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The Essentials: Superdawg

The Essentials: Superdawg
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  • The Essentials: Superdawg

    Post #1 - June 9th, 2004, 4:46 pm
    Post #1 - June 9th, 2004, 4:46 pm Post #1 - June 9th, 2004, 4:46 pm
    First, a parenthetical comment.

    Turner Classic Movies, which is pretty much the only channel that matters (although Trio has been showing Pink Lady and Jeff reruns this week, just in case you thought TV couldn't get any worse than it is right now), has this series called "The Essentials," in which somebody semi-famous like Rob Reiner or Sydney Pollack intros movies that pretty much everybody should have seen by now, like Citizen Kane or North By Northwest or To Kill a Mockingbird, so you can catch up and not be revealed as a low-brain cultural illiterate.

    I'm thinkin' we need that here. Not that anyone's a low-brain, far from it. It's just, I think about all the fabulous things we (I use that loosely) wrote about so many discoveries we (loosely) made at other chowish sites, not just Chowhound but even back to chi.eats, on the list-serve, on blogs, wherever. And I look at LTHForum and I think as quickly and impressively as it's taken off, there's still nothing about Ed's Potsticker House or Thai Aree here; there's only a bare mention of Spoon or La Quebrada; Phoenix only came up this morning, and there's still not that much in that thread. And the problem is, while some of this content will turn up in the normal course of things,with new things to discover, what's going to motivate a GWiv to post about Spoon for the 25th time, or Rob to go into detail about La Quebrada dish by dish yet again? Yet that's what we need.

    We need a concerted effort to build up our library of posts on The Essentials, the key restaurants that were talked about in the past, so that a search here will turn up some real meat on those topics. Of course, this doesn't have to be all new content-- no reason not to quote or repost old writings of your own on these places. But with many new folks here, there is unquestionably value in making a concerted effort to once again examine and describe the best places, the ones that have lasted at the top of their game for the several years some of us have been at this. The Essentials.

    Now while it may seem like I'm addressing myself to a small group, of course this is really an open invitation to everyone to revisit old ground in detail. If you have a great place you've been going to for some time, you're probably not going to rush out and post about it tonight-- more likely you'd write about some new place you just found. But you should. You can label your post "The Essentials" if you want, or not if you think that's kind of dorky. But now's the time to build up our database with some content on the big places, the ones that matter and draw you again and again. Your fellow members, 236 of them at last count and growing, will thank you.

    And my first Essential is...

    Image

    On Sunday night, as my sons and I ate at one of the metal picnic tables, no fewer than two beautifully restored antique cars drove up to Superdawg. It's a wonder there weren't more-- what better use could you make of a cherry red '57 T-bird than to order via carhop from it at Chicago's greatest hot dog stand, not perhaps the home of Chicago's greatest hot dog (I am willing to give Gene & Jude's that), but from a total-atmosphere package, unquestionably the place that puts the biggest smile on your face.

    Image

    To start, who cannot be warmed to the bottom of their pure beef heart by the vintage artwork and text on the boxes? Places like Chipotle and Caribou try to be witty on their cups and wrappers, and that's fine, but as Cary Grant and North by Northwest prove, they don't make 'em like they used to. Inside you find a fat, garlicky hot dog on a poppy-seed bun, with the requisite mustard, relish, onion on the dog and pickle and pepper on top. (Note that, despite the owner's slam at ketchup on dogs in the new issue of Saveur, K and CH are discreetly offered at the bottom as options.)

    Vital Info says that Superdawg is not a proper Chicago dog. Well, my doghouse has many mansions and I find it absurd to declare that the greatest hot dog stand in Chicago does not make a "Chicago" dog. It's like saying Frank Lloyd Wright was not a Chicago architect because his buildings didn't look like Daniel Burnham's. What I think-- not to overuse my "30s style" thing-- is that the classic Chicago dog is made according to the proportions of how people ate in the 1910s, 20s, 30s; it's a thin little wurst like you would have eaten at a bar or a beer garden back then. And this is a 1950s dog, a dog for an era of fins and white sidewalls and broad suburban lawns. It's fatter and thus meatier in proportion to the amount of bun, which is one reason why the bun does not accomodate all that "drag it through the garden" stuff you find on some dogs (the other reason, of course, is that it is smooshed into a little box with lots of French fries).

    The crinkle-cut fries I generally enjoy although I suspect they are not always delivered as freshly as they could be, or maybe they really do steam a little in that closed box in the short time it takes your carhop to go from kitchen to your car. There is no complaint whatsoever to be made about the thickness or flavor of the chocolate shakes.

    But there is one other thing to note. Vital Info actually got me to try the hamburgers again, after some vague memory of a less than satisfying experience, and I'm eternally grateful for that. The burgers are exemplary, seared to a brown crisp so solid you could peel it off in a chunk, dotted with grilled onion. It may seem paradoxical to even think of ordering anything but a dog at a palace of dogdom like this, but order a burger sometime and you won't be sorry a bit.

    By the way, glad I ordered two dogs because it turns out I'm not the only one in the family who likes pickles.

    Image

    UPDATE:

    Superdawg Drive-In
    6363 N. Milwaukee Ave.
    773-736-0660

    By the way, note the secret exit/entrance on Devon, a narrow driveway running alongside the gas station. Very convenient for a quick getaway.
  • Post #2 - June 10th, 2004, 9:14 am
    Post #2 - June 10th, 2004, 9:14 am Post #2 - June 10th, 2004, 9:14 am
    Mr. G,

    Your Superdawg post is a work of art. Maurie and Flauire are smiling from the bottom of their pure beef hearts.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
  • Post #3 - June 10th, 2004, 11:45 am
    Post #3 - June 10th, 2004, 11:45 am Post #3 - June 10th, 2004, 11:45 am
    Hail Major Domo,

    Thank you for this record of 21st century reminders of an earlier time.

    Great text. Great photos; our son (3 1/2 years old) was transfixed by them: cool cars, hot dog and fries, a boy of similar age... Amata was not allowed to look at any other postings yesterday evening (it's really his computer, but don't let her know).

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #4 - June 12th, 2004, 10:46 pm
    Post #4 - June 12th, 2004, 10:46 pm Post #4 - June 12th, 2004, 10:46 pm
    I've apparently missed VI's argument that Superdawg isn't a proper Chicago hot dog. I don't see why not. It possesses most of the requisite condiments: "golden mustard, tangy piccalilli, kosher dill pickle, chopped Spanish onions and a memorable hot pepper." True, the spicy pickled tomato stands in for fresh tomatoes, but I find that within acceptable variations. And although it's not a Vienna Beef dog, it's still an all-beef dog. (Officially, Superdawg says it's "a proprietary, secret recipe.")

    I'd certainly call the Superdawg a Chicago-style hot dog, though perhaps not a quintessential one. Mind you, I would not equate the Whoopskidog to a Maxwell Street polish, though it's a fine sandwich in its own right: Coarse, spicy sausage with chopped grilled onions on a onion roll.

    Another plus for Superdawg is that it's had the same owners since it opened in 1948. Maurie and Flaurie Berman still work at the stand, nowadays assisted by their son and son-in-law. It's also the original location (though it was closed for a few years after a fire in the late 1950s), and the only extant carhop drive-in in Chicago. I'd certainly call it a bastion of Chicago hot dog history.

