While Brandy has enjoyed many burgers for brunch over the years, she's never really considered that hot dogs might also be a viable option (well, except for that the Brunch Dog at Franks 'N Dawgs, obviously). But when the good folks at Bull & Bear contacted Brandy with a little proposition that involved a few encased meats, some of Chicago's most colorful neighborhoods, and a national holiday, she decided to make a (second) exception.
The Cider Press to help her choose from the five different candidates.
Following that came the Pulaski Dog, a smoked Polish sausage on a poppy seed bun with a crisp house made pickle, charred onions, and chunky brown mustard. Both Bailey and Brandy agreed that this was the closest to a traditional hot dog, and that they could have easily eaten the full sized version. The mustard wasn't overly spicy (which after the first two dogs, came as a relief) and along with the sweetness of the onions, the smokiness of the dog, and the tang of the pickle, the flavors and textures seemed to have been perfectly balanced.
The Little Italy Dog was next, consisting of a salami style sausage, arugula pesto, provolone cheese, and earthy mushrooms on a fennel seed bun. This one was sadly disappointing for both Brandy and Bailey. "Its just one of those situations where a bunch of ingredients that sound wonderful end up in a mediocre whole," Brandy sighed. The fennel seed in the bun was a little too powerful, it seemed, and masked the taste of the pesto, mushrooms, and cheese, but at least the bold meat managed to shine through in the end.
Both ladies continued to debate their favorites to the bitter end. Brandy preferred the sweet/tangy Pilsen and the rich Greek Town, while Bailey sided with the crisp Uptown and the traditional Pulaski. Luckily, Hot Dog Week at Bull & Bear is not yet over, so if any of our readers would like to judge for themselves, we would love to gather some more opinions on which one is truly the King of Hot Dogs!
* The writers of this blog were invited by the restaurant to sample the offerings for Hot Dog Week at no charge in exchange for an honest review