Sunday, August 14, 2011

Can a Chicago dog bark in Brooklyn?

Yesterday afternoon I took a walk to Pier 1 of Brooklyn Bridge Park, where I saw lots of kites flying. On the way back, as I turned onto Everit Street from Old Fulton, ready to head up Squibb Hill to Brooklyn Heights, I saw this sign. "Chicago Dog" brought to mind an al fresco snack during a lake shore stroll years ago. Although I'd had a light lunch earlier--a sambusak and spinach pastry from Damascus Bakery on Atlantic Avenue--my brisk postprandial walk had opened gastric space. Resistance was futile.

When I asked for a Chicago dog, the proprietor seemed pleased by my request, but regretted not having seeded buns on hand. I said that was OK, but added, "I hope you have sport peppers." He nodded yes, and asked if I was from Chicago. I said I had been there many times over the course of my career, and had come to appreciate its many fine points, gastronomic and otherwise.
Here is the finished product. The reason for the epithet "dragged through the garden"--appropriate for a city whose motto is Urbs in Horto*--is evident, as chopped onions, peppers, pickle, relish, and tomato are visible. The Vienna Beef frank seemed rather bland (rather like the wagyū in Mile End's beef on weck), but the condiments, especially the peppers and the proprietor's robust homemade mustard, made up for that.

As you can see, I chose a foreign beverage to wash it down, but if Dad's Root Beer had been on offer, I'd have gone for it.

The Landing is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Word is that the proprietor is looking for an indoor space to make it more than a seasonal operation. I hope his search succeeds. Next time, I may try his "Sheboygan bratwurst".

*"City in a Garden". Mike Royko, an astute observer of Chicago politics, suggested replacing it with Ubi est Mea ("Where's Mine?").