    Fluky's, generally acknowledged as the creator of the Chicago dog style, and still an exemplar, dates back to 1929, but it's a long way from its Maxwell Street roots, even if it's still family-owned. Jack Drexler, son of founder Abe "Fluky" Drexler, and his daughter run the company and the two mall stands, at Lincolnwood Town Center and at The Shops at North Bridge on Michigan Avenue. Jack opened the Western Avenue location (in 1964 after a nine-year Fluky's hiatus), but I believe it's now operated by a franchisee.

    http://www.superdawg.com

    http://www.flukys.com

    Nice hot dog site apparently put together as an assignment by some Medill students. Check out the FAQ: http://pubweb.northwestern.edu/~lfi604/ ... index.html
    Last edited by LAZ on August 4th, 2008, 3:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #5 - July 23rd, 2004, 7:38 pm
    Post #5 - July 23rd, 2004, 7:38 pm Post #5 - July 23rd, 2004, 7:38 pm
    I read somewhere above about the vintage cars.For those who are interested I believe The Frosted Mug in Alsip has a once a week event.If anyone has more information it would be appreciated.Thank you.
  • Post #6 - July 28th, 2004, 8:19 am
    Post #6 - July 28th, 2004, 8:19 am Post #6 - July 28th, 2004, 8:19 am
    Hi,

    On the edge of Fox Lake there is a Dog N Suds, which seems to have a Saturday evening classic car event. I don't know if it is every Saturday evening, but every time I pass it is Saturday evening and it is there. It may be coincidental, but I may be there THE Saturday evening of the month this occurs, but my random visits are just that, random.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #7 - July 28th, 2004, 1:34 pm
    Post #7 - July 28th, 2004, 1:34 pm Post #7 - July 28th, 2004, 1:34 pm
    A coupl'a comments:

    1) Lots of places do "Cruise Night" to attract vintage cars and hopefully-hungry gawkers. Photo's in NE Mt. Prospect (Wolf and Kensington) does it weekly. For a while, another restaurant in the same strip was having them on a second night each week, but I think they stopped.

    2) What I'd really like in a hot dog index is a condiment chart: Who's got the neon relish, who puts ketchup on (think of the children!) , who doesn't do pickles, who puts on celery salt unless you beg them not to...
  • Post #8 - July 28th, 2004, 2:49 pm
    Post #8 - July 28th, 2004, 2:49 pm Post #8 - July 28th, 2004, 2:49 pm
    who puts ketchup on (think of the children!)


    The thing is, you need to draw the line somewhere. My son, at 16 1/2, still puts catsup on one hot dog, of the two he likes to order. This is progress, but still profoundly uncivilized. Anyway, there is a fine line between indulging the little ones and pandering to their baser instincts.

    I was amused a month or so ago, to hear my son expounding to his friends about how he would not go to some local Thai eatery because the food was just boring... I guess he learned to be overbearing and annoying if nothing else. :lol:

    Oh, and back on topic - I need to go visit Superdawg again - thanks Mike G. I was watching some old Check Please last weekend, and they reviewed all Chow Essentials - Superdawg and Trio are the ones I remember, and maybe Cafe Matou?
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #9 - July 28th, 2004, 4:21 pm
    Post #9 - July 28th, 2004, 4:21 pm Post #9 - July 28th, 2004, 4:21 pm
    You remember Check Please correctly. It was about the 4th or 5th rerun of that episode (or it just feels like it).

    A pediatric surgeon recommended Cafe Matou, and loved Superdawg which was recommended bya young woman. The fellow who is a fan of Trio was cool to Cafe Matou.

    Since it was a rerun I turned it off after about a minute, so I can't recall anything more.
    Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.
  • Post #10 - July 28th, 2004, 5:23 pm
    Post #10 - July 28th, 2004, 5:23 pm Post #10 - July 28th, 2004, 5:23 pm
    I think the thing about ketchup on dogs comes from the fact that most of the country eats-- I certainly grew up on-- dogs that are very mild, basically bologna in a tube shape. On such a dog ketchup actually moves it toward the spicy end of the scale, slightly.

