Saturday, June 7, 2008

Vienna Beef Factory Store & Deli

2501 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60647. 773-235-6652.

The Damen St. location is the lunch room/deli for the meat plant, but it is open to the public, and if you're into Chicago Hot Dogs, visiting The Source is as obligatory as a trip to Napa for wine lovers. Not surprisingly the sandwich is made by the book, although I was a bit stunned to see a crinkle-cut 4" slice of pickle rather than a spear on my bun. Even their own website says it should be made with a spear. The decor is clean, and the posters are great fun. My favorite: A photo of a Chicago Hot Dog with the caption "This Hot Dog Rated NK-17. It will not be served with Ketchup to anyone under 17." They sell the posters, condiments, and meat products to take home. They even sell a Hot Dog Lovers Kit for $69.95 with 16 hot dogs, 16 poppyseed buns, mustard, relish, sport peppers, and celery salt. You need to get your own onion, pickles, and tomatoes. It's a fun place and dining with butchers in coveralls and hairnets is kinda cool, but, with its mustard yellow walls, and fluorescent lights it has all the charm or a high school cafeteria.

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