Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fun and Interesting Facts About Hot Dogs

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.

Regional Hot Dog Recipes
In June 2005, The CBS Early Show had a segment called, "Not All Dogs Are Created Equal". Just in time for the 4th of July, the Early Show's resident Chef Bobby Flay shared some of his favorite regional Hot Dog recipes. Click Here to check out the featured recipes.

Attend Hot Dog U's School of Mobile Food Service
Hot Dog University is the only business school where you can learn the knowledge and trade secrets necessary to successfully launch your career in the mobile food service business. This is the place to go if you are considering running a hot dog cart. We had no idea such a place existed until we were contacted by Mark Reitman, the founder and instructor at Hot Dog U. Kevin and I hope to one day attend their class.

Hot Dog Etiquette
If you think eating Hot Dogs is all about slapping a wiener on a bun, you're in for a surprise. If you're going to dine on dogs properly, you'll need these do's and don'ts from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

Don't ...

Put hot dog toppings between the hot dog and the bun. Always "dress the dog," not the bun.
Leave bits of bun on your plate. Eat it all.
Use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18.
Use a cloth napkin to wipe your mouth when eating a hot dog. Paper is always preferable.
Put fresh herbs on the same plate with hot dogs. Mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili are acceptable.
Bring wine to a hot dog barbecue. Beer, soda, lemonade and iced tea are preferable.
Send a thank you note following a hot dog barbecue. It would not be in keeping with the unpretentious nature of hot dogs.
Ever think there is a wrong time to serve hot dogs.
Do ...

Apply condiments in the following order: wet condiments such as mustard and chili are applied first, followed by chunky condiments such as relish, onions and sauerkraut, followed by shredded cheese, followed by spices, like celery salt or pepper.
Serve sesame seed, poppy seed and plain buns with hot dogs. Sun-dried tomato buns or basil buns are considered gauche with franks.
Eat hot dogs on buns with your hands. Utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns.
Condiments remaining on the fingers after eating a hot dog should be licked away, not washed.
Use paper plates to serve hot dogs. Every day dishes are acceptable. China is a no-no.

Poppy Seeds and Positive Drug Tests
Can the consumption of poppy seeds used on bagels, buns and muffins produce positive results on drug screening tests? YES!

A Hot Dog Program
Our friends at PBS have created a show all about Hot Dogs appropriately titled, "A Hot Dog Program". It's an all-American celebration of those fabulous and phenomenally popular little sausages in their soft little buns. Whether you like your dog with mustard and sauerkraut, chili and cheese, or with the "works," this program is sure to please. For more information, or to buy the DVD, click here.

At the Movies
"How can I trust a man who won't eat a good old-fashioned American hot dog?". --From the movie S.W.A.T. starring Samuel L Jackson.

"Nobody, but nobody, puts ketchup on a hot dog anymore!". --From Sudden Impact.

"You look like the Fourth of July! Makes me want a hot dog real bad!" --From Legally Blonde.

"I can't forget it. I am sorry. I had no idea it was your cab. Let me make it up to you. How about a nice hot dog and a beer." --From Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

"Eat the hot dog, don't be one!". --From Steel.

"I want to buy eight hot dogs and eight hot dog buns to go with them. But no one sells eight hot dog buns. They only sell twelve hot dog buns. So I end up paying for four buns I don't need. So I am removing the superfluous buns. Yeah. And you want to know why? Because some big-shot over at the wiener company got together with some big-shot over at the bun company and decided to rip off the American public. Because they think the American public is a bunch of trusting nit-wits who will pay for everything they don't need rather than make a stink." --From Father of the Bride.

What did the Zen Buddhist say to the Hot Dog vendor? "Make me one with everything".

Why did the man put a sweater on his Hot Dog? Because it was a chili dog.

May the dragon of life only roast your hot-dogs and never burn your buns!