    A Chicago dog, a spicier and garlickier thing, or especially a Nathan's type New York dog, with its paprika, is much less congenial to that sweet note, much as it would be on a Polish sausage or a thuringer or something, though obviously it varies dog to dog and I will admit that I do not find it wrong on most Chicago dogs.
  • Post #11 - July 18th, 2005, 2:21 pm
    Post #11 - July 18th, 2005, 2:21 pm Post #11 - July 18th, 2005, 2:21 pm
    Now that we picked up the audio tape of Harry Potter VI, I s'pose the family will be seeking to make quite a few trips out of something simple like lunch. Today we ventured north to Superdawg. And, of course it was super, which allows me the opportunity to paste in my thoughts on its super-duper-ness from ago, which ring as true as ever.

    Saturday afternoon, we headed towards Devon for a bit of shopping, and hopefully, to try a place I had been eyeing with a tandoor oven in the storefront window. Well, I got extremely impatient with the northbound traffic from Oak Park and switched seats with Ms. VI. Ms. VI ended up making a wrong turn, or shall we say, she failed to make the right turn, and we went a bit out of our way. The detour, however, left us within smelling distance of Super Dawg. There was no way, with this extremely tardy Indian summer, that we could pass this opportunity.

    Now, Super Dawg's praises have been sung on this board by others, including me (at least the decor), but the whole gloriousness, the superousness of Super Dawg, must be extra praised.

    We Jews have a prayer/song in the Passover service called dayenu; the trust being that God gave more than enough, or too much of a good thing is a good thing. This is the way I feel about Super Dawg. It would be enough if Super Dawg was a nostalgic drive-in with car hopping gals and massive hot dog people waving from the roof.

    Still, we get probably the best relish extant, we get little chunks of pickled tomatoes with each sandwhich, we get wonderful menu language, not just the great names (whoopercheeseie, whoopsiedog, etc.), but all the bad puns, like we thank you from the bottom of our pure beef heart. And at the heart of Superdawg, beyond the kitsch, are some really good foods. The fries are crunchy good and much better than what I recently producted, the hot dog is, well, super, and the burgers posses that greasy, beefy flavor so rare in fast food. even the cheese tastes superior.

    Superdawg is on Milwaukee Avenue just south of Devon/east of Nagle in the Edgebrook neighborhood of Chicago.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #12 - July 18th, 2005, 4:48 pm
    Post #12 - July 18th, 2005, 4:48 pm Post #12 - July 18th, 2005, 4:48 pm
    It's funny that this came up today. Superdawg was a topic of conversaton at the Evanston Chicken Taste Off. I'll agree that Superdawg is a classic old school drive in. The car hops and kitchy '50s drive-in decor are unique to Chicago in this day and age. The only problem for me is that I can't get behind the food. Granted, the dogs are large, but they are not traditional Chicago Viennas. I'm not wild about their taste...not to mention that they are terribly overpriced. I have to equally diss the fries, which, though probably acceptable fresh from the fryer, usually arrive soggy from being steamed in the closed box during the short trip via carhop to your automobile window. I just don't get Superdawg...never have.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #13 - July 20th, 2005, 9:18 am
    Post #13 - July 20th, 2005, 9:18 am Post #13 - July 20th, 2005, 9:18 am
    stevez wrote:It's funny that this came up today. Superdawg was a topic of conversaton at the Evanston Chicken Taste Off. I'll agree that Superdawg is a classic old school drive in. The car hops and kitchy '50s drive-in decor are unique to Chicago in this day and age. The only problem for me is that I can't get behind the food.


    I'm with you on this, Steve. Superdawg is great place to hang out in a classic car & have a milkshake, but I am totally mystified by the acclaim that their food gets. Neither the burgers nor the dogs do anything for me whatsoever. The fries aren't so great either. I will concede that they make a decent milkshake, though.
    I exist in Chicago, but I live in New Orleans.
  • Post #14 - July 21st, 2005, 1:52 pm
    Post #14 - July 21st, 2005, 1:52 pm Post #14 - July 21st, 2005, 1:52 pm
    I used to go to Superdawg quite a bit, but after having a conversation with the owner (not at the restaurant) about a year and a half ago, I haven't been back, and will not. He was the rudest, most unpleasant, cockiest man I've met in a long time. As novel as his restaurant is, I cannot bring myself to give that man a cent more.

