Monday, May 26, 2008

Jimmy's Red Hots On Grand Ave.

4000 W. Grand Ave

The 40-year old late night West Side hot dog stand calls itself the "home of the tube steak on a bun," serving up Vienna beef hot dogs, Polish sausages and tamales with thick French fries on the side. Ketchup is strictly forbidden.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Maxwell Street Polish

A Maxwell Street Polish consists of a grilled all-beef Polish sausage topped with grilled onions and mustard on a bun. The sandwich was first created by Jimmy Stefanovic, a Macedonian immigrant, who took over his aunt and uncle's hot-dog stand (now Jim's Original) in Chicago's Maxwell Street marketplace in 1939.[1] It is sometime referred to as a "Jewtown Dog," or "Jew Dog"[citation needed]. (Part of the market was called Jewtown after the original Jewish merchants.)

The Maxwell Street Polish soon grew to be one of Chicago's most popular local dishes, along with the Chicago hot-dog. It is served by restaurants around the city, and is common at sporting events. Many small vendors specialize in the Maxwell Street Polish along with the pork-chop sandwich.

Some variations exist. For example, some hot-dog vendors offer a "Maxwell Street hot dog" in which a hot dog is substituted for the Polish sausage. Others like to add sport peppers to the Maxwell Street to give it more heat.

Due to UIC's South Campus development (ongoing construction, started in 2002), the two famous Maxwell Street Polish stands on the corner of Halsted and Maxwell streets, Jim's Original and Maxwell St. Express Grill, were displaced to nearby Union Avenue, adjacent to the Dan Ryan Expressway on-ramp at Roosevelt Road.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Facts About Hot Dogs And Americans

Baseball and Hot Dogs!
Regardless of your home team, there’s one thing nearly all baseball fans have in common: a love of the All American Hot Dog. Americans will eat 24.2 million Hot Dogs in major league ballparks -- that's enough to stretch coast-to-coast from Dodgers' Stadium in Los Angeles to Camden Yards in Baltimore.

Top 10 Hot Dog Baseball Stadiums for 2005
1. Dodger Stadium – 1,674,400
2. Coors Field – 1,545,000
3. Wrigley Field – 1,543,500
4. Yankees Stadium – 1,365,000
5. Minute Maid Park – 1,248,000
6. Edison Field – 1,133,000
7. HHH Metrodome – 850,000
8. Citizens Bank Park – 800,000
9. Shea Stadium – 745,000
10. U.S. Cellular Field – 495,000

In Chicago, more than 80% of the 1,800-plus hot dog vendors proudly feature Vienna® Beef products. Vienna is often considered the Rolls-Royce of Hot Dogs.
Travelers passing through Chicago's O'Hare airport purchase 2 million Hot Dogs each year according to restaurant and concession stand reports. This makes O'hare the biggest Hot Dog seller in the United States.
Actor Bruce Willis proposed to Demi Moore at Pink's Hot Dog stand in Hollywood, California.
Americans typically consume 7 billion Hot Dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
On the Fourth of July, Americans will enjoy 150 million Hot Dogs!
On every Independence Day since 1916, at its original Coney Island hot dog stand, Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest has celebrated this iconic American food.
The United States Chamber of Commerce officially designated July as National Hot Dog Month in 1957, and the tradition has been going strong ever since.
July 20th has been declared National Hot Dog Day.
Every second of every day, 450 Hot Dogs are eaten in the United States.
Nearly one-third of all Americans eat Hot Dogs one to three times per month.
Sixty percent of Americans prefer their Hot Dogs grilled.
Twenty one percent prefer their Hot Dogs boiled.
The world's longest hot dog was 1,996 feet, made in honor of the 1996 Olympics.
People who cook Hot Dogs tend to be women, 25 to 44 years old, married with school-age children.
How many Hot Dogs do Americans eat each year and where do they eat them?
According to recent survey data obtained by the Council, Americans purchase 350 million pounds of hot dogs at retail stores - that's 9 billion hot dogs! But the actual number of hot dogs consumed by Americans is probably much larger. It is difficult to calculate the number of hot dogs Americans may eat at sporting events, local picnics and carnivals. The Council estimates Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs a year - more than twice the retail sales figures. That works out to about 70 hot dogs per person each year. Hot dogs are served in 95 percent of homes in the United States. Fifteen percent of hot dogs are purchased from street vendors and 9 percent are purchased at ballparks, according to statistics from the Heartland Buffalo Company. New York City was named America's leading Hot Dog sales city, followed by L.A. and the Baltimore-D.C. area.

