Dish of the Week: The Chicago-Style Hot Dog

Categories: How To, Recipes

Photo by Jeremy Keith
Warning: no ketchup allowed.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post.

This week, we're sharing one of the best ways to pump up your last days of summer hot dogs: The Chicago-Style Dog.

In Chicago, this iconic all-beef frankfurter gets steamed then dressed-to-the-nines. Served on a poppy seed bun, the dog is topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sweet pickle relish, "sports peppers" (pickled peppers), tomato slices/wedges, and pickle spears. Of course, we can't forget the celery salt. Though we can forget the ketchup -- it's pretty much an unacceptable hot dog topping in Chicago.

But before Chicago started "dragging" its dogs "through the garden," the city revolutionized hot dog processing by perfecting dis-assembly lines in the mid-19th century. Soon after, these cheap meats were popularized among the Chicago working class, which eventually paved the way to the all-mighty Chicago dog.

Some believe it was Jewish immigrants who influenced the all-beef wiener and poppy seed bun, while Italians and Greeks may have contributed the tomato, onions, pickled peppers, and relish. And because many early immigrants worked their own celery farms, celery salt was added to the mix.

The Chicago-style dog became an icon during the Great Depression, where Fluky's hot dog stand on the historic Maxwell Street began offering the "Depression Sandwich" for a nickel. The fully loaded number was a hit and soon the idea spread with hot dog stands popping up all over the city. Today, there are over 1,800 hot dog vendors in Chicago, many of which will NOT serve you ketchup.

More »

Three Labor Day Cocktails From Houston Bartenders

Categories: Booze

Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg
Make a classic mint julep today with Alba Huerta's recipe.
The Labor Day holiday is here. And it's a day for sleeping in, relaxing, swimming at the pool, cooking on the grill and most importantly, not working. When we think about the best plans for a day off from work, we think sipping on a great cocktail is on the agenda.

We spoke with three local bartenders (Alba Huerta of Julep, Justin Burrow of Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar and Raul Rojas of The Honeymoon) and had them provide us with a cocktail recipe they would like to drink on Labor Day.

More »

Five Burger and Local Craft Beer Pairings for Labor Day

Photo by Carla Soriano
Which No Label brew did we choose to pair with a turkey burger?
Most of us will spend our Labor Day outside by the pool (weather permitting) and will likely use the grill to make our lunch or dinner. Barbecue ribs and steaks are great Labor Day meals, but so are burgers. And what goes best with burgers? Well, fries, of course, but the other major accompaniment is beer.

When pairing burgers with beer, it's more than just matching the type of meat to the brew; you also have to consider the other components. We're talking about the cheese, sauce, bread and condiments.

Local grocery stores have a wide assortment of local craft beers, so you don't have to visit a restaurant or bar in the city to sip on one of those fine selections. Check out these five burger and local craft beer pairings to enjoy this holiday.

More »

The Most Underrated Fried Chicken in Houston...According to You

Photo by Robb Walsh
Barbecue Inn's is known for its cooked-to-order fried chicken.
Texas is known for its juicy barbecue, sensational Tex-Mex and oh so yummy comfort cuisine. But, it's also known for good old Southern food, and to us that means fried chicken.

It's a staple at picnic lunches or church potluck meals. The crispy, crunchy buttermilk coating around tender, juicy chicken meat is an undeniable combination. Smother it in white gravy, dunk in ketchup or barbecue sauce, or eat it in its state of perfection. Houston is blessed with a bountiful amount of fried chicken eateries and local restaurants serving up dishes showcasing the deep-fried Southern specialty.

We all know that if you want a solid bucket of fried chicken, you go to Frenchy's. Heck, you can even go to KFC and walk away a happy camper. But, there's also the Rice Box Truck where the fried chicken is served with an egg roll, and new-kid-on-the block Funky Chicken is making a name for itself with its choice of slow roasted or crispy fried chicken.

And who could forget Food & Wine ranking Barbecue Inn's fried chicken as one of the best in America? The cooked-to-order fried chicken has a crust that never falls off of the tender white meat, so each bite is laced with the beautiful golden crust.

More »

Unlimited, Unusual Quesadilla Creations to Be Made at Freebirds

Categories: On the Menu

Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Freestyle Quesadilla from Freebirds

"Why would you ever go to a place that specializes in burritos and order a quesadilla? That's like getting lo mein at a pizza place." -Anonymous

Because Freebirds, my friends, provides a unique opportunity to make your own funky one-of-a-kind quesadilla. While at most other burrito, Tex-Mex, taco restaurants, your quesadilla filling choices (if any) are limited as well as conventional (chicken or cheese or pork or steak), at Freebirds the entire line of proteins, cheeses, tortillas, salsas, vegetables, herbs, and sauces are available for incorporation into your burrito.

What results is not so much the tyranny of choice (though the decisive may disagree) but the potential for spontaneous creativity. Some roasted garlic with your chicken and jack cheese quesadilla? Why not? Not so excited about having a flour tortilla with your carnitas and queso fresco quesadilla? Go for the cayenne.