    Thank goodness I work close enough to Gene & Jude's for my occasional dog fix.
  • Post #15 - October 21st, 2007, 5:17 pm
    Post #15 - October 21st, 2007, 5:17 pm Post #15 - October 21st, 2007, 5:17 pm
    This gorgeous day called out for one place in particular, at least since we were already up that way anyway: Superdawg.

    And look who had the same idea:

    Image

    Yup, same guy in same '57 T-Bird as in the photo at the top from three years ago. Almost the same parking spot, even. A green Pontiac convertible pulled in a couple of slots over, not long after.

    What a great day for a drive to Superdawg.
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  • Post #16 - August 1st, 2008, 8:13 pm
    Post #16 - August 1st, 2008, 8:13 pm Post #16 - August 1st, 2008, 8:13 pm
    LTHForum,

    Yesterday at Smoque I was happily munching away at a pair of Texas style sausage when Barry Sorkin and I got into a conversation about, if you can believe it, Chicago food. Talk turned to hot dogs and Barry mentioned Maurie and Flaurie were regular customers. I said I quite liked Superdawg hot dogs, pickled tomatoes, natural casing, nice and juicy..... When Barry interjects, Superdawg is not a natural casing hot dog.

    I strenuously disagreed, but, much to my chagrin, based on personal observation while eating a Superdawg this afternoon and subsequent conversation with the son of Maurie and Flaurie Berman, I was wrong and Barry was right. Superdawg's signature all beef 6 to a lb hot dogs are not natural casing.

    Only August and I've already made my first mistake of the year. Geeeesh........

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #17 - August 1st, 2008, 9:04 pm
    Post #17 - August 1st, 2008, 9:04 pm Post #17 - August 1st, 2008, 9:04 pm
    This has nothing to do with natural casings. My husband and I were doing a "Lake County Run", getting stuff in Lake County so we don't have to pay Cook County taxes. We were on Milwaukee in Wheeling and passed a sign about Superdawg....husband says "hey, they're building a new Superdawg there". I did a quick turnaround and, sure enough, there's a new Superdawg about to go up in a space just north of Bob Chinn's. It does say Superdawg DRIVE-IN, so I'm assuming it will be just that, thought that remains to be seen.

    I'm very happy that we'll be able to get some good dogs while doing our Lake County Runs.
    MORE COW BELL!
  • Post #18 - August 1st, 2008, 11:42 pm
    Post #18 - August 1st, 2008, 11:42 pm Post #18 - August 1st, 2008, 11:42 pm
    G Wiv wrote:I said I quite liked Superdawg hot dogs, pickled tomatoes, natural casing, nice and juicy..... When Barry interjects, Superdawg is not a natural casing hot dog.

    I strenuously disagreed, but, much to my chagrin, based on personal observation while eating a Superdawg this afternoon and subsequent conversation with the son of Maurie and Flaurie Berman, I was wrong and Barry was right. Superdawg's signature all beef 6 to a lb hot dogs are not natural casing.

    You're forgiven, Gary. Though I may be in the minority, I like to think that the Superdawg transcends its lack of casing, so your misake is understandable.

    One might even say that the Superdawg is so super, no mere casing can contain it.

    But then I grew up a third generation Superdawg lover, and am not exactly objective when it comes to this particular subject.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #19 - August 2nd, 2008, 1:56 am
    Post #19 - August 2nd, 2008, 1:56 am Post #19 - August 2nd, 2008, 1:56 am
    G Wiv wrote:Superdawg's signature all beef 6 to a lb hot dogs are not natural casing.

    They are still pretty snappy.

