Yep, we did sushi in Texas. But it was a jalapeño and cilantro roll!
I’ve always loved Austin for it’s being so different from other parts of Texas. The food trucks, the friendly people, and all the music venues. J and I were excited to venture down once again for SXSW. We walked all over the city, checking out bands for my day job, meeting with industry friends… and eating. Tex Mex and fusion dishes like Chi’Lantro Bulgogi tacos, Mexican sushi rolls with crunchy jalapeño and cilantro, smoked pork tacos, Frank’s hot dogs with BBQ sauce and burgers too big to admit you consumed. I think there was a poblano caesar in there, but it was underwhelming, probably because it was trying to be a salad. At the end of the week, we had blisters from walking from one side of the city to the other, but reinvigorated hearing great music. Ok, I won’t lie, we enjoyed ditching our normally clean diet for some Frito pie. But we were happy to be headed home… I love you Austin, but I need a salad.
Chicago dog far from it’s home
Chi’Lantro Kimchee tacos
Frito pie from Frank’s
Texas sized everything
When I met my guy in Chicago for the first time he told me there was one thing we had to do. I thought, ‘Hmm.. see the skyline along Lakeshore drive, visit the Sears tower?’ No. It was to eat a Chicago Style Hot Dog. I’ve never been a hot dog girl, even when they’re grilled on charcoal til it splits open its juices; I’ve always preferred to eat other things. I was wrong.
The “Chicago Style” hot dog got its start from street cart hot dog vendors during the hard times of the Great Depression. Money was scarce, but business was booming for these entrepreneurs who offered a delicious hot meal on a bun for only a nickel. The famous Chicago Style Hot Dog was born. They’d start with a Vienna Beef hot dog, nestle it in a steamed poppyseed bun and cover it with a wonderful combination of toppings: yellow mustard, bright green relish, fresh chopped onions, juicy red tomato wedges, a kosher-style pickle spear, a couple of spicy sport peppers and finally, a dash of celery salt. (Don’t even think about putting ketchup on this doggie!) This unique hot dog creation with a “salad on top” and its memorable interplay of hot and cold, crisp and soft, sharp and smooth, became America’s original fast food and a true Chicago institution.
I highly recommend this unique creation, we even found one in Santa Fe, New Mexico at a food truck called Chicago Dog Express, voted Best Food Truck in Santa Fe in ’09 & ’10!