Although half the fun is designing your own special (note: not necessarily delicious) combination, here are some suggestions:

More »

These Three Local Products Will Make You a Labor Day Hero

Categories: Season's Eating

Photo by Greg Habermann
You'll be on fire this Labor Day.
Would you like to be the hero of that Labor Day party you're going to this weekend? Would you like to be complimented, have your name chanted, and/or be carried around the party like you're goddamn Cleopatra?

If you've answered yes to any of the above, we're here to help. It's as easy as showing up to your end of summer party with one of these local products (and a game plan on how to use them) in hand. Here's what to do:

See also: BBQ Like A Boss: 5 Homemade Sauces for Your Labor Day Cookout

More »

The 5 Best Things to Eat or Drink This Weekend: Get in Line at Revival Market for Kolaches on Saturday

Categories: Edible Events

Photo courtesy of Revival Market
Kolache Saturday is happening this weekend at Revival Market.
Food Truck Friday @ Houston Press
Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
2603 La Branch

Yummy Dog will be at the Houston Press
offices today from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. to serve lunch. Come grab one of the truck's specialty dogs, such as the German Shepherd featuring a bratwurst with sauerkraut or grilled onions and spicy brown mustard on a pretzel bun, or one of the newest creations, the 102 Degrees hot dog with extra spicy smoked pork, Creole mustard, pico de gallo and pickled jalapeno on a pretzel bun.

Kolache Breakfast @ Revival Market
Saturday, 8 a.m.
550 Heights

Kolaches are back at Revival Market this Saturday, starting at 8 a.m., but we all know to get there early so we can secure one of those tasty breakfast pastries, right? This Saturday, Revival will be serving up sweet fig, ricotta and honey, and peach and pecan kolaches, along with savory chicken sausage and sage klobasneks, as well as ones stuffed with keilbasa and cheddar cheese. All of the offerings are made from scratch, so you don't want to miss out on this special breakfast.

More »

Upcoming Events: September Is National All-American Breakfast Month

Categories: Edible Events

Photo courtesy of The Epicurean Publicist
Bradley's Fine Diner will serve pigs in a blanket stuffed with pork belly.
Throughout the entire month of September, several restaurants will be celebrating National All-American Breakfast Month. Funky Chicken is promoting its Funky Brunch offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. featuring chicken and waffles, chicken biscuit sandwiches and mimosas. Bradley's Fine Diner has an a la carte brunch available on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. where guests can choose from sweet dishes, such as warm doughnuts with lemon curd and buttermilk griddle cakes topped with blueberry compote and maple syrup, or stick to something savory, such as the short rib hash or pork belly pigs in a blanket. Skeeter's Mesquite Grill expanded its usual breakfast and brunch menu, available Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. until noon, so guests can feast on chicken and waffles, breakfast tacos and breakfast enchiladas. Laurenzo's will offer a new weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays in September from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. where guests can fill up on eggs Benedict in seven different forms, including ones topped with crab, ham, beef tenderloin or smoked salmon. Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen on Woodway will feature a made-to-order pancakes and eggs breakfast buffet on Sundays, while the Westheimer location will serve breakfast dishes on Sundays a la carte.

More »

Openings & Closings: Play Strip Twister and Get Evicted

Categories: Restaurant News

Photo by Joanna O'Leary
Zelko Bistro remains open in the Heights and you can still get this cheese plate.
Another Upper Kirby establishment closed its doors this week. Irish pub Mugsy's at 2239 Richmond shuttered on Sunday, August 24, but the co-owner Randy Eddy tells Eater Houston that he is closing the Irish pub and replacing it with a New Orleans-style restaurant, Tavern Orleans. The menu will feature Creole and Cajun dishes, such as classic gumbo, shrimp creole and etouffee, along with unique items like chicory coffee-crusted pork chops. The new French Quarter restaurant is set to open on Tuesday, September 2.

As reported by Swamplot, Judge Randy Wilson granted temporary injunction which prevents Zelko Bistro's landlord from placing a for lease sign outside the restaurant at 705 E. 11th. The judge made this decision on August 20, but 30 days from that ruling date, Zelko Bistro and its landlord must "mediate the dispute." As for now, the Heights restaurant remains open, so you can stuff your face with the incredible cheese plate served with a side of fresh honeycomb; and don't forget about the St. Arnold's short ribs.

More »

The 5 Best Washington Corridor Happy Hours

Photo by Troy Fields
Cozy up to Coppa's bar for happy hour treats like no other.
If you love happy hour as much as we do, you'll love this new series. We're taking a look at the best happy hours in town, 'hood by 'hood. To narrow it down, we're focusing on the spots with the best deals on not only drinks, but eats, too. From upscale eateries serving bar bites and half-priced wine to dives with cheap beer and burgers, we've got it all. See the complete list at the end of this post

This week, we're taking a look at the bars and restos in Washington Corridor.

Note: For purposes of this post, the Washington Corridor is defined as the strip of Washington running from Westcott to Houston, with a few blocks north or south on either side.

Honorable Mention: $2 off wines and beers by the glass and mid-day bites at BRC Gastropub; drink specials and burger and steak nights at Winston on Washington's dog-friendly patio; and half-priced apps at J. Black's.

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault