Published in red hot newspapers on Febuary 28, 2008
I’ve got a feeling that if hamburgers and hot dogs could talk, each might confess their jealousy of the other. Maybe it kills the burger that hot dogs are “All-American” and stadiums everywhere are filled with fans devouring lots and lots of hot dogs. The ESPN-televised contests where competitive eaters gorge on dogs, probably drives the burger crazy.
Even though the hot dog has it so great, there’s lots to get worked up when it comes to the high-profile status of the burger. In most places in the U.S., the number of burger restaurants outnumber hot dogs joints by at least ten to one. Hamburgers even have an ever-present sidekick. The simpatico relationship between burgers and fries probably leaves even the most popular hot dog feeling a bit lonely. What is life without a best friend?
I’m not sure what we eat most of here in the Hoosier State. We probably eat our fair share, and perhaps more, of both. In Northwest Indiana, the spillover of Chicago’s love for meat in a tube, has made hot dogs a long-time stand-by in “d’Region.” In the rest of the state, finding a great hamburger has been a much easier task than procuring the top dog. That, however, is starting to change. Every few months, a new hot dog place is staking its claim into the our state’s mid-section. It is an exciting time in Hoosier hot dog history.
There are three relatively new eateries offering terrific hot dogs and one place where even health- and eco-conscious locavoires can find wieners made from locally-raised beef that has been grass-fed and is free of antibiotics and growth hormones.
Sweet Home Chicago, Brownsburg
Chicago native Barry Neary had been a Hoosier for 18 years before he decided to bring a taste of the Windy City to his new home town. Sweet Home Chicago in Brownsburg serves lots of Chicago mainstays but his dogs are the real deal all-beef Vienna beef served on poppy seed buns. The Chicago-style is just like it should be with neon-green relish, sport peppers, and the rest of the trimmings. Sweet Home Chicago is located at 680 E. 56th St., Suite 1 in Brownsburg. They can be reached by phone at 317-852-7581. They are open Monday - Saturday from 10:30 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday from 11:30 am to 7:00 pm. More information, including their full menu is available at www.sweethomechicagofood.com
King David Dogs, Indianapolis
Long time Indianapolis-area residents might remember the King David Dogs brand of hot dogs, made in Indy by the Hene brothers and available at retail outlets all over the city at the time. King David Dogs went away but was recently resurrected by Brent Joseph, grandson of one of the brothers. Recreating the original hot dog recipe, Brent and business partner Matt Hursh now feed downtown diners with loads of hot dog options. The Chicago influence is evident here too with steamed poppy seed buns, and a Chicago Dog on the menu, but the choices go way beyond that. This place is a hot dog lover’s dream come true. King David Dogs is located at 15 N. Pennsylvania and they are open Monday through Friday from 11 am to 4 pm. They can be reached by phone at 317-632-DOGS. More information, including a full menu, is available at www.kingdaviddogs.com.
Chicago Red Hots, Lafayette
Family obligations brought George and Judy to Lafayette from Chicago but they just couldn’t their favorite Chi-town eats of their minds. About a month ago they opened Chicago Red Hots serving dogs, Italian sausage, and Italian beef, all made the Chicago way. This is a true “stand” with no seating. They do, however, have a drive through. They are all set for this Fall’s Boilermaker tailgate season with party packs that will feed a hungry crowd. Chicago Red Hots is located at 350 and Concord Rd. They can be reached by phone at 765-474-8500 and they are open Monday through Saturday from 11 am until 8 pm.
Goose the Market, Indianapolis
Goose the Market continues to be the go-to place for all sorts of locally-raised meats and poultry including all-beef hit dogs. If you want to reduce the carbon footprint of your dog, pick them up from Goose and make your own. Goose the Market is located at 2503 N. Delaware St. They can be reached by phone at 317-924-4944 and online at www.goosethemarket.com. They are open Monday through Friday 10 am to 8 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm.