Saturday as you dear readers know I attended an afternoon of my flavorite Chicago festival. And if you are like me and a Connoisseur of encased meats and are in search of the best of the best. Well then the Chicago History Museum’s Hot Dog Fest can probably help you quench that craving – just forget the ketchup.
We’re talking guacamole, pork, and other wild toppings from the likes of America’s Dog & Burger, Byron’s Hot Dogs, Cela’s Boricua, Chicago’s Doghouse, Luella’s Gospel Bird, Luella’s Southern Kitchen, Ribs1 BBQ, Wilson Dogs, Smilin’ Dogs, Slim’s Chicago, Bo’s Concessions, Pinstripes, Flashy Hot Dogs, GuacDog, Lola’s Coney Island, YoBerri, and El Campeon.
I spent 45 minutes making my rounds before being joined by Miss Ji who did the same and she decided to try the GuacDog from…..GuacDog $9: 4242 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, which was topped with grilled corn, roasted poblamo, guacamole, spicy mayo and cheddar.
I went to my local favorite Byron’s: 1017 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago/1701 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago and picked up a Jumbo Chicago style $7 yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices, pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt for myself, and a 1/2 Jumbo $4 for her.
We sat on a blanket enjoying our frankfurters and a little while later ventured back into the line for Chicago’s Dog House; 816 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, a local spot which till this weekend has somehow managed to escape me, but never again. It is now on my Chicago food tour map for when friends and family come to town.
Not only did they have the best I had this day but their spot/staff were by far the most entertaining. Upon some investigation I discovered that among the regular burger hot dog and fries options they also serve, Kangaroo Sausage, Wild Boar Bratwurst, Rattlesnake and Rabbit Sausage, Lamb Merguez Sausage and Apple Brandy Duck Sausage.
I chose the massive alligator sausage with caramelized onions and sweet Asian chili sauce $10 which was served almost immediately and she was the wiser of the two of us and opted for a WAGYU XL Sausage $10 which took about 15 minutes to prepare from scratch. 1/3 lb infused with jalapeno and nacho cheese topped off with hot giardiniera and stadium mustard.
If I were a judge this would win Best In Show.
WAGYU - a Japanese beef cattle breed – derive from native Asian cattle. ‘WAGYU’ refers to all Japanese beef cattle, where ‘Wa’ means Japanese and ‘gyu’ means cow.
Wagyu were originally draft animals used in agriculture, and were selected for their physical endurance. This selection favored animals with more intra-muscular fat cells – ‘marbling’ – which provided a readily available energy source. Wagyu is a horned breed and the cattle are either black or red in color.
Wagyu Beef hot dogs are a gourmet hot dog lover’s dream! Juicy and full of flavor!
We spread out the blanket again and enjoyed. We ended my tour by topping it off with 2 cups of yogurt $5 each from Yoberri Gourmet 2224 N Clark St, Chicago.
It was the best Hot Dog Fest I’ve been to yet.
The interview I did with our new friend Angela Denk was smooth sailing. I had been familiar with her writing for maybe about 6 months and we follow one-another on social media and when she posted a story about freaking out over unprotected sex with a partner I was impressed with her honesty and thought she’d be a wonderful guest on the show. Turns out I thought right and she fell right into place upon her arrival and the hour went by very quickly. If the response on Soundcloud maintains at the current level till Wednesday it’ll be up there with one of our best shows.
Of course I would discuss some of my recent misadventures and do a Cliffs Notes sketch of my Friday and Saturday which I think made for some good fodder. Alex backed off from kissing a girl. So much for my public persona. That and bringing up my failed OD last autumn surely showed signs that I am indeed human.
I got the following message from a listener in Ireland of all places when I woke this morning.
Heh Alex. Listened to your last podcast last night . Just wanted to say I think it was very brave of you to talk about trying to off yourself .
I tried to hang myself a while back.
You’re a very sharp witty and likeable dude .. and that took some balls to admit to ..
I hope you are in a better place mentally now . Take care d
And all this time I thought it was Mike Ryan listening from Ireland. I’ve never met this Dave guy but hey…I’m glad he gets it. And for the record it had NOTHING to do with a woman. I haven’t been in a relationship since 2016 and I intend to tread back into those waters with the utmost caution. Financially a year ago I was in a hole so deep I came very close to losing everything I’ve ever worked for. So that was it. Luckily that bad streak ended right after. Pretty much the next day. But I was sick for nearly a week.
I’m still very pissed at the judgmental asshole ex boss that put me there. The prick that he is. But right now I’m in a really good place and choose wisely those who I allow in my home as well as my inner circle.