Friday, February 5, 2010

A Dog Above All Others...

So, I have lived in Wisconsin for 20+ years.  Since the day I moved to the state, I have searched for a place that makes good Chicago style hot dogs and beef sandwiches.  Kevin will definitely attest to my wanting one of three things when I go down to visit family.  One are White Castles hamburgers, the second are hot dogs, and the third is a good Italian beef sandwich drenched in au jus.

Up until this week, the only type of hot dog I have been able to find in this area is the infamous "roller" dog.  You know the type, spinning on those stainles tubes for hours and hours and hours.  You think they are a hot dog in natural casing because they have that crisp skin, but they are not.  That crisp skin is because they have been rolling for indefinite periods of time.

Now, I am by no means a snob when it comes to food but hot dogs are the exception.  If I am going out to a restaurant for a hot dog, I want an all-beef Vienna hot dog.  The kind that snaps when you bite into it.  And, it has to have a steamed bun with poppy seeds on it.  Everyone has their own topping choices and mine include catsup, relish, onions, tomato, dill pickle, celery salt and sport peppers (little green fireballs).  This is a true Chicago-style hot dog.

After all these years, my dream came true.  On Wednesday night, we took a ride into Manitowoc (Wisconsin) to the home improvement store.  Normally, we would choose the Chinese buffet or Burger King.  But lately, we have wanted to visit a restaurant called Dr. Dawg .  When we walked in I noticed immediately several key names on the sign.  Brands such as Gonnella bread, Vienna Beef Hot Dogs, Maxwell Polish, and Scala's beef.  My eyes must have gotten to be the size of small saucers because Kevin looked at me like I was about to jump out of my skin!  This place had definite promise!

We placed our orders and waited for the food to be brought to our table.  WOW, fast turnaround!  Also, some of the friendliest people.  I got really excited when we opened up our "sack" of fries to reveal they were the thin fries with the skin still left on them!  Just like my dad made at the family stand he ran.  Was definitely liking this more and more.  And then, the food itself.  VERY GOOD!  They even had Green River soda.

As we were leaving, I asked the gentleman behind the if by chance the owner was from Chicago.  Sure enough, he was!  I just knew it.  

I can honestly say, we will be going back many, many more times.  Afterall, they have a whole menu we have to go through.


  1. Great post, Steve. It's funny,as much as I travel for business I am always amazed at how lucky we are in Chicago for the food we have. No other ares of the country, and I mean NONE, have dogs, pizza or beef sandwiches like us. You would think NY would, but not even close. Someone could retire in Florida, open up a restaurant and make a ton of $$$.


  2. Great post Steve. You made me hungry for the great Chicago food again. You may be a hot dog snob but I am a Italian Beef snob. Just wish we had a Portillo's here, the best beef and dogs around.


  3. Karin...Portillo's holds NOTHING to Al's Beef on Taylor Street downtown. Next time I go down I will have to bring you one back! Steve

  4. Ok! You did it, I am now officially hungry for a hotdog!!! Next time you'll have to take David and I with you. There's nothing like a good beef hotdog!

    Linda M.

  5. Too funny! You make Dr. Dawg sound tempting and I'm not a fan of hot dogs. I'll have to take Mark there - he can always go for a good hot dog!


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