This week we take a look at one of the country's most beloved regional hot dogs, the classic Chicago Dog. A few weeks ago we delved into Chicago's lesser-known minimalist style, the Depression Dog. But today it's all about the classic dragged-through-the-garden jumbo beef frank on a poppy seed bun, topped with pickles, sport peppers, tomatoes, neon green relish, bright yellow mustard and celery salt.
For the Chicago dog novice, the sheer amount of stuff on this hot dog stands out first. It's visually awesome but depending on the size of the veggies, it can be quite a challenge to eat. It's really almost more of a weiner hoagie than a hot dog. Some places even put lettuce and raw cucumber slices on there.
The garlicky jumbo franks—usually Vienna Beef brand although some prefer Best's or Klements—are typically served steamed, but I preferred a "char dog" which is blackened on the grill. The outside gets nice and crispy but because the dogs are so thick, the inside doesn't dry out, similar to how half-smokes are cooked in Washington, D.C.