    So are Maurie and Flaurie Berman. I happened in last week and heard a familiar voice say "Hiya," over the intercom. I looked up into the window and there was Flaurie, still taking hot dog orders after 60 years. It was mid afternoon on a Saturday and the joint was hoppin', too.

    She said she's there most weekends, and also confirmed they are opening a larger drive-in in Wheeling next year (although I believe the site is on the Cook County side of the line).


    Image

    Flaurie Berman at the Superdawg intercom
  • Post #20 - August 3rd, 2008, 12:28 am
    Post #20 - August 3rd, 2008, 12:28 am Post #20 - August 3rd, 2008, 12:28 am
    Image
    Maurie & Me-Friends since 1957
    Last edited by chicagostyledog on August 9th, 2008, 10:54 am, edited 4 times in total.
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
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  • Post #21 - August 3rd, 2008, 11:52 pm
    Post #21 - August 3rd, 2008, 11:52 pm Post #21 - August 3rd, 2008, 11:52 pm
    CH?
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"

    As Carl Sagan once said, to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. And sometimes I just don't have the time and energy to invent the universe. So I figure it's okay to buy some stuff.
  • Post #22 - December 21st, 2008, 12:34 am
    Post #22 - December 21st, 2008, 12:34 am Post #22 - December 21st, 2008, 12:34 am
    Bumping for an answer to Katie's question - my guess is cheese, though I forgot to ask tonight.

    Superdawg is one of many antidotes to an 8 degree night. Especially that tomato. It's lightning in a fruit.

    What are your personal policies on tipping the carhops? I hadn't seen this discussed elsewhere. I used to tell them to keep the change to the nearest dollar thinking there was already some tray premium for staying to eat there (I think this was an ingrained familial assumption rather than something I noticed on a receipt), but especially this year, I've been tipping like any other restaurant. But I second guess this thinking about the poor Portillo's employees who stand outside in the rain taking orders and credit cards to make the drive-thru lane go faster, and who will not accept tips.

    On pricing - I think $5 is fine for the dog and fries, given the quality and scale of the components and the fantastic packaging. $5 for 8oz of malt is pushing it.
  • Post #23 - December 21st, 2008, 2:12 am
    Post #23 - December 21st, 2008, 2:12 am Post #23 - December 21st, 2008, 2:12 am
    Santander wrote:What are your personal policies on tipping the carhops? I hadn't seen this discussed elsewhere. I used to tell them to keep the change to the nearest dollar thinking there was already some tray premium for staying to eat there (I think this was an ingrained familial assumption rather than something I noticed on a receipt), but especially this year, I've been tipping like any other restaurant.


    I was a carhop for four years while in college. Laugh all you want but it paid for my four undergraduate room and board.

    I think if most carhops consistently received 10%, they would be overjoyed.

    I generally give $1 per trip if they provide good service, maybe more if the weather stinks.
  • Post #24 - December 21st, 2008, 2:15 am
    Post #24 - December 21st, 2008, 2:15 am Post #24 - December 21st, 2008, 2:15 am
    Santander wrote:What are your personal policies on tipping the carhops? I hadn't seen this discussed elsewhere. I used to tell them to keep the change to the nearest dollar thinking there was already some tray premium for staying to eat there


    Our usual order of two supercheesies and a couple sodas comes to $15-16 and we never leave the carhop less than five bucks.

    :twisted:
    "Bass Trombone is the Lead Trumpet of the Deep."
    Rick Hammett
  • Post #25 - December 21st, 2008, 4:56 am
    Post #25 - December 21st, 2008, 4:56 am Post #25 - December 21st, 2008, 4:56 am
    Superdawg is one of those places that you want to be good because of it's age, the kitsch, and the novelty of it.

