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Suggestions for great (meat market) hot dogs?

Suggestions for great (meat market) hot dogs?
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  • Suggestions for great (meat market) hot dogs?

    Post #1 - January 23rd, 2008, 9:21 pm
    Post #1 - January 23rd, 2008, 9:21 pm Post #1 - January 23rd, 2008, 9:21 pm
    I was going to try and figure out how to explain an upcoming meeting that I'll be attending, but realized that would be unnecessary on this site.

    I'm going to a hot dog tasting next week. It is part of a volunteer group that I am involved with, and I'm talking about hot dogs that are made by butchers / meat markets. We have thrown store brands in there just to see how they measure up, but have had the same winner the last two years. Meisfeld's up in Sheboygan, WI.

    It is probably a little late for this year's tasting, but I'd love to hear of any butcher shops / meat markets that make really great hot dogs. Zier's in Wilmette was in the running last time, but didn't do too well. I can't remember the other places, but I think a lot were up in Wisconsin. (The guy who "chairs" the hot dog tasting has a dairy farm in Green Bay.)

    Thanks!!
    Karen
  • Post #2 - January 23rd, 2008, 9:24 pm
    Post #2 - January 23rd, 2008, 9:24 pm Post #2 - January 23rd, 2008, 9:24 pm
    Have you thought about Romanian Kosher Sausage?
  • Post #3 - January 23rd, 2008, 9:29 pm
    Post #3 - January 23rd, 2008, 9:29 pm Post #3 - January 23rd, 2008, 9:29 pm
    This is not going to help, probably, but for my money the best butcher-made hot dogs are at Zup's (Zupanich Grocers) in Ely and Silver Bay, Minnesota:

    http://www.zups.com/

    They do ship. They also have the best thick-cut pepper bacon I've ever tasted. The dogs come in two styles, both in snappy natural casings - wieners (which are longer, thinner, and chewier) and franks, both cured in a smokehouse overlooking Lake Superior.

    Mike's in Villa Park ( http://www.caseysmarketonline.com/index.html) used to do very nice dogs. I haven't had them in about a decade so I can't speak to current quality.
  • Post #4 - January 24th, 2008, 12:35 am
    Post #4 - January 24th, 2008, 12:35 am Post #4 - January 24th, 2008, 12:35 am
    Randy Ream's Elburn Market (in Elburn, which is about 40 miles west of Chicago, at Route 47 just south of Roosevelt Rd.) has wonderful sausages of all kinds, including garlic- dogs, cheddar-dogs, and various bratwursts which have won so many prizes that the walls of his shop are covered with framed trophy certificates for the brats.

    Well worth a trip out in the country with a cooler. His meats are top-quality, too. So bring a big cooler to stock your freezer.

    Mike
    Suburban gourmand
  • Post #5 - January 24th, 2008, 8:48 am
    Post #5 - January 24th, 2008, 8:48 am Post #5 - January 24th, 2008, 8:48 am
    People have told me they like Paulina Market's dogs-never had 'em though...
    I love animals...they're delicious!
  • Post #6 - January 24th, 2008, 9:15 am
    Post #6 - January 24th, 2008, 9:15 am Post #6 - January 24th, 2008, 9:15 am
    I hope you're putting natural casing Vienna's in the mix. After all, they are the ur-Chicago dog. They can be purchased at the Vienna Factory Store, E&M Meats and several other locations. I'm particularly fond of the 4/lb. size.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #7 - January 24th, 2008, 9:39 am
    Post #7 - January 24th, 2008, 9:39 am Post #7 - January 24th, 2008, 9:39 am
    stewed coot wrote:People have told me they like Paulina Market's dogs-never had 'em though...


    I enjoy the Paulina's dogs very much, although sadly they are the only meat market dogs that I've had, so I can't provide much in the way of a comparison.
  • Post #8 - January 24th, 2008, 9:39 am
    Post #8 - January 24th, 2008, 9:39 am Post #8 - January 24th, 2008, 9:39 am
    The 4 to the lb natural casing Vienna's Steve Z mentions are a classic, I also like the natural casing hot dogs at Fox and Obel.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - January 24th, 2008, 10:12 am
    Post #9 - January 24th, 2008, 10:12 am Post #9 - January 24th, 2008, 10:12 am
    Thanks for the great responses so far everyone!

