Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hot Dog Heaven

I was cooking dinner last week when Freddy called me in to the living room. He announced that the show he was watching on the Travel Channel had inspired him to add something to his “bucket list” or, more accurately, START a bucket list. A bucket list, for those who don’t know, is a list of things that one would like to do before they “kick the bucket”.

What was this totally awesome thing that inspired my dear 26-year-old husband to start his own bucket list? It was a show about the best hot dog stands in the United States. Freddy wants to visit them all before he dies. Correction. All but one. The one in New Jersey fries the hot dogs and places them in pizza bread with fried onions and fried potatoes. Judging by the looks of these things, a trip here might have to be the last thing you do on your bucket list. DISGUSTING!

The one I found most interesting (and most likely to visit) was...
The Varsity.

It's the Worlds Largest Drive-In. The Downtown Atlanta location is on more than two acres and can accommodate 600 cars and over 800 people inside. On days when the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets are playing a home game, over 30,000 people visit The Varsity.

Legendary Volume: Two miles of hot dogs, a ton of onions, 2500 pounds of potatoes, 5000 fried pies and 300 gallons of chili are made from scratch daily.

It just so happens that my boss, who is from Chicago and loves hot dogs, called while Freddy and I were having this discussion. I mentioned to him that two of the nation’s best hot dog (stands? Stores? Restaurants?) are located in his home town of Chicago. On Saturday Freddy and I got an invite from my boss to meet him (and another co-worker and her husband) at a hot dog (stand? Store? Restaurant?) the next day in Dallas called Wild About Harry’s. They serve Chicago-style hot dogs and many other style hot dogs but are also known for their custard.

Sidenote: Heroes - My husband for smiling every time I pull out my camera when I know that what he really wants to do is toss it in the trash can.

So, I ordered a Chicago-Style while both my husband and my boss ordered a Chicago-style AND a New York style hot dog. I was a little apprehensive at first – steamed poppy seed bun, hot dog (obviously), mustard, onion, relish, tomatoes and a pickle slice – BUT I LIKED IT! For those inquiring minds who want to know, I believe the New York style hot dog is just the bun, hot dog, spicy mustard, sauerkraut and maybe some onions. I also had the custard – plain old vanilla with m&ms. It was yummy, too.

New York on the left. Chicago on the right.

My Chicago. I took the peppers off.

Danny had some issues with the hot dog, which is understandable considering the amount of toppings on those things. Plus, he ordered a jumbo.

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