    The fact is, the food isn't that good, the owners aren't that engaging, and the overall experience falls well below expectations. People that grew up with it will love it and defend it, and I can't blame them for doing so, as I have my own local favorites that outsiders hate (eg. Hamburger Heaven in Elmhurst).
  • Post #26 - December 21st, 2008, 9:50 am
    Post #26 - December 21st, 2008, 9:50 am Post #26 - December 21st, 2008, 9:50 am
    I don't know - I grew up in Cincinnati, and I like Superdawg. It has its quirks: personally, I hate crinkle-cut fries unless they're fried nearly beyond recognition. But I like the dog itself, and especially the pickled tomato - it's not the same as a traditional Chicago dog, but it has its own place. I just wish they would put in a bathroom.

    IIRC, we've been tipping the carhops 15-20% - not generally that much on what we order.
  • Post #27 - December 21st, 2008, 12:57 pm
    Post #27 - December 21st, 2008, 12:57 pm Post #27 - December 21st, 2008, 12:57 pm
    Mhays wrote:I don't know - I grew up in Cincinnati, and I like Superdawg. It has its quirks: personally, I hate crinkle-cut fries unless they're fried nearly beyond recognition. But I like the dog itself, and especially the pickled tomato - it's not the same as a traditional Chicago dog, but it has its own place. I just wish they would put in a bathroom.

    Superdawg does have very nice public/staff rest rooms which can be accessed through the back door. I have used them dozens of times.

    And not that I was snooping or anything, but the hand operated crinkle potato cutter and stacked cases/bags of fresh potatoes can be seen not far from that back entrance.
    "Bass Trombone is the Lead Trumpet of the Deep."
    Rick Hammett
  • Post #28 - December 21st, 2008, 3:09 pm
    Post #28 - December 21st, 2008, 3:09 pm Post #28 - December 21st, 2008, 3:09 pm
    Evil Ronnie wrote:And not that I was snooping or anything, but the hand operated crinkle potato cutter and stacked cases/bags of fresh potatoes can be seen not far from that back entrance.


    This is interesting info because I went there the other day to specifically try to get the skinny on the fries. I saw no evidence of potatoes being freshly cut (nor did the taste of the fires indicate they were), but I didn't look near the bathroom. I guess I'll have to make another trip to see for myself. Superdawg's fries are truly an enigma to me. How can freshly cut potatoes taste so processed?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #29 - December 21st, 2008, 3:34 pm
    Post #29 - December 21st, 2008, 3:34 pm Post #29 - December 21st, 2008, 3:34 pm
    i can vouch for the fresh-cut fries as well. last time i was there with my three-year old, using the bathroom, we noted stacks and stacks of 50-lb sacks of potatoes and the guy using the crinkle-cutter. i was surprised because i always assume crinkle-cuts are coming out of the freezer.

    i didn't grow up with SD, but i am a fan. the fries are strangely compelling. they manage to somehow be kind of soggy, chewy and also crispy at the same time. i'm guessing they blanch them at a lower temp, then let'em sit for a few hours, then fry'em in hot oil to order to crisp them up. i didn't like them initially, but they've grown on me.

    the hot dogs are good--better than average in size, flavor, and toppings--but what i always get there is a burger. very high quality diner-style burger. it annoys my dining companions, though, because it really slows down the process.

    i agree that the prices are pretty high, but happily pay them to keep the landmark operating. we always tip the carhops 15-20%.
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  • Post #30 - December 21st, 2008, 8:16 pm
    Post #30 - December 21st, 2008, 8:16 pm Post #30 - December 21st, 2008, 8:16 pm
    As has been noted upthread, the fries start out with the best of intentions but are sentenced to an early death (IMO) when they are stuffed into the sandwich box and forced to steam - robbing them of any remaining crispness. It's a real shame, too.

    I like SD overall. I like the Superdawg and recognize that it's NOT the classic Chicago hot dog - it is its own dog and it's done well, just differently. I like the Whoopercheezie, too. It's just too bad that the fries that accompany them end up the way they do.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.

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