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Photography - Stephen Hamilton, Story - Max Hamilton, Food - Vanessa Dubiel, Prop Stylist - Lorri J., Title & Design - Judith Mara

(Somewhere in Chicago)

My train was rumbling down the Metra lines, somewhere between Mayfair and Forest Glen when I re-discovered the child-like enlightenment hidden within the hotdog.

Packets of ketchup, mustard, and relish bounced around at the bottom of my basket while I stumbled back into my seat. I began to dress the hot dog with condiments when a revelation hit me: the “process” in processed meat refers to more than grinding, spicing, and packaging.

This process entwines tenderloin and intestine into uniform sausages leaving behind a blank meat-canvas, ripe for expression. Our rituals of condiments and toppings makes each hot dog specific to their eater, like an amorphous fingerprint of what someone enjoys.

My hot dog was mine not because I processed the meat or devoured it but because it became a physical assertion of what I savor.


( As the above story points out, how you choose to top a hotdog, or should we say a sausage in a bun, is very personal. There are hundreds of choices. We took the international route on this trip around the hotdog world. After taste testing many dogs, these are definitely our all star picks. )




  • Sauerkraut

  • Sweet red pepper

  • Pickled red cabbage

  • Whole grain mustard

  • Pretzel bun

  • Beer


  • Cilantro

  • Sweet red pepper

  • Carrots

  • Pickled hot peppers

  • Chinese cabbage

  • Hot and sweet chili sauce

The Asia Dog


Chicago Style  - All Beef


• Sport pepper
• Dill pickle
• Yellow mustard
• White onion

• Sweet pickle relish

• Dill pickle spear
• Tomato slices
• Celery salt
• Poppy seed bun


  • Crema

  • Serrano peppers

  • Bacon

  • Tomato

  • Cilantro

  • Pinto beans

  • Onion

Latin Dog




  • Potato dumplings

  • Onion

  • Potatoes

  • Bacon

  • Fresh Dill

Soul Dog


  • Hot link

  • Collard greens

  • Mac n‘ cheese

  • Hot sauce

  • Black eyed peas

  • Bacon

  • Onion

Bangers –

No Mash


  • Pork sausages

  • Whole grain mustard

  • Yellow honey mustard

  • Optional: Mash

HotDougs_V1a copy.jpg

A grand slam!

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