Hot Dog Festivals and Events
Nathan's Famous Forth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. Every year, this competitve eating contest draws contestants from all over the world. In 2007, six-time defending champion Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi was beaten by Joey Chestnut, who won by eating a record-breaking 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Click Here for more information on Nathan's and their annual hot dog eating competition.

Frankfort, Indiana holds their annual Hot Dog Festival the last weekend in July. Come celebrate this favorite summer food and all the great puns that go with it!

Tehachapi, California All American 4th of July Hot Dog Festival.

West Virginia Hot Dog Festival.

Columbus, Ohio Great American Hot Dog Festival.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Portillos.One of Chicago's Finest !!

Portillo's Hot Dogs
The best food and the best service!

Welcome to Portillo's Hot Dogs, Inc., started in 1963 by Dick Portillo in a small trailer and soon will be operating in 31 locations. His dedication to serving "the best food" and "the best service" available will make it worth your visit. Requests for his "type" of food and "service" are received daily at the corporate office from many of the 50 states (including Alaska) and many foreign countries. Calls from Taiwan, the Phillipines, Singapore, China, Europe, and Korea are just a few. Customers in the Chicagoland area also call frequently requesting a store just "a little closer to our house."

So, come enjoy what we hope you will find to be the best Hot Dog, Italian Beef, Maxwell Street Polish, Tasty Burgers, Fresh Salads and more at any of our locations. Bring the kids and ENJOY!

Portillo's won so many Silver Platter awards (the "Oscars" of the food industry) that the company retired from competition for 5 years to give others a chance. Come try our award-winning food and see if you agree.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Parkeys in Forest Park

Parky's Hot Dogs
329 Harlem Ave
Forest Park, IL 60130-1607
Phone: (708) 366-3090

Cross Street: Washington Boulevard Directions: El: Green Line to Harlem/Lake; bus: 357 to Washington
Specialties: French Fries, Hot Dog
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 11am-7pm

In Short
This compact orange-and-white A-frame has just a couple of stools at the window for seating, plus outdoor picnic tables during warm weather. Folks don't mind waiting for David Berg hot dogs--shorter and plumper than Vienna Beef, and steamed, not grilled. The basic dog gets mustard, chopped onion, pickle relish, tomato and peppers. Also available are chili cheese dogs, Polish sausages, grilled burgers, chicken sandwiches and Italian beef; all served with long, thin fries.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

How to Make a Chicago Hot Dog

You have not eaten a hot dog until you've eaten a Chicago hot dog. In just a few steps, you can enjoy this unique gastronomical delight, share it with all your friends and join an elite level of carnivorous snobs!

Steam a poppy seed hot dog bun until soft; not soggy.
Place a cooked Beef hot dog in the bun. (steamed best -- grilled ok)
Coat hot dog with yellow mustard in a zig-zag fashion to your liking.
Add neon-green pickle relish to your liking
Add raw chopped white onion to the dog
Put two tomato wedges in between the dog and bun
Tuck 2-3 sport peppers next to tomatoes
Add a kosher dill pickle spear in between the dog and bun
Add a dash of celery salt

Use only All Beef hot dogs. There is no substitute for those seeking a genuine Chicago hot dog.
Use only yellow mustard. Use of ketchup is prohibited.
Relish should be of a neon-green hue.
Some purists argue that only tomato "wedges" rather than the slices (photographed above) should be used.
Two cucumber slices can be used instead of a pickle.
Fries, if served with your hot dog, should be seeping with grease and well salted.


Never use ketchup on a Chicago hot dog. A purist won't even have a bottle of ketchup in the same room. (If you must use ketchup, use it on your fries.)

Things You'll Need
Steamed poppy seed hot dog bun
All Beef hot dog (steamed or charred Preferably Vienna Beef)
Yellow mustard (Preferably French's)
Chopped white onion (raw)
Neon Green Relish (Preferably Rolf's)
Sport peppers (Preferably Alpe Dell's)
Tomato wedges
Crisp kosher dill pickle spear
Celery salt