In the Mood for a Huge Hot Dog?
Head on over to the new indoor miniature golf course at Vitense Golfland and check out the Hot Dog slide! Your kids will love it...and so will you. The Madison themed course showcases many of Madison's famous landmarks and businesses. Although the Vitense website claims that the centerpiece of the course is the Capitol building, we would have to politely disagree and choose the giant Hot Dog. The Dog is topped with ketchup and mustard. Hey, it's not a Chicago Dog, but it still looks mighty tasty!

Vitense Golfland is located on the west side of Madison at 5501 Schroeder Rd (West Beltline and Whitney Way). Website: Phone: (608) 271-1411

A Chicago Dog in Toronto Canada?
In Toronto, Canada hot dogs are the only kind of street food allowed by law. The law sets extremely high (almost unachievable) requirements for street-food vendors, with an exception for "pre-cooked meat products in the form of wieners or similar products to be served on a bun". That results in a greater competition amoung vendors and excellent quality of the hotdogs in the city. (Note: One of the best Chicago Dogs I ever had was from a street vendor in Toronto). Here is a link to the Toronto Department of Public Health requirements for Hot Dog carts:

How to Say Hot Dog in Different Languages

Spanish - Perrito Caliente
Italian - Caldo cane
French - Chien chaud
German - Heisser Hund or Wurst
Portugese - Cachorro quente
Swedish - Korv or varmkorv
Norwegian/Danish - Grillpolser
Latin - Pastillum botello fartum
Czech - Park v rohliku
Dutch- Worstjes
Finnish - Makkarat

Regional Variations
Hot Dogs are served countless ways and vary greatly by region. Many cities are well known for their unique style of blending and configuring the ingredients on their Dogs. Hot Dogs not only differ by how they are prepared and accessorized, but also in size. Regular Hot Dogs are 6 inches in length (15 cm) and "footlong" Hot Dogs are twelve inches (30 cm) long. Here are some of the many popular ways Hot Dogs are served throughout the country:

Chicago - Vienna beef hot dog topped with chopped onions, diced/wedged tomatoes, a dill pickle spear, pickled hot peppers ("sport peppers"), pickle relish, mustard, and celery salt, and served on a poppyseed bun.

Cincinnati - Usually served as a "cheese coney" with Cincinnati chili, shredded mild cheddar cheese, and sometimes chopped onion and/or mustard.

Upstate New York - There are two distinct types of hot dogs. There are Red Hots and White Hots. Red Hots are "normal" hot dogs while White Hots are plumper and were first made by Zweigles of Rochester N.Y.

New York - The street cart-style hot dog is the Sabrett all-beef natural casing frank, boiled and served with onion sauce and deli mustard—or sauerkraut.

North Carolina - Also with chili and cole slaw, with the addition of mustard and onions. Referred to as a hot dog 'all the way.'

Pacific Northwest - Often enjoyed with some combination of ketchup, mustard, relish, and mayo.

Boston - Often served steamed as opposed to grilled. Ketchup, mustard, relish, picalilli, and chopped onions are common toppings. The "Fenway Frank" is a fixture for Red Sox fans.

West Virginia - Hot dogs are usually served with chili sauce (usually without beans) and cole slaw. When served without a wiener, it is locally called a "chili dog", much to the confusion of non-residents. Click Here for more information about West Virginia Hot Dogs.

Rhode Island - Called New York Style Hot Wieners, and served with meat sauce, chopped onion, mustard, and celery salt.

Providence Rhode Island - Home of the excellent New York System Frank, your basic hot dog covered with a watery, all-beef chili, raw chopped onions and curry powder.

Detroit - Served as a "coney" with chili sauce, mustard, and onions on a steamed bun.

Kansas City - A Dog with sauerkraut and melted cheese.

New Jersey - Several styles of Hot Dogs are popular here: A "Potato Dog" has diced and stewed potatoes, brown mustard and served on spicy Sabrett® brand Hot Dog. "Texas Weiners" (chili dogs everywhere else) are Hot Dogs served with brown mustard, hot and spicy chili and diced raw onions. An "Italian Dog" has fried onions, peppers and potatoes.

Georgia - Especially, South Georgia, has a "Scrambled" Dog (or dawg). This is a cheap, usually red-skinned hot dog, on a toasted white bun and topped with mustard and spicy chili sauce.

Southern Slaw Dog - Topped with mustard, chili and cole slaw.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cubs Game and a Hot Dog

Wrigley Field
1060 W. Addison St.
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 404-2827

Hours: open on game days

What's a Chicago-style hot dog without a little Chicago baseball? Cubs and White Sox fans will argue until the end of time over who's team is better and who has the better ball park, but game attendees can feast on a Chicago favorite while eyeing the ivy landscape of Wrigley Field and enjoying the setting of a Cubs game, a perfect date with summer in Chicago.