Hiya, and welcome to Superdawgs!
Watching Rick Sebak’s “A Hot Dog Program” is, for me, like taking mass on a high holiday or viewing the Constitution–it’s done with extreme reverence, breathless anticipation, and with diligent desire to understand everything that’s going on. So when I get to visit one of the stands highlighted in his program, I solemnly thank god for Rick Sebak and the hot dog, and then run inside squealing like a little kid approaching a present-laden Christmas tree.
Much to the embarrassment of my parents, that’s exactly what happened when I jumped from the car after pulling into Superdawg in Chicago. Doing my usual thing, I whipped out my camera, stopped screaming for a second, calmed down my heavy breathing, and began to document my trip.
Everything here is super- prefixed, excepting the whoopercheesie, but I bypassed the superchic and went straight for the superdawg. Weighing in a little under $5 and coming with fries, I’d call it a steal. Ordering a meal that way was a little difficult for me, however, because I usually try at least two hot dogs at every stand I visit–but there’s only one superdawg, and I had a plane to catch, so I held myself to one dog and saved my cardiac surgeon a bit of trouble in the future.
Because we ordered inside my family wasn’t greeted by the “Hiya, and welcome to Superdawgs”–it was a little disappointing, but probably helped me to save face because it would have sent me into another round of squealing a là preteen girls catching sight of NKOTB circa 1989.
Once we received our superdawgs we went into the dining room and began to eat the only way a person faced with a Chicago dog should: standing up, so anything that gets spilled finds its way to the floor and not your shirt front. The boxes their food comes in must be used as examples in college-level design and advertising classes. I’m not much of a sentimental guy, but I deeply wanted to take the box with me on my trip back home to show off. I hesitated to do so, however, figuring that if the ever-vigilant TSA agents are willing to frisk elderly women in wheelchairs then their drug and bomb-sniffing dogs would take a liking to me and I wouldn’t arrive home until next week.
Hopefully all of you reading has had a Chicago dog, or at least know what it’s made of–but have you eaten one with a pickled green tomato? Oh, heavenly bliss! With the pickle, sport peppers and pickled tomato the dog was a triple-threat of vinegar and heat. On your typical Chicago dog the fresh red tomato cools down the heat of the sport peppers, while the pickle’s vinegar rides alongside–but on this dog, you didn’t get any reprieve from the spice, and I loved it that way. The all-beef (or pure beef, as they call it) dog was a hearty lifeline of flavor that stood up to all the sour of the garden veggies and the bun did an expert job of not falling apart and dumping my lunch on the floor. I think the bun must have held because it was steamed–it had that extra flexibility that allowed it to give just enough to keep everything intact.
It took a bit of effort to pry the superdawg from its bed of french fries they shove in the box, but once I did so I had even more trouble keeping the condiments on the dog–which meant it was a bona fide Chicago dog. After reassembling the dog, my family and I began to chow down in silence.
After removing the sport peppers, my mom made short work of her dog. After finishing, she mentioned she doesn’t usually go in for raw white onions, but didn’t even notice them on this garden dog.
The way my dad eats, it’s like watching a guy work–check out how his forearm flexes as he delivers the last bite! Just kidding dad, you know I love you–how could you not appreciate a guy who drives you three hours to a hot dog joint?
Like any good stand, Superdawg posts their many accolades throughout. These two caught my eye, however–isn’t it a little morbid to think about life without a visit to Superdawg?
With a tear in my eye and sport peppers on my breath, I bid a fond adieu to Superdawgs and made the one-mile trip to O’Hare airport. Seriously, if you’re experiencing a layover in Chicago then you need to damn the return trip through security and take a cab straight to Superdawgs. While eating there, we saw a young couple do just that and it looked like no malicious TSA agent or screaming brats could relieve them of their beatific post-Superdawg expressions.