I grew up on hot dogs. There’s something about ketchup and un inteligible pink torpedos blanched and seared on the stove on a slice of slightly oblong white bread from the bakery outlet that brings me back to 120 degree Saturday afternoons playing in the backyard with the hose and fishing in the evening. All that fushia white goodness covered in ketchup, mustard, relish, onions and tomatoes. I had no idea this was Chicago style until well into my teens and to me it’s still the only way to have a frankfurter. They were economical and something you could get any kid to eat.
In college, I found it hard to kill a pack of 8 hot dogs in 1 sitting and after the third day of hot dogs you only miss home so much. I think my hot dog eatting rate slowed a bit during that period. There was this place called Top Dog where the walls were plastered with political cartoons and articles. It wasn’t Nathans or Bar S off my parents stove by any means, but they grilled bratwurst on a flat top on a seasme roll and it did the job.
Last year I discovered hot dogs with kimchi, nori and siracha mayo in Seattle and my mind was blown. These days I don’t really get the chance to have a hot dog except for when it’s out of the back of a truck, but carpe canis.