    As it turns out, I'm too late to enter a contender for this year's Hot Dog Roundup, but will spend the next 12 months doing research.

    Out of state suggestions are fine with me, as I am not beyond planning a trip only to go to one great shop!

    Keep 'em comin'!
    Karen
  • Post #10 - January 24th, 2008, 4:48 pm
    Post #10 - January 24th, 2008, 4:48 pm Post #10 - January 24th, 2008, 4:48 pm
    kdiener wrote:Out of state suggestions are fine with me, as I am not beyond planning a trip only to go to one great shop!


    You are definitely one of us.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #11 - January 24th, 2008, 5:05 pm
    Post #11 - January 24th, 2008, 5:05 pm Post #11 - January 24th, 2008, 5:05 pm
    kdiener wrote:Zier's in Wilmette was in the running last time, but didn't do too well.

    As much as I enjoy Dave's house-made dogs, my favorite dogs he carries are the skinless hotdogs, which are actually made by Leon's. They're available in both 4/pound and 6/pound.

    They're definitely at the opposite end of the spectrum from my favored kosher-style, natural-casing dogs but they're really great in their own right and certainly worth a try.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #12 - January 24th, 2008, 5:20 pm
    Post #12 - January 24th, 2008, 5:20 pm Post #12 - January 24th, 2008, 5:20 pm
    As long as you're willing to travel, a trip to Three Oaks, Michigan, will get you to Drier's Meat Market. Although prior discussions here have focused on their justly-famous liverwurst, I can also vouch for their hot dogs.
  • Post #13 - January 24th, 2008, 9:00 pm
    Post #13 - January 24th, 2008, 9:00 pm Post #13 - January 24th, 2008, 9:00 pm
    Speaking of Leon's, they make a Polish sausage which is about equal parts meat and garlic. Don't eat one before going to a meeting.

    When we had a small office in Oak Park, I used to go to the Starship sandwich shop on Madison in River Forest and get one to bring back and eat in the office.

    My partner, who detests garlic, would leave for the day every time I did this. :? As I said, it was a small office and there was no place to hide.

    I know Casey's meat market in Western Springs has them.

    Mike
    Suburban gourmand
  • Post #14 - January 27th, 2008, 10:56 pm
    Post #14 - January 27th, 2008, 10:56 pm Post #14 - January 27th, 2008, 10:56 pm
    I have to submit the wieners from Newton Meats in Newton, WI. Just a hop, skip and a jump off of I-43 a few miles south of Manitowoc and about 10 miles north of Sheboygan. Great homemade bratwurst, knockwurst and liverwurst as well as rhing bologna, summer sausage, etc. But my family's all-time favorite is the natural casing wieners. I'm a little biased, I suppose, because I grew up on a farm near there and they would handle all of our butchering and cutting needs for the sheep, goats, pigs, calves and cattle that we would consume on the farm. Back in the day, they would make special wieners from some of our lamb trimmings that we'd call "sheep dogs" and they were really delicious and unique. But their current wieners are pretty close to the sheep dogs, and we still pick up a few packages whenever we are passing through visiting family members in Wisconsin. For a little extra fun, they sell discounted packs of "odd lot" hotdogs, the ones that were too big, too small or misshapen due to the variances in the casings. They taste just the same, but are good fun for everyone, big or small, since they range from near cocktail wienie size up to footlongs, and everything in between.

    Newton Meats
    5616 County Road U
    Newton, WI 53063
    (920) 726-4455
    Last edited by YoYoPedro on January 28th, 2008, 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
    ...Pedro
  • Post #15 - January 27th, 2008, 11:39 pm
    Post #15 - January 27th, 2008, 11:39 pm Post #15 - January 27th, 2008, 11:39 pm
    stevez wrote:I hope you're putting natural casing Vienna's in the mix. After all, they are the ur-Chicago dog. They can be purchased at the Vienna Factory Store, E&M Meats and several other locations. I'm particularly fond of the 4/lb. size.

