For all the high-profile attention ladled on the iconic Lucky Dog vendors, thanks to their wienie-shaped carts and close association with "A Confederacy of Dunces," New Orleans really isn't much of a hot dog town.
That's why it was interesting to see that Gott Gourmet, reviewed in this week's issue, serves the distinctly Chicago-style hot dog. And it was also interesting to learn from owner and Chicago native Dave Gotter that it is among his most popular menu items. Not only do they sell consistently, he says, but so far most people seem content to order them with the works.
For a while, Shaggy's Seafood and Sandwiches made Chicago-style dogs and other variations its specialty, but things didn't work out and that Mid-City restaurant closed last year.
Cooter Brown's Tavern & Oyster Bar serves a Chicago-style dog, but it's never seemed up to snuff. The last time I had one there, for instance, it was topped with sliced jalapenos instead of pugnacious little sport peppers, no pickle spear at all and olive-drab relish of the most conventional condiment aisle sort instead of that preternaturally green stuff of the Chicago classic.
Eating a hot dog on a stylish plate in Gott Gourmet's airy dining room isn't exactly the same as wolfing them down at a walk-up vendor's window, but Chicagoans with a jones for a taste of home at least have a new place to try out.
-- Ian McNulty