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Nadya Johnson

Joined January 2009

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The Ultimate Chicago Dog ~ not in Chicago
Dixon, Illinois (USA)
Best Viewed Large/ Click on Image
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FEATURED in MIDWESTERN US PHOTOGRAPHY
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OK… ya gotta be from Chicago to get this! LOL. Every region in the USA has it’s own style hot dogs. Want some controversy? Ask a New Yorker his opinion of a Chicago Dog! Or vice versa. Just like people are loyal to the hometown baseball team, they are equally loyal to their hometown hot dog.
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Hot dogs slathered with a sweet, finely chopped, mayo-based slaw are popular in the South, where variations can include the chili-slaw (cole slaw, mustard, raw onion, minced all-meat chili no beans) and BBQ slaw.
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Order up a dog in Kansas City and you’ll get it served with sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese on a sesame seed bun.
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In Rochester New York, hot dogs are known as “hots” and come in either red or white. The red are called “red snappers,” a reference to their bright neon color. They’re served griddled for the best “snap”, and usually served on toasted buttered rolls.
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Places in and around Newark, New Jersey, like to serve their dogs Italian-style: skinny all-beef hot dogs are deep fried then stuffed into a half- round of Italian bread along with fried onion, peppers, and potato rounds.
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From Detroit to Tulsa, Coneys are a big favorite: small-sized, all-beef dogs served in steamed buns and topped with minced meat chili, mustard, and chopped onions (order the “loaded” and you’ll get shredded cheddar, too).
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In Hawaii, “puka” dogs are popular. It’s a grilled Polish sausage served in a large bun that’s had a hole (or “puka”) pushed into it by a contraption that also toasts the inside. You can choose from a variety of “garlic lemon secret sauces” that range from “mild original” to “habenero hot hot,” tropical relishes, and lilikoi or guava mustards.
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Then there’s the Southwest favorite the “Sonoran” dog; a grilled, bacon-wrapped hot dog on a sturdy bun, pinto beans, grilled onions, grilled green peppers, chopped fresh tomatoes, relish, tomatillo, jalapeno salsa, mayonnaise, mustard and shredded cheese.
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Trouble is.. if you’re from Chicago, none of those are really “hot dogs!” A Chicago Dog, first and foremost, is ~ must be ~ always ~ no exceptions! ~ Vienna Beef. The dogs are steamed, never (ever) grilled (!!!) and ditto for the bun. If may or may not have poppy-seeds, contrary to popular belief; but if it isn’t softer than a warm, sweet, tasty little cloud ~ for’git abboudit! Ain’t right! Chicago dogs are layered with yellow mustard, dark green relish, chopped raw onion, a dill pickle spear, sport peppers (hot! The small ones, NOT jalapenos ~ ever), tomato slices, cucumbers, then sprinkled with a dash of celery salt. Sounds simple. Isn’t! If even ONE factor in the recipe is off… so is the entire dog. A lot of places CLAIM to serve Chicago-style dogs, but in the Opinion of an Expert (me) they miss the boat. Some Chicago hot-dog stands feature signs that read, “Ask for ketchup and we call the cops!” or some such warning… ketchup is for Infidels. Or, maybe Californians.
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It is not unusual for a Chicagoan who’s moved away, say to San Francisco or Europe or even other parts of Illinois, to jump off the plane first thing and RUN to get a good Chicago dog! I did that a lot when I lived in California. LOL! Now, we live in northwest Illinois ~ and “I kid you not,” we’ve been searching for the Perfect Dog out here since 2005. It’s practically a 4-hour drive to Chi-Town, after all. We did find a place several years ago that had it Perfect: Tucci’s in the small town of Elizabeth. Alas, he closed in 2009! But the Search is over now. We found one in Dixon. That’s Right ~ Dixon, Illinois ~ Famous for very little other than the childhood home of Ronald Reagan!
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This is it. The Blue Moo. No, they didn’t pay me to advertise the joint. They don’t know I’m doing this at all. (It’s owned and run by a man and wife who love Chicago hot dogs!) I think they figured out we liked the hot dogs though… since we first had some for “breakfast” on a recent trip to Dixon ~ then after our appointment, came back for “lunch” and had some more!
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Not only is the food right ~ so is the stand. This is just like the hot dog stand that used to sit outside the Field Museum in Chicago when I was a kid. We used to hit it nearly every weekend! Not to give away my age, but the dogs were fifty cents and that included fries. There is still a hot dog stand in front of the musuem (happily), but now the dogs are $5, give or take ~ no fries ~ and the stand is a “real building.” In the Good Ol’ Days, these silver, trailer-types were everywhere in town; but they were banned some years ago. A crying shame! :-(
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Dixon’s 30 miles give or take from where we live… but I think we’ll be visiting Ronald Reagan’s Birthplace pretty often in the future!
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Panasonic Lumix

Artwork Comments

  • Monnie Ryan
  • Peter Stratton
  • missmoneypenny
  • Joy  Rector
  • Ann  Warrenton
  • USrealmArt
  • Ogre
  • Nadya Johnson
  • lorilee
  • Nadya Johnson
  • Kanages Ramesh
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