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The definitive Chicago hot dog

The definitive Chicago hot dog
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  • Post #121 - December 16th, 2008, 6:33 pm
    Post #121 - December 16th, 2008, 6:33 pm Post #121 - December 16th, 2008, 6:33 pm
    Dmnkly wrote:
    stevez wrote:I couldn't disagree more. I love the ambiance of the place, but the dogs are some kind of non-Vienna mutant and the fries are nothing more than the frozen crinkle cut food service variety.

    Unless Flaurie is flat-out lying, the second part is vile and vicious (though unintentional, I'm sure) slander*.

    Superdawg Website wrote:Q: What makes Superfries so delicious?
    A (transcribed from video): From the very first day, we peeled and cut a fresh potato. We have never used a frozen potato. Potatoes are peeled every, cut every day, fried every day, fresh.

    Hiya -

    People often assume any crinkle cut potato is a frozen product. Another example: Alan Richman in his uninformed article on Chicago hot dogs calls Superdawg's fries "commercial-cut."

    In another misunderstanding, he praises the natural casings of Chicago dogs but fails to realize Byron's (one of his favorites) uses skinless. In an amusing passage, Richman comments favorably on the good value at Rockstar Dogs (another favorite): hot dog, fries and a soda runs only six bucks.
  • Post #122 - December 16th, 2008, 7:04 pm
    Post #122 - December 16th, 2008, 7:04 pm Post #122 - December 16th, 2008, 7:04 pm
    I find the Superdawg to be delicious, but not a standard Kosher-style hot dog -- it's closer in flavor to a polish, so far as I can tell under the condimenti.

    The fries are easy to malign because they're mashed and steamed into the dog box -- I wish they'd halt that practice.

    I whine about the Superdawg prices, but I'll occasionally indulge (I did last time I was in Midway, f'rinstance). I'm sure I'll line up shortly after they open in Wheeling too, at least for the novelty. I wonder how many people waiting in line for Bob Chinn's will grab an appetizer there?
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #123 - December 16th, 2008, 7:12 pm
    Post #123 - December 16th, 2008, 7:12 pm Post #123 - December 16th, 2008, 7:12 pm
    Richman's article was below even his usual uniformed, flippant standards.
  • Post #124 - December 17th, 2008, 4:40 am
    Post #124 - December 17th, 2008, 4:40 am Post #124 - December 17th, 2008, 4:40 am
    I know it's been around for a long time and such....but does anyone else not like Byron's so much? I keep trying them and they really taste off. Like the spicing is different. And lettuce?
  • Post #125 - December 17th, 2008, 9:23 am
    Post #125 - December 17th, 2008, 9:23 am Post #125 - December 17th, 2008, 9:23 am
    I think Byron's and Superdawg both bite it. SD is expensive and the the dogs don't taste right. Byron's ruins theirs with lettuce.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #126 - December 17th, 2008, 9:24 am
    Post #126 - December 17th, 2008, 9:24 am Post #126 - December 17th, 2008, 9:24 am
    Cogito wrote:I think Byron's and Superdawg both bite it. SD is expensive and the the dogs don't taste right. Byron's ruins theirs with lettuce.


    The lettuce is optional.
  • Post #127 - December 17th, 2008, 10:06 am
    Post #127 - December 17th, 2008, 10:06 am Post #127 - December 17th, 2008, 10:06 am
    Unfortunately, I haven't had Byron's for years but it was my first Chicago Dog (in the old now-a-laundromat Spaceport Byron's on Clark;) I'd been raised on skinless Oscar Meyer dogs, though, so my standards aren't what they are now. It was my favorite until that location closed, about ten years ago - there were a number of reasons for this, which included the ability to pay with a credit card (unheard of in fast food at that time) and that you could get a beer at their drive-through - coming from Cincinnati, that amazed me.

    Now that my experience is broader, I'll have to go back and see if I feel the same way - but is the remaining Byron's on Lawrence still offering something distinct, or is it now just an ordinary stand?
  • Post #128 - December 17th, 2008, 10:12 am
    Post #128 - December 17th, 2008, 10:12 am Post #128 - December 17th, 2008, 10:12 am
    Byron's pretty much defines ordinary, I think. Not terrible, but dead-on average.
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  • Post #129 - December 17th, 2008, 10:22 am
    Post #129 - December 17th, 2008, 10:22 am Post #129 - December 17th, 2008, 10:22 am
    Mhays wrote:but is the remaining Byron's on Lawrence still offering something distinct, or is it now just an ordinary stand?

    Mhays,

    Less than ordinary.

    I posted pics and commentary of my last, and I do mean last, garden on a bun skinless hot dog at Byron's upthread.

