On my first hot dog excursion,
I decided to go to the Vienna Beef Factory,
aka Hot Dog Mecca.
After hopping off my bike
(and practically skipping to the counter with excitement),
I giddily ordered my first "real" Chicago hot dog from Rufus,
the guy behind the counter.
I was at a loss as to what to add to my "Mecca Dog",
so my new chatty friend Rufus told me that I had to "load it up"
with all nine hot dog elements.
Which I quickly learned meant no (no?!) ketchup,
and something called "sport peppers" (huh?)
But, when in Rome, right?
Also, not wanting to miss the opportunity,
I asked Rufus the same question I ask all food servers...
"What is your favorite thing to eat here?"
(please say hot dog, please say hot dog, please say hot dog)
"I get the Ruben, dogs are for kids"
Hot Ruben on a Cold Night?
eh, maybe not.
I'll stick with my dog, thanks.
I grabbed my kiddie meal, held my head up high,
and marched into the Chicago sunshine to experience it for myself.
Much to my chagrin, I was disappointed.
All condiments aside
(which were quite tasty I must add),
there wasn't much flavor from the actual dog.
The hot dog seemed like a bit of a side note.
"Where's the Beef?" I wanted to ask.
But that would be cliche, right?
.....time to regroup....
I quickly snooped around to see what this packed house was noshing so happily on.
No one was eating hot dogs. What did they know that I didn't?!
According to the nice ladies next to me,
Vienna Factory is much better known for Corned Beef
and, yes, the Ruben.
Maybe I should have listened to Rufus.