January 25, 2006
Rejoice, you Vienna-Beef-less

I learn from Gaper's Block that Chicago hot dog legend Vienna Beef has now opened an online store so those of you outside Chicago can finally experience a truly good weiner.

If you're eating a hot dog and it's not from Vienna Beef (or possibly from Hot Doug's), you're not eating a good hot dog. Nathan's, Pink's, Grey's Papaya, whatever - pale imitations. You gotta try these, or the Chicago kosher-style (but not kosher sealed) brand, David Berg.

If you're in Chicago, of course, there's a very good chance that dog you're eating already is a good Vienna Beef dog on a steamed poppyseed bun with yellow mustard, raw onions, pickle, bright green relish, lettuce, tomato, celery salt, and hot peppers. NO ketchup! NO NO NO NO NO!

When I ate hot dogs regularly, I'd omit the relish, but the ketchup rule is vital - mustard is for hotdogs, ketchup is for burgers. Oh, and softball is a game played with a bad beer in one hand (Old Style, preferably), no mitt, and a 16" Clincher ball. That's the Chicago way.

Note that they offer gift packs, including a Valentine's Kit that includes a pair of Vienna Beef boxers, hot dogs, condiments and buns. They have no slogan for the gift pack, but I'll offer this one free of charge - "Why not stop the heart of the one who stopped yours?"

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at January 25, 2006 12:20 PM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

That certainly brings back memories! I lived in Illinois for many years and a Vienna Dog was THE hot dog. The other big thing was the Italian beef sandwiches, which are quite good.


Posted by Sher on January 26, 2006 at 10:18 AM

Although I respected the ketchup with hamburgers and mustard with hotdogs rule throughout my Chicago childhood, I flout it now. Gimme ketchup on my dog...along with the onions, relish, pickled jalepeno peppers, mustard, tomatoes and anything else on offer. Yum.

The best ones are at Brookfield zoo, IMHO. But that could be partly the atmosphere!

Posted by Meg in Paris on January 26, 2006 at 12:10 PM

The only improvement to Barrett's description is to grill the dog instead of boiling or steaming! Yum-O! :-) We try not to eat them in front of our Dachshund, though. Bad karma... My mom had 3 jars of celery salt last time I rummaged in her spice drawer. Dad must buy one each time he gets a pack of dogs.

Posted by Monica on January 26, 2006 at 4:13 PM

Grey's Papaya is inferior... please try Papaya King (on 86th St and 3rd Avenue) next time you are in NY... I dream about them from my snowy little village in Switzerland... (I haven't had the privilege of trying Chicago hot dogs though)

Posted by maki on January 26, 2006 at 8:02 PM


As a self proclaimed expert in Hot Dogs, Cheese burgers, fries and steak au pouive, I can tell you unequivocally the only hot dog that goes past my lips straight for my heart and a tear of gratitude drops from my ever green eyes, is a Vienna Hot Dog. NO CATCHUP damn it Janet. I have had-these beauties any hour of day or night, white table cloth and silver service to dine and dashing to the airport. Hot damn I diggy that Dog OFFICIALLY RATED


Tina O

Posted by Tina Hillstrom on July 31, 2010 at 7:32 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please be sure you read and agree with our ADVERTISING POLICY before posting.