    I am a Minimalist Hot Dog man, natural casing wiener, mustard, onions and sport peppers for me.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #130 - December 17th, 2008, 10:32 am
    Post #130 - December 17th, 2008, 10:32 am Post #130 - December 17th, 2008, 10:32 am
    lettuce on a hot dog? How has this "Byrons" been allowed to stay open in this hot dog obsessed town commiting this heinous act? :)
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #131 - December 17th, 2008, 10:47 am
    Post #131 - December 17th, 2008, 10:47 am Post #131 - December 17th, 2008, 10:47 am
    jimswside wrote:lettuce on a hot dog? How has this "Byrons" been allowed to stay open in this hot dog obsessed town commiting this heinous act? :)


    I think this has been discussed elsewhere, but they're certainly not the only ones to do this. Just like G&J and Jimmy's are of the "minimalist" school, there are others that are at the other extreme end of the "garden" school. The former Franksville in Evanston immediately comes to mind as well as Murphy's on Belmont. There are a number of places that also include fresh cucumber either instead of, or in addition to pickle. I believe Byron's also includes green bell peppers.
  • Post #132 - December 17th, 2008, 10:52 am
    Post #132 - December 17th, 2008, 10:52 am Post #132 - December 17th, 2008, 10:52 am
    eatchicago wrote:
    jimswside wrote:lettuce on a hot dog? How has this "Byrons" been allowed to stay open in this hot dog obsessed town commiting this heinous act? :)


    I think this has been discussed elsewhere, but they're certainly not the only ones to do this. Just like G&J and Jimmy's are of the "minimalist" school, there are others that are at the other extreme end of the "garden" school. The former Franksville in Evanston immediately comes to mind as well as Murphy's on Belmont. There are a number of places that also include fresh cucumber either instead of, or in addition to pickle. I believe Byron's also includes green bell peppers.


    I guess I am lucky I have never encountered lettuce on a hot dog anywhere I have been(I have never been to Byrons, and probably won't based in this info). Green Peppers? thats just odd, & I thought places trying to sneak catsup on a hotdog was bad. :lol:
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #133 - December 17th, 2008, 10:59 am
    Post #133 - December 17th, 2008, 10:59 am Post #133 - December 17th, 2008, 10:59 am
    Less than ordinary.

    I posted pics and commentary of my last, and I do mean last, garden on a bun skinless hot dog at Byron's upthread.


    That's the Lawrence one, which is pretty dire.

    The Irving Park one scales the heights of ordinary.
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  • Post #134 - December 17th, 2008, 11:01 am
    Post #134 - December 17th, 2008, 11:01 am Post #134 - December 17th, 2008, 11:01 am
    Are these two Byron's anything like the RIP one that was on Clark like 10 years ago? I've no doubt that you are correct in your assessment...I seem to recall the ones I had back then weren't skinless.
  • Post #135 - December 17th, 2008, 11:17 am
    Post #135 - December 17th, 2008, 11:17 am Post #135 - December 17th, 2008, 11:17 am
    Mhays wrote:Now that my experience is broader, I'll have to go back and see if I feel the same way - but is the remaining Byron's on Lawrence still offering something distinct, or is it now just an ordinary stand?

    Mike G wrote:That's the Lawrence one, which is pretty dire.

    The Irving Park one scales the heights of ordinary.

    Mhays wrote:Are these two Byron's anything like the RIP one that was on Clark like 10 years ago? I've no doubt that you are correct in your assessment...I seem to recall the ones I had back then weren't skinless.

    I never went to the one on Clark but I suspect the standard dog at Byron's has always been skinless. In Hot Dog Chicago: A Native's Dining Guide from 1983, authors Bowen & Fay speak of the "juicy skinless Viennas" at the original Byron's.

    If you go to Byron's I'd also suggest the original on Irving Park for its classic 1970s hot dog stand ambiance. Contrary to popular belief, you can get a natural casing Vienna hot dog at Byron's. Problem is, it's the half-pound Dogzilla.

    Byron's Hot Dogs
    1017 W Irving Park Rd
    Chicago
    773-281-7474
  • Post #136 - December 17th, 2008, 11:56 am
    Post #136 - December 17th, 2008, 11:56 am Post #136 - December 17th, 2008, 11:56 am
    Tasty Dog in Oak Park is another sald dog joint that's been around forevs. Call me what you want, but I LOVE the salad dogs. I'm not a huge dog fan, so that might have something to do with it. The tasty dog is: Dog, mustard, relish, onion, sporters, reg pickle slices (the good thick ones) lettuce, cucumber, tomato, celery salt.
    Oh yeah, you're not misreading. ALL of that crap. The little weenie is basically an afterthought. Love em.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #137 - December 17th, 2008, 7:14 pm
    Post #137 - December 17th, 2008, 7:14 pm Post #137 - December 17th, 2008, 7:14 pm
    eatchicago wrote:
    Cogito wrote:I think Byron's and Superdawg both bite it. SD is expensive and the the dogs don't taste right. Byron's ruins theirs with lettuce.


