Hot Dog Fest in Full Swing

2015-08-08-16-00-15For the seventh year in a row, the Chicago History Museum is sponsoring its yearly Hot Dog Festival, featuring guest speakers and no fewer than seventeen purveyors of encased meat, at least one of them using guacamole as a condiment, of all things.

You don’t see hot dog joints barging into Chipotle and begging them to add dogs to their menu. I am a melting pot kind of guy, but some things are sacred. What’s next? Ketchup?

Speaking of “melting,” cheese on a dog can be fabulous, especially when they are wrapped in bacon and broiled. My silver-haired mother who often proclaimed, "Food Is Love," would make three at a time for me when I was in high school. Helps explain some things, I suppose.

Pretty sure you’ll find some cheese among the vendors, which include: America's Dog & Burger, Byron's Hot Dogs, Cela's Boricua, Chicago's Doghouse, Luella's Gospel Bird, Luella's Southern Kitchen, Ribs1 BBQ, Wilson Dogs, Smilin' Dogs, Slim's Chicago, Bo's Concessions, Pinstripes, Flashy Hot Dogs, GuacDog, Lola's Coney Island, YoBerri, and El Campeon.

The event, held at 1701 North Stockton Drive in Chicago, runs through tomorrow evening. They are asking for a five-dollar donation, but if you dress as a hot dog, you’ll probably get in free.

The history of the hot dog is fascinating, and experts Bob Schwartz (2:00 p.m.) and Bruce Kraig (2:30) will take the stage and discuss same.

They say that hot dogs were once called “dachshund sausages” and were sold by a German immigrant out of a food cart in New York in the 1860s. Some say that the Columbia Exposition in 1893 in Chicago was the real birth of the Chicago dog – frankly, it creeps me out to think of serial mass murderer "Devil in the White City" H.H. Holmes chomping gleefully on one of these while plotting his next kill in his home abattoir.

Live music includes “Tributosaurus Becomes The Rolling Stones” taking the stage tonight. I paid a few hundred bucks a ticket to see the Stones a few months ago, so the five-buck donation is a bargain if these guys pull off anything close to the moves like Jagger.

Hot-C and I attended the event four years ago, and it was fun seeing the variety of hot dogs on hand. Call me atavistic, but I still like the pure Chicago Style dog experience. Hold the guac -- between your knees.

Here’s a vid we did back then:

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