Buddy Doug Moe, a usually accurate societal crtiic, took the discussion in a new direction on Monday. In his latest food review Moe writes Contender returns in fight for top dog:
Drastic times call for drastic measures, so maybe it is time to admit the possibility that the best Chicago hot dog for Madison isn’t a Chicago hot dog at all.
To Doug's credit he was up front about his betrayal. He distingushes between Chicago Hot Dog and any old hot dog. He betrayed Chicago and more importantly disgraced his idol, Mike Royko.
Let us review:
Chicago Hot Dog - a steamed Vienna Red Hot
The Works: optional to varying degrees, including hot or sport peppers, onions, diced tomatoes, pickle or cuke, celery salt, day-glow green relish, yellow mustard
Catsup: an accoutrement that does not belong in the same sentence or even paragraph with the aforementioned works.
Hot Dog: any variety of wieners, most not Kosher and all in need of repair; thus the introduction for a variety of adornments including chiles, cheeses, tacos sauces and whizzes.
Food reviewer: usually the top person at a newspaper that eats cheese and wines, expensive meats and 'veggies.' Anyone claiming to be a 'foodie' has no business passing judgment on a hot dog, let alone eating one.
Moe ventured to the edge of the cliff. Knowing of his treason he jumped and thought he could redeem himself by admitting failure to abide by The Rule of Royko, when he pronounced on the subject of catsup on a hot dog, "It was Royko who once explained why it is wrong to use ketchup by saying: “It is wrong because it is not right.”or, as restated by moi,
No one can be forgiven for putting catsup on a hot dog, any hot dog unless they are under the age of eleven. If you are over the age of ten, there are only two ways to order a Chicago Hot Dog - with "everything" (also "the works") or "everything but peppers." There are guys sleeping with the fishes in Lake Michigan who uttered the word catsup.
This essay expands and edifies on the fine points of the ingredients: A Chicago Hot Dog Review for Madison Worth Your Time
As for Falkenstein's review, she should be banned from sampling any important culinary delight. Her lead is, "It's hard to get too persnickety about a food that's usually sold out of stainless steel street carts or hawked from boxes at ballgames.."
An older post that will make your mouth water. The pics contained here are lifted from real menus from real places that serve real Chicago Hot Dogs. A short dissertation on the cuke induced more pics: More Chicago Hot Dogs - The Pickle and Mushy Buns (Ugh):
...raises the question of the pickle or 'cuke.' The pickle that nestles alongside the hot dog is to be a 'new' pickle. One that has not been seasoned for a lengthy period of time. By definition that means it will crunch as the teeth penetrate.
Since you will not always have me around for guidance, when you check out unfamiliar street carts or stands in Chicago, and you want assurance that you are getting the real thing:
I watched the young woman take out the bun and carefully build my hot dog. Immediately I suspected there was something wrong. Missing was the the grizzled knuckles, hairy arms, the sweat dripping off her just as hairy brow, topped by a paper hat that looked like it been used to clean her shoes.
And that is my review on the newest place in Madison to offer hot dogs.