Vienna Beef is “Top Dog” in Chicago

Frankfurter. Red Hot. Wiener. Coney. Meat in tube form. Weenie. Dirty water dog.

You know what I’m talking about. No matter where you live in this country, no matter how good your think your local dog tastes, nothing tops a Chicago Style Vienna Beef hot dog. If you are from Chicago, or the surrounding area, you already understand. You get a hall pass to skip past the next paragraph. For those in other areas of the country, let me school you on the proper way to dress your wiener.

It all starts with the poppyseed bun. Nestle inside a water heated, steamed or grilled 100% Vienna Beef hot dog. Here’s the part where you “drag it through the garden” by adding toppings in the following order:

  1. Mild yellow mustard  (like Plochman’s)
  2. Vienna Chicago Style Relish (that bright green, um, stuff that looks so colorful in pictures? Yeah, that.)
  3. Fresh Chopped Onion
  4. Two Tomato Wedges (just two)
  5. A Vienna Kosher Dill Spear
  6. Two Vienna Sport Peppers
  7. A Dash of Celery Salt

I must bring up the “no ketchup” thing. Refraining from using ketchup on a hot dog in Chicago isn’t just some cry baby idea that people like to argue about. There’s actually some science behind it, believe it or not. Ketchup tends to be used on items to somewhat mask the flavor or bring an extra saltiness to certain foods. The acidity and sugar levels in ketchup actually conflict with the spices in a Vienna Beef wiener, not allowing you to experience the full flavor. That, my friends, is why Chicagoans look down their noses at ketchup on hot dogs. The flavor is so good. Why would you want to ruin it?

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending a Chicagonista Live show at the Vienna Beef Factory Store at 2501 N. Damen in Chicago. We had a “bun”-derful time, all having our fair share of laughs and wiener tweets jokes. Frankly, we were probably more obnoxious than anything, but hey, when do you ever get to talk about wieners for an entire day? We made the most of it. Do trust.

Never mind the hurricane style winds I was fighting to snap this awesome picture.

Vienna Beef hot dogs can be found all over the city including stadium vending for the Cubs and White Sox. If you happen to be wandering around and are craving a Chicago dog, Vienna even has an app that will tell you where the closest stand is located (it works all over the country, not just Chicago.) Also, be on the lookout for the Vienna Beef Mini that roams the city…spot it and you may score yourself some swag! Don’t forget to snap a picture and upload it to their Facebook page…just so people can “ketchup” with what you are doing. *bahdum-chee* Thank you, I’ll be here all week.

During this Chicagonista show, its first ever with a live blogger audience, the ladies were so generous to give out lots of prizes to people participating along on twitter. In between samples of all the great Vienna Beef products and interviews with the people who make Vienna Beef run so smoothly, there were Cubs and Sox tickets to be won, along with a great gift basket filled with tons of goodies.


I bet you can’t guess who won the gift basket. I know, horseshoe up the arse, right? I get it. But still, so exciting none the less! My favorite item they added to the basket? This. Signed by Bob Schwartz himself. Oh how I LOVE foodie books and cookbooks…especially signed ones. I’m not a collector by nature, but these I do “relish.”

Vienna Beef is one of those companies that will forever scream “Chicago.” Factory tours are available…but can you believe they are booked up until 2014? I hope that someday I’ll be able to take a trip through the wiener factory to see exactly how these snappy, salty beef franks are made. Until then, I’ll be the one still giggling at twitter wiener jokes…all the while picking leftover yellow mustard out from under my fingernails.

Good tastes and good times…

Honest Blogger Found Here: Lunch and gifts were provided to me at this event including a $5 gift card that I spent right away.  No monetary compensation or required writing. As always, 100% my opinion. Any questions? My Disclosure Policy can be found here.


6 Responses to Vienna Beef is “Top Dog” in Chicago
  1. Melisa
    April 11, 2012 | 3:57 PM

    Just yum. Can we go back tomorrow?

    • Toni
      April 11, 2012 | 3:59 PM

      Let’s go back on Saturday so we can have lunch with Benny the Bull!!

  2. Sheena
    April 11, 2012 | 4:13 PM

    OMG I’m sending Greg to the store for hot dog fixin’s, yum!!!

    • Toni
      April 11, 2012 | 6:58 PM

      Sometimes a hot dog just sounds sooo good! I was very happy to get a Vienna condiment gift pack in the basket I won – it has ALL the good stuff!

  3. Stephanie Precourt
    April 13, 2012 | 9:32 AM

    I LOVE a Chicago hot dog JUST like it’s supposed to be made, especially the pepper and celery salt, that is how you should eat a hot dog!!


    • Toni
      April 13, 2012 | 9:46 AM

      Agreed…just the crunch of the sport peppers alone…mmm. Lunch, anyone? 😀

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