    Do they give you any price break at the factory store? Vienna products are fairly expensive in most supermarkets.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #16 - January 28th, 2008, 5:27 am
    Post #16 - January 28th, 2008, 5:27 am Post #16 - January 28th, 2008, 5:27 am
    Cogito wrote:
    stevez wrote:I hope you're putting natural casing Vienna's in the mix. After all, they are the ur-Chicago dog. They can be purchased at the Vienna Factory Store, E&M Meats and several other locations. I'm particularly fond of the 4/lb. size.

    Do they give you any price break at the factory store? Vienna products are fairly expensive in most supermarkets.


    When I go to the Vienna store, I don't buy any of the skinless hot dogs they sell in the supermarket, so I can't compare. I do know that the 4/lb natural casing dogs are .30 - .40/lb cheaper at the Vienna Store than they are at E&M, but I don't know if that's because things are discounted at the store or because E&M is a pricey meat market.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #17 - January 28th, 2008, 8:53 am
    Post #17 - January 28th, 2008, 8:53 am Post #17 - January 28th, 2008, 8:53 am
    Hi,

    I bought Nueske's smoked over applewood hot dogs a few times at Sunset Foods. They are wonderful tasting though my gripe has to do with portion size: their hot dogs are not uniformly sized to fit a bun. A one-pound package will contain not one hot dog of the same length.

    I think it is a legitimate complaint if a hot dog is too small for the average sized bun. When I reach the area where the dog is not longer present, then it is tossed away. Bread with Chicago fixings is just not so great.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #18 - January 31st, 2008, 10:36 am
    Post #18 - January 31st, 2008, 10:36 am Post #18 - January 31st, 2008, 10:36 am
    I feel obligated to post the results from last night's hot dog tasting.

    Our illustrious chair of the event has sadly not kept records from the past. I believe this was the third tasting, and Meisfeld's of Sheboygan won the first two years, hands down.

    I know we have had a Vienna Beef dog in the running, but don't know if it was natural casing or what. Neuske's rings a bell now that I see Cathy2's post, but I think I'm confusing it with rave reviews about their bacon. We have we tried Schmeisser's and Zier's, though again, I don't know the specific varieties. We also usually throw in a couple of readily available store brands too.

    Last night, the mighty Meisfeld's, two-time champion dog, went down in flames. Didn't get a single vote. Here are the results:

    Brand - Number of votes
    Meisfeld's - 0
    Hebrew National - 0
    Elburn market - 0
    Nathan's - 3
    Maplewood Meats - 17

    I'm told that the Elburn market ones in the running were the all beef, and that the garlic ones probably would have done better. It was a very close second, but everyone was allowed only one vote. I happened to go to the Elburn market on Sunday and picked up one package of each for my own, so I'll see how they compare.

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions, and feel free to keep adding! I already have a good start on next year's entries!
    Karen
  • Post #19 - January 31st, 2008, 11:49 am
    Post #19 - January 31st, 2008, 11:49 am Post #19 - January 31st, 2008, 11:49 am
    Where do the maplewoodies come from?
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #20 - January 31st, 2008, 12:01 pm
    Post #20 - January 31st, 2008, 12:01 pm Post #20 - January 31st, 2008, 12:01 pm
    Cogito wrote:Where do the maplewoodies come from?


