I am not sure how many posts have been dedicated to the "Chicago Dog", I don't want to count. But here's the scoop.
We recently took two different former Chicago residents to try some of the local offerings. One went to college in the "windy city" while the other served as an FBI agent in Chicago for over a decade. What kind of reactions did I get?
First, there is no "standard" Chicago dog. They vary depending on the seller; so there's room for some variations on what some insist is "THE Chicago dog".
Regarding our local sellers I have a winner. The dogs at Mike's didn't rate any interest what-so-ever from these guys since they have been using canned tomatoes. The other two contenders were Tony's and Max's. I think they are both good... I have learned to appreciate the Chicago dog. When I watched the former FBI agent eat the Chicago dog from Max's I suspected we had the real thing. He immediately said; "This brings back memories". I also watched him eat a Chicago dog at Tony's. He had no complaints at all, but did finally comment that Max's was better.
I found it interesting that Max's does not use the "sport pepper" or any other peppers in their offering, yet it was the choice. It makes me think that there are some sport peppers being thrown away rather than eaten in Chicago. Steve, the proprietor at Max's told me how he was considering adding the sport pepper for his Chicago dogs. We had a discussion about "sport peppers" a couple of days ago and he and I see eye-to-eye; "why bother?" He doesn't like them either. I would suggest adding a sliced medium hot pepper to replace the sport.
So now you have it; if you want a Chicago dog in Birmingham go to Max's at the Colonnade. If you're not real hungry take a friend because when you order one you get two.
This week I picked up some of these dogs (take out) for a couple a folks I work with. The response I got was very positive. The hot dogs from Max's are definitely good. The "sticker price" is higher than a hot dog stand, but they are worth it.
A final note. I work in an industry that is somewhat intensive during "tax season". Hey... WE ARE THROUGH IT! I hope to step up the posts soon.