Originally posted by Lucky Bishop
<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<div style="border: 1px #999999 solid; background-color: #DCDCDC; padding: 4px;">Originally posted by chicagostyledog
Our signature dog is a special jumbo made by Vienna Beef. This is an adult dog with the right blend of spices. The dogs are boiled and served on a steamed S.Rosen/Mary Anne poppy seed bun. The condiments are supplied by Vienna/Chipico(Chicago Pickle Company): neon green relish, sport peppers, and kosher dill pickle spears. The tomatoes and onions are cut fresh daily. You may apply all the mustard and celery salt your heart desires. We prepare the dogs and you get to dress them. It's a simple process and the customer dresses the dog exactly the way they want it.
Not to take anything away from Chicago's dogs, which are always uniformly fine, the best hot dogs on earth are found in Toronto. They follow the above procedure right down to allowing the customers to dress their own dogs, but with some very important improvements:
1. The foot-long dogs (beef and pork unless it's a kosher stand, natural casing, well-spiced but not distractingly so, usually from Shopsy's) are boiled and kept warm. When you order a dog, the cartman selects a dog, slices it crosswise four times with a lame (the razor that bakers score loaves of bread with before they're baked) and grills it over charcoal until crispy!
2. Meanwhile, the steamed roll (which is often poppy-seed-bedecked but ALWAYS a buttery shade of yellow you will not find outside of Toronto) is sliced open and grilled on the inside as well, to give it some structural integrity. The cartman takes your money, hands you your Coke and then, when your dog is ready, hands it to you on several napkins. Then you're on your own, faced with...
3. The most complete topping bar you have ever seen. This is what you will find on the average Toronto hot dog cart:
Four kinds of mustard (yellow, brown, Dijon, and either Chinese or honey, but for some reason never both)
Two kinds of ketchup (one plain, one chunkier version more like chili sauce)
Grilled onions (usually you have to ask for those and he'll hand them to you directly off the grill)
Regular pickle relish
Chicago-style neon pickle relish
Sweet pepper relish
Hot pickled red peppers
Pickled jalapeno slices
Sliced green olives
This weird corn relish with pimentos that I've never had the courage to try
Bacon bits (I don't know why either, but they all have them)
Personally, I usually dress the dog the way I would at home: pickle relish, sweet pepper relish, raw onions, yellow mustard, light sprinkle of celery salt, maybe some pickled red peppers if I'm in the mood. But I appreciate the options!
And the cost for this culinary extravaganza, which I usually eat at least 10 of in the course of the Toronto International Film Festival? Two bucks. Two bucks Canadian
, which is about $1.40 in US dollars.
Normally I would cheer happily at any mention of Roadfood in my hometown of Toronto, but having eaten many a Toronto dog I need to comment here. There truly are many many hot dog carts that fit Lucky Bishop's description, but you must have found an especially good one because most of them are not that great IMO. The dogs (and they usually offer fairly unimpressive dogs along with a selection of sausages that can be good depending on the vendor and now usually veggie dogs as well) are often pre-grilled and left to warm and then re-grilled when you order, which makes for a dry/overcooked dog - most of them don't grill them to order for you, but those that do are worth searching out. The condiment selection is as Lucky Bishop said, but often they are not replenished frequently enough and/or served in open-air containers - some good carts pride themselves in the selection of condiments and can have whole side tables covered with them. The buns can often be stale or otherwise dry at poorer carts. Having said all that you can get some really good dogs in Toronto, just look first and see if they have a pile of already-grilled dogs and avoid those ones - look for the line-ups and you usually won't go wrong. Toronto dogs tend to be especially tasty after the bars close