Sunday, October 08, 2006
Cops and Hotdogs
Cops and hotdogs go together. That was especially true in Chicago where there was a gauntlet of hotdog stands within a block of the old O’Brien Street police academy. The Vienna Sausage Company was also nearby flavoring the air. While getting a cop’s education you could not avoid at least several meals at these stands that were on the old Maxwell Street Market. As hotdogs go these were the very best found anywhere on our planet.
Chicago and New York are the hotdog centers of the Universe. Hotdogs were the original fast food and a natural for cops on the go. Nathan’s dogs from New York are a close second to Vienna and are another example of fine dog dining.
With your properly dressed dog you get French fries and a soft drink and I don’t mean the diet variety. It was easy for growing, baby coppers to down two of those torpedoes in one sitting.
Today, Jim's Original, the real grandfather of the Chicago dog sits on the land of the old O'Brian Street academy.
When I moved to Phoenix where there is a huge Chicago influence making it possible to find the real thing prepared in the traditional Chicago way. Chicago’s Luke’s franchise opened at Indian School and 12th Street.
In Los Angeles they don’t have a clue about a properly dressed Chicago hotdog. A few places dare to carry signs boasting claims to have them but they are a disappointment. Perhaps because the workers preparing them have never been closer to Chicago than Mexico City and just don’t know the way to do the dog justice.
I’m praying for the Chicago area chain Portillo’s to open a place in L.A. Of course my physician hopes that will never happen. I just don’t get his beef since they provide the four basic food groups, bun, dog, fries and soda.
In Los Angeles they all put ketchup on hotdogs (YUK!). In Chicago destroying a dog with ketchup is a part-one felony crime.
Portillo’s website had good news for me today! Their new place is now open in Buena Park, CA! Well it’s still too far away… 8390 La Palma Ave, Buena Park, California-714.220.6400.
A quick update! One of my more distinguished readers informed me they renamed O’Brien Street to, James M. Rochford Street after the late, former police superintendent who led the department in the 1970’s.
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