Chicago Hot Dog Fest 2013: N.Y.C. vs. Cincy vs. Chicago

Chicago Hot Dog Fest 2013: N.Y.C. vs. Cincy vs. Chicago
What's wrong with this hot dog? A Chicago Dog, no, no.

A red hot celebration is about to get underway at the Chicago History Museum’s first ever Hot Dog Fest on Sunday, August 11.

Whether it is the sauerkraut topped New York dog…yuck; the chili and cheese smothered “Cheese Coney” Cincinnati dog…yuck; or the array of toppings loaded on the iconic Chicago dog…yea…the hot dog is an American institution and almost a religion in Chicago.

The Museum’s Hot Dog Fest will offer more than eight different takes on the hot dog highlighting famous and traditional dogs from various cities across America…no ketchup please. There will also be live music from the Chicago History Museum’s house band, Rusty and the Artifacts, playing classic Chicago blues music on the back steps of the museum along with games and a cash bar.

And since the fest takes place at the history museum, there will be a little culture in the mix as well with authors Bruce Kraig and Patty Carroll speaking about hot dog culture in America and their book “Man Bites Dog”

Bring your appetite as you may want to try and compare all the different toppings (even though we know what city has the best). The hot dogs, priced at $2 each including toppings, are a real bargain. But before you go you may want to do your homework, specifically on the Chicago Dog, so you can make sure that you are not getting an impostor. Here’s what you need to know so you won’t look like a weenie:

The Four Requirements for a Chicago Style Dog:

  1. A Chicago Style Dog is never boiled.  It is steamed to approximately 170 to 180 degrees.
  2. It is served in a poppy seed bun.
  3. The dog must be all beef and usually that means Vienna Beef Hot Dogs which comprise about 80% of hot dogs served in Chicago.
  4. Make sure your dog has snap. In other words, when you bite into your dog you should notice a slight resistance from the casing, this is snap.

A Chicago dog must be dressed with the following toppings and in this order:

After the dog is correctly placed in the bun, add:   
1.  Yellow mustard. 2.   Bright “Neon” Green relish.
 3.  Fresh chopped onions. 
4. Two tomato wedges. 
5. A pickle spear, not slice. 6. Two to three sport peppers.
 7. A dash of celery salt.

Event Information:

The event will take place on Uihlein Plaza located behind the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark on Sunday, August 11, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Entrance to this outdoor event on is free.  The first 100 guests will receive a free picnic meal, which will include eight meal tickets. After the first 100, guests can purchase the full picnic meal with eight tickets for $10 or a kid’s version with six meal tickets for $5.  In addition, the museum will be open to event attendees from 2.30 p.m. until 4.30 p.m.

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