Review: Mike's Chicago Hot Dogs

July 4, 2009

I firmly believe that when you move away from Chicago you are programmed to search out two things: Chicago hot dogs and deep dish pizza. And that is how I found Mike’s Chicago Hot Dogs, by my Chicago food detector. The interior completely reminded me of a hot dog place I remember at home, but overall it wasn’t quite the same, but close enough to work.
I suppose when this is because nothing stands up to actually being in Chicago, eating the food you know is Chicago. Take Nancy’s pizza, I was so let down by that deep dish pizza. Even though this hot dog was good, I just felt it wasn’t the same. I liked it, but there were just a couple problems.
First, when I ordered a Chicago hot dog, they were out of relish. How can you be a Chicago hot dog place and be out of relish?! I’m not that big of a fan of relish so I didn’t really mind. However, I did mind the complete overload of celery salt. The flavor of the salt overtook everything else, down to the hot dog. In case they have forgotten, everything I’ve ever read and know about a Chicago hot dog is a DASH or a SHAKE of celery salt, not a tablespoon of the stuff.
The scent of celery salt still lingers on my hands as I type this. I know at this point I should be like “I don’t like it,” but I loved the atmosphere of the place, but as a White Sox fan it could have used a bit less Cubs stuff, bahahaha. It felt like a bit of Chicago in Atlanta. And the hot dog was most definitely like a Chicago hot dog, because as far as I’m concerned, if you don’t use Vienna Beef hot dogs, it is just not good enough. I will not eat any other hot dog. In fact, the last time I even ate a hot dog was when I was at Portillo’s last time I was in Chicago. I was also a vegetarian at the time, but I got a chili cheese dog anyway. I am dedicated to these foods, you understand.
It’s worth a visit, just for the atmosphere, and if you’ve never had a Chicago style hot dog. If you’re not from Chicago you’re probably not going to really care that little things may be off. Heck, even if you’re from Chicago, it’s good enough to be able to get a taste of home.

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