lettuce than in your picture, an entire handful. You would have to eat the salad before you could start on the dog.

    I had some friends that referred to it as Nasty Dog. :)

    They also used to make deep fried tacos (aka: Jack in the Box, Burger King) but towards the end they had replaced them with a traditional.


    I'd blocked the Oak Park Tasty Dog from my mind. It was formerly a hot dog shack, no other term for it. Frequented by the high school crowd and people who needed to sop up some alcohol, but much beloved.

    The Oak Park needed the land, and the People's Republic of Oak Park got things all twisted up politically, and instead of just razing the place and being done with it, public sentiment got them backed into a corner, and then the need to make it "pretty" left them with what was described as "the world's most expensive hot dog stand" which probably wasn't too far from the truth.
  • Post #196 - May 30th, 2019, 8:12 pm
    Post #196 - May 30th, 2019, 8:12 pm Post #196 - May 30th, 2019, 8:12 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    Puckjam wrote:That's the place with the unique building and hot dog train. The one in Glenview automatically put the cukes, lettuce, and gp along with the original 7 on a dog with everything. I always remembered that because the only other one was Tasty Pup on Milwaukee, just north of Booby's (one of my favorites).

    The original chain put nothing on it (unless you got one of the standards) and it was up to you to top it anyway you wanted.

    I didn’t realize they were a nationwide chain!

    I'm with Panther on this one I used to go to Franksville in Villa Park, St. Charles Rd. just west of Rte 83. They gave you a plain dog and you dressed it anyway you wanted at the condiment counter. As an aside it was across and just down the street from Lum's, Hot Dogs Steamed in Beer.
    Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
    Woody Allen
  • Post #197 - June 1st, 2019, 9:28 am
    Post #197 - June 1st, 2019, 9:28 am Post #197 - June 1st, 2019, 9:28 am
    chicagojim wrote:
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    ndgbucktown wrote:Fascinating thread.

    VI, thanks for putting the "Tasty" approach in context. As far as I can recall, my only encounter with the style was a few years back right before the Oak Park Tasty Dog was razed; I figured I owed it to myself to try it before it was gone, despite middling-to-poor reviews dating back (at least) to the publication of Hot Dog Chicago. I remember laughing involuntarily when I unwrapped this, which was (to me) clearly a hot dog with hamburger toppings slapped on top.

    Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 12.44.28 PM.png

    A seedless bun cannot not be goyish.

    A Salad Dog :)

    I actually used to enjoy Tasty Dog as an occasional alternative. I remember when the restaurant was on the south side of Lake. Had a certain charm.

    When they first opened the put a lot more lettuce than in your picture, an entire handful. You would have to eat the salad before you could start on the dog.

    I had some friends that referred to it as Nasty Dog. :)

    They also used to make deep fried tacos (aka: Jack in the Box, Burger King) but towards the end they had replaced them with a traditional.


    I'd blocked the Oak Park Tasty Dog from my mind. It was formerly a hot dog shack, no other term for it. Frequented by the high school crowd and people who needed to sop up some alcohol, but much beloved.

    The Oak Park needed the land, and the People's Republic of Oak Park got things all twisted up politically, and instead of just razing the place and being done with it, public sentiment got them backed into a corner, and then the need to make it "pretty" left them with what was described as "the world's most expensive hot dog stand" which probably wasn't too far from the truth.


    I wonder if at one point Tasty Dog served a Leon's dog. For all the time I knew them, living in Oak Park, they served a mediocre skinless Vienna, but maybe at some point, given the "tasty" in their name, they served Leon's. Everything else, the lettuce, green pepper, seedless bun, etc., match that school.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #198 - June 3rd, 2019, 6:21 am
    Post #198 - June 3rd, 2019, 6:21 am Post #198 - June 3rd, 2019, 6:21 am
    Hi all, thanks for all your input. This has been a really interesting discussion.

    I found evidence that Lettuce was a topping on the original Flukey's hot dogs.

    The Wikipedia page for Flukey's doesn't include lettuce, but that page cited Flukey's history web page as a source. http://www.thebestofchicago.com/history

    That page no longer exists. I looked up previous versions on The Internet Archive here: https://web.archive.org/web/20170206164110/http://www.thebestofchicago.com/history

    So, the origin of lettuce appears to start with what most consider to be the original Chicago-style hot dog: Flukey's "Depression Sandwich"
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #199 - June 4th, 2019, 8:27 am
    Post #199 - June 4th, 2019, 8:27 am Post #199 - June 4th, 2019, 8:27 am
    MungryJoe wrote:So, the origin of lettuce appears to start with what most consider to be the original Chicago-style hot dog: Flukey's "Depression Sandwich"


