Friday, April 1

Go Cubs Go - a tribute to Chicago dogs

It's heeeeere!

Finally.  After 4 frigid, icy winter months.

Today, we get some reprieve.  Confirmation that spring will in fact happen here in Chicago.  Eventually.

Today is Opening Day for the Cubbies!  Technically there are snow flurries in the forecast and it will be another 45-60 days before temperatures stabilize at a respectable number. 

The point is today, we are overflowing with belief.  Belief that this IS the year for the Cubs.  Belief that this frozen tundra will eventually thaw out.  It has to, right?  RIGHT?!?

A bit too dramatic for you?  Well you try living through a Midwest winter where you wake up to ice on the INSIDE of your living room windows and the wind cuts you to the bone for months on end despite your 3 pairs of pants, big fuzzy hood and 2 pairs of gloves.  Then we'll talk.

Today's blog is about fun food where utensils are forbidden and people who are napkin freaks (like me) give in and consider the mustard stain to be a badge of honor. 

Start by listening to the song below.  It was written in 1984 by a die hard Cubs fan, Steve Goodman who tragically passed away 4 days before the Cubs clinched the Eastern Division title in the National League for the first time ever.  This would earn the Cubs their first post-season appearance since the 1945 World Series (three years before Steve Goodman's birth).

The song is played at Wrigley Field at the end of every game the Cubs win.  Then keep reading to learn more about Chicago dogs, a gift from the baseball Gods.

In a word, Chicago dogs are spectacular. 

They get "dragged through the garden" and actually taste nothing like a hot dog (think of it as a creative way to eat your veggies!). 

Next time you're in the windy city, do yourself a favor and get one.  If you have time, do it the right way and go to Hot Doug's.  There's a 30-45 min line out the door at all times, even during the bitter winter months, but it is WELL worth the wait.  They make all their own sausage and dogs and the flavors and combinations are just unreal.  Come on, how good do those Hot Doug dog's look?

Top to bottom: Chicago dog, knockwurst with smoked Gouda, fries made with duck fat, Chicago dog

You can easily make them at home if you're craving a ballpark fix and find yourself thousands of miles away from the Windy City.  You should know, there is an art to making a Chicago dog.  It's all in the ingredients.  There's really no recipe, just add the ingredients in the order they're listed in below.

  • Buns - get poppy seed if you want to do it right
  • Hot dogs - grilled, boiled, whatever you like
  • Yellow mustard
  • Neon green sweet relish
  • White onions - raw or grilled (Wrigley grills 'em and the smell is glorious)
  • Tomato SLICES - do. not. dice. it's not authentic!  You need half moon slices.
  • Dill pickle spears
  • Sport peppers
  • Sprinkling of celery salt

Did you happen to notice there's no ketchup? 

Ketchup on Chicago dogs is a sin.  It's a cardinal rule of Chicago dogs. 

So go celebrate opening day with some ballpark dogs that would make the Cubbies proud!  And don't worry, despite my bitching, that picture of me enjoying the Chicago dog at Wrigley isn't from a spring game.  It was from the 2010 Winter Classic hockey game held at Wrigley on New Years day.  I was ecstatic, but it's kind of tough to see through all that parka and fleece!


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