HOT DIGGITY DOG
By Allan Borgen
I love hot dogs and I know a lot of you do too judging by the huge number of hot dogs sold each year (Americans devour an estimated seven billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day alone). Although popular, not all hot dogs are created equal. There are many styles of cooking hot dogs and lots of condiments and toppings to put in and on top of the dog but in my opinion, the king of hot dogs are Chicago-style and lucky for us, Windy C’s Chicago Hot Dogs in Upland serves up some of the best little doggies in the IE and has for over 14 years. Owner Freddie Johnson, who hails from the Southside of Chicago, is very thankful for his loyal customers support over the years.
A great hot dog is only as good as is the quality of the dog and Vienna, a popular purveyor of fine deli meats and products from Chicago is the hot dog and products of choice at Windy C’s. So just what is a Chicago Style Hot Dog? Let’s start with a soft poppy seed bun, yellow mustard, an all beef hot dog, chopped onions, bright green relish, slices of tomato, a kosher pickle spear, sport peppers (a small chili pepper that is tangy and has a nice spicy kick to them) that’s finished with a sprinkling of celery salt. The result is a magnificent tasting hot dog that has layers of flavors and textures—it’s simply delicious.
In addition to the traditional Chicago Dog, there are various combinations of the dogs with sauerkraut, cheese, chili and all of the other great toppings found on the original dog. My favorites are the Maxwell Street Polish Dog, a spicy Polish sausage with grilled onions and hot peppers and the Wrigley Dog with mustard, sauerkraut, pickle and cheese. Besides the regular and jumbo size dogs, you can also get many of the hot dogs that are one foot long.
Another culinary treat from Chicago is the Italian Beef Sandwich (aka Chicago Beef). This fantastic sandwich consists of thinly sliced roast beef dipped in homemade au jus and topped with a mildly spicy pickled relish called Giardiniera. I love this sandwich and know you will too.
Others items of note are their fresh, crisp and thinly sliced French fries (thin potatoes are fried upon ordering and come to you hot, crisp and oh so good), the Vienna Corn Dog, their Chili Cheese Fries and the Windy C’s LiL Fish Sandwich, fried fish patty with tartar sauce, cheese on a steamed bun, meatball sandwiches along with shakes and hot and iced coffees.
Over the years many small restaurants have opened up in our area specializing in hot dogs but Windy C’s is definitely one of the best especially you want a “real” taste of one of Chicago’s iconic foods.
Windy C’s Chicago Hot Dogs, 140 S. Mountain Ave., Upland, (909) 982-8273; www.windycs.com. No credit cards accepted. Debit or cash only.
For the best local restaurants, follow Allan at Feedme411.com, watch the Let’s Dine Out Show on Ch. 24 KVCR-PBS Friday nights at 6:30pm or listen to the Let’s Dine Out Show on KTIE AM 590 every Saturday from 3pm to 5pm. Contact Allan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (909) 910-3463.