How to get ketchup on your hot dog in Chicago

September 10, 2021 • 1:45 pm

by Greg Mayer

Kim and Carlo’s Hot Dog Cart, on the plaza northeast of the Field Museum, serves genuine Chicago style dogs, and has a very specific policy about putting ketchup on hot dogs:

Kim and Carlo’s ketchup policy.

The Museum Campus (the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium are all right there) attracts lots of of out-of-towners, and on a recent visit to Kim and Carlo’s I overheard a discussion among a family as they approached the cart that included the line, “I just want one with ketchup.” I did not stay to see how that went!

(One addendum to Jerry’s list of ingredients— green relish, which on a true Chicago dog is a neon shade of green not often seen outside of a Chicago dog.)

JAC: Oy, how could I forget that??? But this sign shows you how seriously Chicagoans take their dogs. Seriously, ketchup on a dog throws the whole thing out of balance!

Chicago dogs, northern edition

September 10, 2017 • 3:00 pm

by Greg Mayer

Jerry’s post this morning on Chicago dogs inspired me, and made me hungry, so I headed to Trolley Dogs, in downtown Kenosha, Wisconsin, for lunch. (Kenosha is the first town over the northern border of Illinois).

Trolley Dogs, Kenosha , WI.

There’s a street trolley that runs east-west on the boulevard to the south of the restaurant, plus, there’s a model trolley suspended from the ceiling, that chugs around, above the diners. (It wasn’t operating at lunch today, so the trolley just stayed at one place on the track.)

The little trolley near the ceiling in Trolley Dogs. The trolley itself is at the far right hand corner.

And here’s their Chicago dog. Note that the mustard is yellow (a must; it can’t be brown), and that the green relish is an eerie sort of neon green. This, too, is required for a true Chicago dog. I make them at home with a substitute, more standard, pickle relish. If you enlarge, you will also see the celery salt on the pickle (don’t be misled by the poppy seeds). The dog is tightly wrapped in paper to keep the ingredients intact.

A Chicago dog at Trolley Dogs.

And here’s the full meal– fries with lots of skin still attached, and a soda. I had the two-dog special. (And that’s a statistics textbook to the left– some light, mealtime reading!)

The full meal.