Food News

Italian Sausages or Hot Dogs? Which Ones and Where to Go

When given the choice between Italian sausage or hot dogs, in my past it had been no brainer. Despite that they're both made with animal innards, pork and pork fat is more of a delight than beef parts--or whatever's inside hot dog casings. Italian sausage also arrives on better bread, the crusty Italian roll. 

My preference was tested last week when I foraged for lunch after being berated by a colleague for not eating more hot dogs and hamburgers. I'd had a total of zero dawgs since I've arrived and only one sausage outing at Cafe Heidelberg.

First stop on weiner forage number one was Hot Dog Heaven, against my colleague's suggestion to hit up Big City Dogs.

"That's a big order for a little lady," said the guy behind the counter at the shop --and four other people-- when I racked up an order for a Chicago dog AND the Italian sausage with fries for a solo lunch. I gave him an eye roll and told him I couldn't decide. 

He suggested I take one to go. I gave him a strange look. Half the reason to eat a hot dog or sausage is for the condiment combination. Why on earth would anyone take it home to eat it cold or reheated?

In any event, I was surprised I actually loved this Chicago dog, though I've had others before. Served on a poppy bun with neon relish, pickles, pickled peppers, tomato, and celery salt, the dog offered an interplay of sweet, sour, salty, and savory. 

But then there's the porky fat of the Italian, with caramelized sweet of onions and charred bitter of green peppers, the latter of which I usually loathe. And the bread: that crusty bread. I couldn't decide so I ate them both. 

Now that I've mercifully galloped through this hot dog blog without a phallic pun, what says you: sausages or hot dogs? And what's your favorite place? Now that the weather's lovely down here, it's time for hot dogs and grilling.

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Food Critic
Contact: Melissa McCart