    The lettuce is optional.

    Of course, if you know about it before you order. but that doesn't help you much after the deed is done.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #138 - December 17th, 2008, 8:27 pm
    Post #138 - December 17th, 2008, 8:27 pm Post #138 - December 17th, 2008, 8:27 pm
    Cogito wrote:
    eatchicago wrote:
    Cogito wrote:I think Byron's and Superdawg both bite it. SD is expensive and the the dogs don't taste right. Byron's ruins theirs with lettuce.


    The lettuce is optional.

    Of course, if you know about it before you order. but that doesn't help you much after the deed is done.

    I have no problem with Byron's in Oak park, they have the toppings in front of you, pick and choose. While not the conventional "one with everything" place, you do know what you are getting unlike Tasty Dog where everything includes ketchup.
    Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
    Woody Allen
  • Post #139 - December 17th, 2008, 9:12 pm
    Post #139 - December 17th, 2008, 9:12 pm Post #139 - December 17th, 2008, 9:12 pm
    I never order "everything" without knowing what everything is. This is mainly to keep mayo off my hamburger, though.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #140 - December 18th, 2008, 12:10 am
    Post #140 - December 18th, 2008, 12:10 am Post #140 - December 18th, 2008, 12:10 am
    Hi,

    My local hot dog stand is Stash's in Highland Park. When I was first acquainted with them in the early 1970's, the default dog was Chicago style. The new owner, and maybe this happened before Stash left the business, has just about any variation available in fixings which includes sauerkraut. For a while, I found myself instructing them on how to make a Chicago style dog. It occured to me later that a faster way to order was to simply state, "Chicago style," that has worked well ever since.

    At last week's Culinary Historians meeting, I learned a story about Stash's early hot dog stand in Chicago from Bob Schwartz. Stash and a partner opened a hot dog stand called Mutt and Jeff. 'Mutt' was a rather short Stash and 'Jeff' was a rather tall guy named Frank Rosenthal. Does the name ring a bell? This was Frank 'Lefty' Rosenthal whose life was emulated in the movie 'Casino' with Robert De Niro portraying him. The partnership broke up because 'Jeff' had a small gambling den in the rear of the hot dog stand.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #141 - December 18th, 2008, 7:25 am
    Post #141 - December 18th, 2008, 7:25 am Post #141 - December 18th, 2008, 7:25 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Stash and a partner opened a hot dog stand called Mutt and Jeff. 'Mutt' was a rather short Stash and 'Jeff' was a rather tall guy named Frank Rosenthal. Does the name ring a bell? This was Frank 'Lefty' Rosenthal whose life was emulated in the movie 'Casino' with Robert De Niro portraying him. The partnership broke up because 'Jeff' had a small gambling den in the rear of the hot dog stand.


    Stash and Lefty were life long best friends. Stash used to say they finsished last and second to last in their class in high school.

    FWIW, I used to really like Stash's and i still think their fries are pretty good. I prefer Michaels for almost everything else if i am just running out for dinner in HP. I dont know what it is about Stashs but the quality of their product and the enormous menu seems to have declined.
  • Post #142 - December 18th, 2008, 6:04 pm
    Post #142 - December 18th, 2008, 6:04 pm Post #142 - December 18th, 2008, 6:04 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    At last week's Culinary Historians meeting, I learned a story about Stash's early hot dog stand in Chicago from Bob Schwartz. Stash and a partner opened a hot dog stand called Mutt and Jeff.



    Cathy,
    Do you have any more information regarding the location of the "Mutt and Jeff" stand?

    I have a vague memory that it might have been on Kedzie, between Foster and Lawrence.

    We're talking 40 years ago----
    "Goldie, how many times have I told you guys that I don't want no horsin' around on the airplane?"
  • Post #143 - December 19th, 2008, 12:40 am
    Post #143 - December 19th, 2008, 12:40 am Post #143 - December 19th, 2008, 12:40 am
    cito wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:
    At last week's Culinary Historians meeting, I learned a story about Stash's early hot dog stand in Chicago from Bob Schwartz. Stash and a partner opened a hot dog stand called Mutt and Jeff.



    Cathy,
    Do you have any more information regarding the location of the "Mutt and Jeff" stand?

    I have a vague memory that it might have been on Kedzie, between Foster and Lawrence.

