I can't believe it has been three weeks since I posted. I was planning to write a post on Wednesday April 27 but things didn't work out for that. Surely you know about the multiple storms that wreaked such havoc in our area on that day. We were not missed by these storms. One of the early morning tornadoes hit our neighborhood particularly hard. We are fortunate to have no injuries and a house that generally survived. We lost numerous trees and have some structural damage to the house but still consider ourselves fortunate.
One result of the storm is that we didn't have power for a week and eleven days later still don't have land line telephone service, DSL or cable. We have been so focused on basics that hot dogs have been pushed aside for a while.
But now it's time for important things. I want to tell about a couple of recent hot dog experiences. One recent Sunday my wife and I were joined by Susie and Aaron for lunch at Max's. Yes, the same Max's that I think has the best local Chicago style hot dogs. The purpose of the visit as far as Aaron and I were concerned was for hot dogs. Susie decided to not have a dog but the surprise of the day was when my lovely wife ordered a hot dog. Of course the hot dogs at Max's are quarter pound hot dogs so one dog is plenty to eat.
Aaron and I ordered the "Chicago double dog" which comes with two Chicago style dogs and a side of french fries. We added a side of onion rings that we shared with everyone. We each had one of the dogs but had been well fed by the end of the meal. My wife chose to order the "1962 dog" which is topped with onions, slaw and BBQ sauce. This is also served with a side of fries. She is not a big fan of hot dogs, especially when given as many alternatives as they have at Max's. But that day she ordered one and was surprised at how much she liked it and enjoyed it. Max's dogs are not only quarter pounders but are also all beef and are a cut above the usual. That day was an overwhelming success on many levels. We all enjoyed our food, we had plenty to eat and some at the table learned a little.
Now for a second recent excursion. Recently Robert and I have been having a hard time getting together for our hot dog trips, so a few days ago I was in the Homewood area around lunch and decided to try Saw's. Saw's is a bar B Q place on Oxmoor Road right in the center of the Edgewood district. I believe this is the same building that once housed Broadway's BBQ, the place where I first encountered a giant baked tater loaded with BBQ and other good stuff.
A friend had told me a while back that he had heard that Saw's has a really good hot dog. My first impression was that the BBQ smells real good. Secondly I sought out the hot dogs on the menu and I found two listings, one as the only kids item on the menu listed as "hot dog with chips". Then there was one for the more mature diner listed as "Carolina dog (chilli & slaw)".
It was immediately evident that I was about to have my first official "Carolina dog". According to Wikipedia; "In the Carolinas, hot dogs are traditionally served "all the way", which includes mustard, chopped sweet onion, chili, and coleslaw. Ketchup is rarely included on this variation of the hot dog, but may be added by the eater." This description matches what I have read other places.
The Carolina dog at Saw's was a large size hot dog, but no where near the quarter pound dog served at Max's. It comes with a generous topping of chilli, slaw and a little pickle relish but lacks the mustard and onion. There is so much chilli that I didn't even think about picking it up to eat. Rather I used a plastic fork and knife. I generally liked the dog but thought I would have seasoned the chilli a little differently. I couldn't help but think that someone got carried away with the cumin; a little goes a long way. I would like to try more "Carolina dogs" to get a better feel for them.
The big surprise for me at Saw's wasn't the hot dog at all, but it was the other sandwich I ordered. I also ordered a "smoked chicken sandwich with white BBQ sauce". This sandwich alone rates a return visit.
We have a couple of interesting excursions planned soon. One that I am looking forward to is preparing hot dogs for Aaron's class of 3rd graders this week. I hope to convince them to try something other than a kids dog. "Try it, you'll like it!"