    And hopefully also helps settle the debate as to whether a hot dog is a sandwich or not. (Yes, yes it is!)
  • Post #200 - June 4th, 2019, 9:11 am
    Post #200 - June 4th, 2019, 9:11 am Post #200 - June 4th, 2019, 9:11 am
    Let’s not forget the condiments!
    The Vienna Factory Store has some of the best condiments for sale as well as used in their cafeteria.
    ”Run it through the garden” gets you a great dog.
    Two dogs with fries is about $6.
    The Celery Salt is the best I have found!
    Woodman’s also has a full selection of condiments.
    The only substitute I make is Raye’s ‘Top Dog’ mustard.
    https://rayesmustard.com/collections/be ... og-mustard
    -Richard
    6B41CA36-BFE7-4751-90C7-20877C0E1DE3.jpeg
    979D10D1-C1E9-4F7D-AB13-73AC599ACB30.jpeg
  • Post #201 - June 4th, 2019, 10:49 am
    Post #201 - June 4th, 2019, 10:49 am Post #201 - June 4th, 2019, 10:49 am
    Binko wrote:
    MungryJoe wrote:So, the origin of lettuce appears to start with what most consider to be the original Chicago-style hot dog: Flukey's "Depression Sandwich"


    And hopefully also helps settle the debate as to whether a hot dog is a sandwich or not. (Yes, yes it is!)


    According to a legal precedent set in a 2006 Boston court case, a sandwich requires at least two slices of bread. A traditional hot dog is not a sandwich. A hot dog is also excluded as a sandwich by the FDA.
  • Post #202 - June 4th, 2019, 11:03 am
    Post #202 - June 4th, 2019, 11:03 am Post #202 - June 4th, 2019, 11:03 am
    budrichard wrote:Let’s not forget the condiments!
    The Vienna Factory Store has some of the best condiments for sale as well as used in their cafeteria.
    ”Run it through the garden” gets you a great dog.
    Two dogs with fries is about $6.
    The Celery Salt is the best I have found!
    Woodman’s also has a full selection of condiments.
    The only substitute I make is Raye’s ‘Top Dog’ mustard.
    https://rayesmustard.com/collections/be ... og-mustard
    -Richard

    Plain yellow mustard only please. :)
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #203 - June 4th, 2019, 12:16 pm
    Post #203 - June 4th, 2019, 12:16 pm Post #203 - June 4th, 2019, 12:16 pm
    scottsol wrote:According to a legal precedent set in a 2006 Boston court case, a sandwich requires at least two slices of bread. A traditional hot dog is not a sandwich. A hot dog is also excluded as a sandwich by the FDA.


    I don't look at the courts or FDA to determine what a sandwich is and isn't. A traditional sub/hoagie isn't two slices of bread, either, but I doubt anyone would say that isn't a sandwich.
  • Post #204 - June 6th, 2019, 2:42 pm
    Post #204 - June 6th, 2019, 2:42 pm Post #204 - June 6th, 2019, 2:42 pm
    Binko wrote:I don't look at the courts or FDA to determine what a sandwich is and isn't. A traditional sub/hoagie isn't two slices of bread, either, but I doubt anyone would say that isn't a sandwich.

    I gotta' side with Binko on this one.

    Finish this phrase: "Italian beef __________" or "A Jibarito is a _________ that uses plantain instead of bread." How about "Horseshoe _________"?

    The right answer was "sandwich." Anything else anyone came up with was just cracking wise.

    And then there's a "wrap" which according to this Wikipedia entry is "classified" as a "sandwich" (by someone—who knows. I didn't check the sources.), but it defies the legal definition. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrap_(food)

    I think the real point is that food defies absolutes. It's like a virus that mutates and spreads further. It changes based on evolutionary pressures so it can propagate. And the moment you draw a hard line, food will morph into something that proves you wrong (Although I have an opinion about pizza puffs that flies in the face of everything I just said, but that's for another thread).

    It's useful to call it a hot dog sandwich. It puts the beast in a broad class of analogs that are appropriate for discussion purposes. And it draws a distinction between the whole (the sandwich) and one of its critical parts (the sausage).

    [/$0.02]
    My doctor told me that if I continue to eat this way, my body will lose the ability to wear horizontal stripes.
  • Post #205 - June 6th, 2019, 4:59 pm
    Post #205 - June 6th, 2019, 4:59 pm Post #205 - June 6th, 2019, 4:59 pm
    To me, a sub is not a sandwich, it is a submarine sandwich. This is similar to the fact that a pea-nut is not a nut.
  • Post #206 - June 7th, 2019, 7:27 am
    Post #206 - June 7th, 2019, 7:27 am Post #206 - June 7th, 2019, 7:27 am
    My definition of sandwich is based on a filling (which needs better definition) on cut bread or bread-like stuff (e.g. jibarito plantain). So a gyro is only a sandwich if the meat, etc. is in the pita, not on the pita, because that's a wrap. Open-faced sandwiches are a slippery slope, because I wouldn't call bruschetta a sandwich, but is a hot brown? eggs benedict? Pickupability is a tough call. So are things like pinwheel sandwiches, where bread is rolled thin, fillings put on it (typically pickle, ham and cream cheese, which has always seemed vile to this Jewish-raised boy), and rolled up then sliced.

    So yes, hot dog is sandwich.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang

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