Best Hot Dog - 2012
Hot Dog Heaven
Say it with me now: Vienna beef hot dog on a bun, yellow mustard, onions, tomatoes, bright-green relish, pickle spear, sport peppers, and a dusting of celery salt. And absolutely no friggin' ketchup. This is a mantra known dearly to every Chicagoan, and it should be yours too: There's no better way to eat your tube meat than with this eclectic garden of condiments. Of course, if you're feeling heretical, get the truly fine folks in Heaven to slather your dog with chili and cheese or even cook up a hamburger patty. But you'll soon find that the real magic here is the French fries: There's almost always a small batch cooking up fresh in the deep fryer. Every fry is the simple epitome of what a fry should be: light and golden, just crispy and greasy enough, holding its shape, well-salted. Get the combo of a large dog, fries, and a Pepsi and appreciate the simple pleasures of American melting-pot innovation as you munch and stare across the street at a Honda dealership. The hot dog is a commodity food, and it's often overrated or eaten simply as a matter of convenience. But ritual and tradition — and, for Chicagoans, a little taste of home — really can make all the difference.