    Maple porn?
    ...Pedro
  • Post #21 - January 31st, 2008, 12:03 pm
    Post #21 - January 31st, 2008, 12:03 pm Post #21 - January 31st, 2008, 12:03 pm
    Also Wisconsin - Green Bay. Definitely looks to be worth a meat market road trip. You could really actually do a "circle tour", hitting Meisfeld's, Maplewood, Nueske's, and I'm sure some others up thattaway.

    http://www.maplewoodmeats.com/

    And, coming back to Chicago, stop in West Bend at Sausage Plus for some Kewaskum summer sausage. The website leaves a lot to be desired, but I'm okay with that if they are going to continue their great summer sausage:

    http://www.kewaskumfrozenfoods.com/index.html

    Very very hungry now.
    Karen
  • Post #22 - January 31st, 2008, 2:43 pm
    Post #22 - January 31st, 2008, 2:43 pm Post #22 - January 31st, 2008, 2:43 pm
    If they're as good as they're cracked up to be, they should find a closer outlet to Chicago than Green Bay. Fer Chrissakes.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #23 - January 31st, 2008, 3:13 pm
    Post #23 - January 31st, 2008, 3:13 pm Post #23 - January 31st, 2008, 3:13 pm
    Does anyone know where Superdawg gets their wieners from? From what I understand they dont use Vienna or red hot Chicago.
  • Post #24 - January 31st, 2008, 3:39 pm
    Post #24 - January 31st, 2008, 3:39 pm Post #24 - January 31st, 2008, 3:39 pm
    I'm pretty sure they have them made to their own recipe.
  • Post #25 - January 31st, 2008, 3:43 pm
    Post #25 - January 31st, 2008, 3:43 pm Post #25 - January 31st, 2008, 3:43 pm
    Da Beef wrote:Does anyone know where Superdawg gets their wieners from? From what I understand they dont use Vienna or red hot Chicago.

    Some say they are proprietary, others claim that they are the old Sinai 48 recipe, which is a near-exact match for the dogs that are currently served at Costco foodcourts.

    Does anyone know definitively?

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #26 - February 3rd, 2008, 11:25 pm
    Post #26 - February 3rd, 2008, 11:25 pm Post #26 - February 3rd, 2008, 11:25 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Some say they are proprietary, others claim that they are the old Sinai 48 recipe, which is a near-exact match for the dogs that are currently served at Costco foodcourts.

    Does anyone know definitively?

    Depends on what you mean by definitive. The owners and founders, Maurie and Flaurie Berman, told me that it's their proprietary recipe. Maurie Berman claimed they keep the recipe locked in a vault. I'd say that's definitive, even though they declined to say who manufactures for them.

    The Superdawg web site wrote:Maurie and Flaurie then created a proprietary, secret recipe.... The Superdawg™ recipe, the original trademark figures (continuing to flirtatiously wink at each other), and the drive-in concept have not changed.

    The guy with the Sinai 48 theory claims the Bermans are lying but has never presented any proof.

    Sinai 48 (a Sara Lee brand) is kosher and the Bermans say Superdawgs are not kosher but "kosher-style," which seems an odd marketing strategy if they've really been using costlier kosher hot dogs for 60 years.

    You could do a side-by-side tasting, I suppose, which would reveal if they're similar or not, but wouldn't be definitive, since one or the other could have copied the style.
  • Post #27 - February 3rd, 2008, 11:29 pm
    Post #27 - February 3rd, 2008, 11:29 pm Post #27 - February 3rd, 2008, 11:29 pm
    LAZ wrote:You could do a side-by-side tasting, I suppose, which would reveal if they're similar or not, but wouldn't be definitive, since one or the other could have copied the style.

    For the longest time, I've wanted to but have never gotten around to it. One of these days . . . :wink:

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #28 - February 4th, 2008, 11:46 am
    Post #28 - February 4th, 2008, 11:46 am Post #28 - February 4th, 2008, 11:46 am
    Schrodel's Meat Market in Jefferson, WI makes their own hot dogs.

    N3705 Hwy. 89 & W
    Jefferson, WI 53549
  • Post #29 - February 6th, 2008, 12:45 pm
    Post #29 - February 6th, 2008, 12:45 pm Post #29 - February 6th, 2008, 12:45 pm
    I know someone mentioned it already, but I would try Paulina's at Lincoln and Newport in Chicago. I don't really eat hot dogs, but I love their sausages. The Hot Italian and the tomato basil are DELICIOUS!
    EGS123

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