Batter’s Up: The Dish on Hot Dogs Around Town

In Chicago, we are all used to the most common kind of dog, the hot dog. This year, some of Chicago’s best restaurants have upped the ante with these gourmet dogs, just in time for Opening Day! Which one is on your radar to devour this season?

Old Town Social:
No need for an instant replay here, Chef Jared Van Camp’s house-made dogs hit it out of the park thanks to his “no mystery meat” recipes, seen below:

VAN CAMP’S STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS FOR MAKING HOT DOGS IN THE KITCHEN AT OLD TOWN SOCIAL:
Step 1: Butcher the hog using whole animals from local farmers. The original hot dogs used beef & pork because beef can absorb significantly more water than pork or veal, and we do the same. Specifically, we use Heritage Breed Pork & local beef.

Step 2: Break down the lean cuts and fat cuts. Salt meat & fat to prevent oxidation during emulsification

Step 3: Cure those cuts over night

Step 4: Grind and Emulsify

Step 5: Make it into a batter

Step 6: Stuff batter into all-natural sheep casing (for the snap!)

Step 7: Let them sit over night to form a pellicle (a coating of protein which allows smoke to adhere to the surface during the smoking process)

Step 8: Smoke them for about an hour

Step 9: Shower them with spray gun

Step 10: Grill them

Voila! Serve them with house made condiments!

HOUSE MADE MINI HOT DOGS at OLD TOWN SOCIAL ($10)
choice of 3: chicago, coney or corn dog
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Chef Michael Kornick hits a double at DMK Burger & Fish where he serves up two different signature dogs:
The Hot Dog #1: served with deli mustard, fries, and giardiniera on a sesame seed bun.
DMK BF Hot Dog number 1
The Hot Dog #2: DMK’s take on a chili dog, tops the dog with Merkt’s cheddar, charred balsamic red onions, pork hatch green chili, and scallions on a sesame seed bun.
DMK BF Hot Dog number 2

Chef Brett Neubauer at Howells & Hood offers a World Series version of the authentic Chicago Style Hot Dog with this hybrid that includes Vienna Beef mini dogs wrapped and fried in potatoes with tomato powder, poppy seeds, mustard relish, celery salt, sport peppers.
Howells and Hood

Along with Big Bar’s signature over-sized cocktails, fans can indulge in a Chicago-style Foot Long Hot Dog topped with onions, green relish, cucumber, tomatoes, sport peppers, and celery salt, and is accompanied with French fries.

Stepping out of the batters box is arguably the most hard hitting dog on your taste-buds (in a GREAT way!) Chef John Manion at La Sirena Clandestina offers a South America-inspired dog with their Cachorro Quente, a Brazilian-style hot dog with black beans, malagueta mayo, pickled fresnos and mustard sauce.
Cachorro Quente

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