Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We have a WEINER!!

Vienna Beef Hot Dog Stand
Chicago O'Hare Airport
Chicago Illinois

Food: The Quintessantial Classic Chicago Style Hot Dog Dragged throught the Garden

After three days of mind numbing meetings I couldn’t help but be disappointed. Normally as I, SuitOchoCinco, travel the country I am blown away by the culinary treasures I am continually running into.

But not this time, my two ventures this week had left me wanting and needing more. Neither location was amazing and a quiet sadness set in, not like a “Barack Obama is President” sadness, but a sadness none the less.

I was crammed into the hotel shuttle and after 15 minutes of chaotic traffic thrown from the side door onto the curb of O’Hare airport. Herded through security like cattle I, as always, refused the naked body scanner and proceeded to my gate, C1.

Halfway down the concourse I saw it. A huge sign for the one thing I desired to try, the holy grail of culinary delights… the local hot dog. See… Chicago is known for its Chicago Dog “Dragged thru the Garden” and I have always wanted to devour one.

The sign said I’d find this treasure right near Gate C6 so I grabbed my roll along and set out on a mission. I got nervous feeling in my stomach, I mean if the Chicago Style Pizza was bunk, and the world renowned Berghoffs was less than stellar, could it be the Chicago Dog was a myth too? a chill ran through my body. There is only one way to find out.

I got to C6 and there it was… a five foot by five foot section of the airport specifically created to dole out Chicago’s most cherished treasure. I looked across the counter and was greeted with a cheerful hello and “what can I get you?”, I had waited to say this for over 20 years and I responded with, “Ill take your classic Chicago style Hot dog (pause) Dragged through the Garden. The clerk took pause at my perfect recitation of the name and smiled a half smile in acknowledgement of the fact I ordered it correctly and set to work.

She pulled out a fresh poppy seed hot dog bun and placed an extra large all beef kosher dog directly in the middle, she topped it with Frenchs yellow mustard, and proceeded to the guts, she slathered sweet relish up and down its back, followed diced onions, a multitude of tiny peppers, two fresh slices of tomato, two fresh slices of cucumber, a full sized pickle spear but that’s not all. She was missing one ingredient and she knew it as she attempted to cockily it to me… But I of course refused and asked “what about the cel……” she cut me off, she was just confirming I was a true Connoisseur of their fabled delicacy “yes the celery salt” she smiled and sprinkled on the final ingredient.

She gave me a wink and a nod that all but confirmed I met her approval, that I unlike the thousands of others that came before me… knew my wieners.

I paid her for her perfectly constructed creation and set out to find a location to partake in this culinary delight.

I sat down and grabbed a wad of napkins, and picked up the dog with BOTH hands and took my first bite… SUCCESS!!! It was the perfect blend of all the ingredients. I was instantly transported back over thirty years ago to when I tried my very first hot dog. I felt 5 again and I handily destroyed that dog making sure to devour every single last ingredient.

This was the best breakfast I have ever had. Just when I had given up. I was blown away. Who knew the Vienna Beef hot dog stand in the Chicago O’Hare Airport at gate C6 was capable of salvaging an entire trip… I certainly didn’t.

SuitOchoCinco was leaving the land of the liberals and government cheese a happy and satisfied man.

Rating: Bought the Shirt

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