Superdawg – Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Superdawg – Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Get Your Red Hots!

Think Chicago and you may think deep-dish pizza and Italian beef. But at the mention of hot dogs – well, no other American city gets so excited about the tradition of the humble “red hots,” as they’re called hereabouts. A savory icon of the city’s hardscrabble working-class landscape, the Chicago dog is one of the great specialties in America’s culi­nary hall-of-fame.

Chicagoans are deeply divided about where to go for the dog to end all dogs, but there are several top contenders. The plump Vienna-brand beauties of tiny Byron’s (1017 W. Irving Park Road) are buried underneath any combination of eleven top­pings, while Gold Coast Dogs (418 N. State) offers an inspired specimen of a classic frank­furter and the best cheese fries in town.

But there is something special about the classic drive-in fun promised at Superdawg, open since 1948. Not only are the red hots flaw­less here, but so is the funky ambience, where you still order from outdoor “Order Matic” speakers and have your tray delivered by a carhop waitress who’ll attach it to the side of your vehicle with a smile. Order your dinner with fries and the box reads, “Your Superdawg lounges inside con­tentedly cushioned … in Superfries, and comfortably attired in mustard, relish, onion, pickle, hot peppers.”

No one can explain why, of the two huge hot dogs with light-up eyes that dance atop the diner, the boy hot dog is dressed like Tarzan. Don’t forget to order an ultrathick eat-it-with-a-spoon milk shake, and don’t even think about putting ketchup on that ‘dawg.

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