Be Frank and Eat Franks

The continuing saga of Chicago’s hot dog wars. 

Don’t despair. Yes, National Hot Dog Day (July 23) has passed, as has Dog Dayz of Summer (June 27 and 28). But the hot dog is far from forgotten. At least not in Chicago, where the wiener has been elevated to an art form—then shoved in the mouth.

Chicago is …

… where the smell deserves reverence. Do not raise your children in a hot-dog vacuum. At the Chicago History Museum in Lincoln Park, “Sensing Chicago” introduces the little ones to epic city smells, like the prairie, the great Chicago fire, and hot dogs.

… where ketchup is an unacceptable condiment, or is it? Discuss amongst yourselves at the Ketchup and Controversy symposium. That’s just part of the fun at the Chicago Hot Dog Festival. This celebratorium comes with clout, held as it is at a fine cultural institution.

… where Paulina Meat Market has serious sausage chops? The meat emporium will be at the festival showing off their sausages.

… where newcomers are suspect and then eaten heartily, like the dogs at the relatively new Rapidito in Lincoln Park. The city is all about the pile-on, but the South American version is obscene. Cheese? Crushed potato chips? Pulled chicken? Quail eggs? This is the hot dog that comes with utensils. Not for the faint of heart.

… where the condiment of real record, mustard, has a museum. Diehards of condiments may take the day (about two and a half hours by car) to Middleton, Wisconsin’s National Mustard Museum to examine the more than 5,000 varieties of the stuff. The streets are awash in yellow for National Mustard Day (August 1).

Chicago_hot_dog-wikiPhoto by Superx308 via Wikimedia Creative Commons

persistence of condimentsHeader photo via National Mustard Museum

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