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Second City Brawts in the Morning at Midway

February 4, 2010

A few years back, airports were a weekly part of my life. Traveling isn’t that provocative when you have to do for the man. It is much more sophisticated and takes on a different air when it is for a relaxing vacation with the wife… or a romantic getaway to visit the mistress in Argentina.  Recent changes at work have ended my 4 year respite from travelling. So I am back at it, puddle jumping around the states in pursuit of cheap airfare – taking up whole days for travel in what should be a 4 hour non-stop flight, all in the name of saving my company’s executives $200.

My recent return from back east laid me over in Chicago’s Midway airport. My immediate thought after touching down was that I have to head to Super Dawgs for one of these.  To my great dismay Super Dawgs was in another concourse and thus going through security checkpoints again just wasn’t in the cards. But I have to add a shout out to the security officials at Midway. They not only make sure that we are safe from underwear and shoe bombers they made certain we were protected from creepy politicians playing footsie with us under the stalls in the bathrooms. Check out the adjacent photo.  Floor to ceiling stalls.  There was no way Larry Craig could slide his foot into my stall, maybe a proposition note or a dirty photograph – but that was about it.  Nice addition Midway – thanks.

In my quest I walked right on by Harry Carey’s.  I had to.  You know this.  Yes I am certain they unquestionably had some kind of tasty salty pig parts in a casing on their menu but there is something that puts me off to chef-less celebrity restaurants.  No disrespect to the loveable mis-pronouncer of Paul Assenmacher.  Hearing him struggle with that and lisping out Luis Salazar between swigs of hooch from his flask at a Cubs day game was utterly hilarious at times.  It is just that it rubs me the wrong way when a guy like a Harry Carey or a Ted Turner, who after scoring Barbarella, and ruling a bazillion dollar cable network empire, says to himself “I always wanted to open my very own restaurant”.  Then with a snap of a finger, some multinational conglomerate comes in and crams it and his image down our throats.  Meanwhile the sous chef at the local gastro-pub day dreams of one day having the same opportunity while scrubbing out the broiler and dragging out floor mats after a dinner shift in the weeds.  So thanks Harry Carey – for the memories of taking me out to the ball game but let’s just leave it at that.

But this is Chicago right?  There invariably is another hot dog stand somewhere in my terminal. The culinary technique of assembling a Chicago style hot dog isn’t some arcane practice only learned at Le Corden Bleu. As certain as you can find a deli in New York I stumbled upon Gold Coast Dogs.  Scanning the menu all I’m seeing are omelet muffins and sausage and egg bagels!  Did I fail to mention that it is 8:50 in the morning? When you are traveling and jet-lagging around the country you never know what time it is.  After all, waking up at 4:00 in the morning for a flight to Phoenix really subjugates the incongruity of wanting a hot dog for breakfast.  I was fortunate the grill cook had already started his prep work for the pending lunch rush.  As luck would have it he had a nice tasty juicy looking bratwurst ready to go.  “We can do that Chicago style right?” I asked.  His response was simply; “Is there any other way man?”  Why no, when in the Second City, there is no other way and for that brief moment I was the man.  A nice snappy crunch on the charred casing, the heat from the sport peppers and the sweetness from that funky looking too green of a relish, really hit the spot.  One of these days I’ll try and get out of the airport and experience the real food Chicago has to offer as a destination instead of a layover – it has been 8 years, so maybe in June.  In the mean time thank you Gold Coast Dogs for making my breakfast.

One Comment leave one →
  1. mom2 permalink
    February 6, 2010 7:20 am

    OK, so how is it that you can take a person who doesn’t particularly like peppers and could care less about a hot dog and have her salivating for the Chicago Dawg in less than 10 minutes…and at 6:30 in the morning….???

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