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Last Friday I had my first Chicago Hot Dog at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Plains, PA.
Actually it was called a Chicago Red Hot.
I saw a show about this on Food TV.
The Chicago Hot Dog consists of an all beef dog, spicier than most dogs, and "ran thru the garden". The beef dog is placed on a steamed poppy seed bun, mustard, a kosher dill spear, onions, neon green relish, tomatoes (wedges or diced), little sport peppers are also put on this dog.
A sport pepper is about the size and shape as a serano. The ones on the dog I had were mild.
Sometimes cucumbers are substituted for a dill spear.
Last, but not least, the dog gets a sprinking of celery salt.
The one I had at the food cout of the Casino was nice. It had the neon green relish - almost a bland/sweet taste. Diced tomatoes and onions, a bold mustard, a dill spear, sport peppers and celery salt. The dog was spicy, alomost like a kielbasa or a smoked sausage and snapped when you bit it. This version lacked the poppyseed bun.
The Chicago dog traditionally lacks ketchup. The last time I had ketchup on a hot dog was like when I was six years old.
I think it should have had some kraut on it. Next one I get I am gonna ask for some kraut.
Once I witnessed my aunt eat a hot dog with both chile sauce and kraut at the Exaltation of the Holy Cross Bazaar in Buttonwood. Now that was pushing the envelope.
That Chicago dog was good, but strange to NEPA as we are use to our Texas Wieners or chile dogs from places like the Coney Island in Scranton, or the Keystone Lunch in West Side (They have the best fresh cut fries) or Abes (the real Abes on South Main Street) in Wilkes-Barre.
I used to like Feris's on Barney Street too. My uncle used to take us there on Saturdays.
But that started the debate over who was better, Abes (on Barney Street) or Feris's. True hot dog lovers will always say they would never go to Abes on Barney Street because that is not the true Abes and compare Feris's to the Abes on South Main.
People up the line in the Greater Pittston Area will always debate over who was better - the Majestic Lunch or the Central. They both have good Texas Hot Dogs. Or should you get a Boagie at Savo's ? I used to like the Hot Dog Hoagie. Back in the day they used to put a footlong on an Italian Hoagie bun, top it with Chile Sauce, mustard, and onion.
Those from Avoca would stop at the Hobo Base and get a footlong instead, but only when it was in season. (Otherwise it was a #13 Super Hobo)
Of course the footlong that I grew up with, that is no longer with us is the footlong with everything from the Hasty Tasty in Plains.
I loved them. They had a wicked barbecue too, of either turkey, ham, pork or beef. And it was NEPA style, with relish, not sauce. I used to like their Ice Cream too.
But in the late 80's the Hasty Tasty sold its location on River Street in Plains and a bank moved there.
Anyway, despite all of those legendary dogs, the Super Dog at the Mohegan sun is worth checking out for the Chicago Dog and the other creations they have. Also they have a salad bar type affair of toppings and condiments for the do-it-yourselfers and you can even buy some of the mustards to take home.