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.