    We're talking 40 years ago----


    Mutt & Jeff's was on east side of Kedzie, between Bryn Mawr and Foster.
    "A burger without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze!"
  • Post #144 - December 19th, 2008, 7:55 am
    Post #144 - December 19th, 2008, 7:55 am Post #144 - December 19th, 2008, 7:55 am
    chicagostyledog wrote:
    Mutt & Jeff's was on east side of Kedzie, between Bryn Mawr and Foster.


    My memory is a bit hazy on exactly where Mutt & Jeff's was. I know it was in that area, but Lerner's was on the east side of Kedzie just south of Bryn Mawr next to the Lazaar's Sausage Factory. Was Mutt & Jeff's there, too?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #145 - December 19th, 2008, 8:50 am
    Post #145 - December 19th, 2008, 8:50 am Post #145 - December 19th, 2008, 8:50 am
    RiverWester wrote:Isn't Jimmy's the place they don't give out ketchup too for the fries? I went there once, never again. Demon Dogs also cut some corners too in that regard.

    Recently hit a few Chicago highlights including Jimmy's with Steve Z, Chris Cognac, aka the Hungry Detective, and Matt, Chris's son. Matt, who is 12, was astounded by the fact there was no ketchup for the dogs and fries, so much so he, as a lover of all things ketchup, passed on the hot dog entirely. While I disagree with Matt's condiment choice for hot dogs, I respect his conviction in forgoing a hot dog that did not meet his specifications.

    I should point out Matt was not left hungry, our previous stop was Al's on Taylor and we were on our way to Honey 1.

    Steve Z, Chris, Matt

    Image

    As an aside, I still get a chuckle when I read "cutting corners"

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #146 - December 19th, 2008, 10:30 am
    Post #146 - December 19th, 2008, 10:30 am Post #146 - December 19th, 2008, 10:30 am
    No, the late, lamented Demon Dogs did have Ketchup, and would put it on dogs too, if you were gauche enough to ask.
    They were minimalist on condiments, though.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #147 - December 19th, 2008, 10:54 am
    Post #147 - December 19th, 2008, 10:54 am Post #147 - December 19th, 2008, 10:54 am
    stevez wrote:
    chicagostyledog wrote:
    Mutt & Jeff's was on east side of Kedzie, between Bryn Mawr and Foster.


    My memory is a bit hazy on exactly where Mutt & Jeff's was. I know it was in that area, but Lerner's was on the east side of Kedzie just south of Bryn Mawr next to the Lazaar's Sausage Factory. Was Mutt & Jeff's there, too?


    When Lerner's moved from the Kedzie store, it became Mutt & Jeff's.
    "A burger without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze!"
  • Post #148 - December 19th, 2008, 10:58 am
    Post #148 - December 19th, 2008, 10:58 am Post #148 - December 19th, 2008, 10:58 am
    Hi,

    I visited the Mustard Museum in September. There was a little boy running around stating, "What's wrong with kethchup? I like ketchup!" His parents pulled him aside to advise in a low voice, "Not here. We'll talk about it later."

    I think the whole ketchup issue gets out of hand when your liking it is treated like you said something impolite.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #149 - December 19th, 2008, 11:31 am
    Post #149 - December 19th, 2008, 11:31 am Post #149 - December 19th, 2008, 11:31 am
    Cathy2 wrote:I think the whole ketchup issue gets out of hand when your liking it is treated like you said something impolite.
    Regards,


    As a lover of ketchup on all things (except Hot Dogs) I agree with this sentiment whole-heartedly. I do, however, cringe when my 2.5 year old son asks for ketchup with his dog.
  • Post #150 - December 19th, 2008, 7:52 pm
    Post #150 - December 19th, 2008, 7:52 pm Post #150 - December 19th, 2008, 7:52 pm
    Grizzly wrote:If it's the same place on Milwaukee Ave north of Foster, around Bryn Mawr that I remember from years ago, it was called "Hastee Tastee Dog"

    It was actually Tast-E Hast-E Dog, at 5446 N Milwaukee. The giant Andy's Deli now sits on that spot.

    chicagostyledog wrote:When Lerner's moved from the Kedzie store, it became Mutt & Jeff's.

    Lerner's Red Hots (and so Mutt & Jeff's) was at 5541 N Kedzie. That entire stretch of buildings was demolished to make way for the high school. For those interested, there's quite a bit of information on Mutt & Jeff's, Maury's and other Albany Park hot dog stands in Bob Schwartz's book.

    JoelF wrote:No, the late, lamented Demon Dogs did have Ketchup, and would put it on dogs too, if you were gauche enough to ask.

    As I recall, Demon Dogs had a big pump dispenser on the counter so you were free to use it as you saw fit (as Wiener's Circle does now). A most practical solution to a very divisive problem.

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