Friday, June 24, 2011
Redemption In Simplicity
Thank you, Johnnie's Chicago Red Hots, for reaffirming my faith in the basic dog. Vienna Beef jumbo frank, tomato, relish, pickle, onion, yellow mustard, celery salt, sport peppers on a poppy seed bun. I had to go overboard. I had to add the slaw. Still, the orchestra of flavors that Chicago ingredients bring to the table shines through the mess of mayonnaise, cabbage and carrots that I greedily slathered on top.
I've been a fan of Johnnie's for a while now. When I walk in the door, I wonder how they manage to stay in business. Nine times out of ten, I'm the only customer in there. But, as soon as I'm noticed, I am treated like a king. Then, the food arrives and it always blows me away. Kosher-style dog dragged through the garden. Fresh-cut fries. And that poppy seed bun. The flavor from the peppers and the pickle. The neon relish. The fresh tomato. It all comes together perfectly. Adding the slaw only brings another element. A creamy, crisp vinegar taste that cools the senses. I've been a patron for years. They're consistent, fast and exceptional, if somewhat traditional. Nothing will stop me from returning frequently.