Hot Dog Week Returns!

August 27, 2014

Every summer, River North sports bar, Bull & Bear, hosts a weeklong hot dog celebration, coinciding with National Hot Dog Day. The celebration features five unique hot dog creations from Chef Andy Gibson, with each creation offered for one day only during the week. This year's theme included inspiration from the Chef's favorite cities and areas of the US, from Cincinnati to California.

The BF and I stopped by Bull & Bear to taste test all five of these diggity dogs, all in the name of food research. Luckily for us, the restaurant offers the "Frank Plank," a sampling platter of all five hot dogs in a mini format which we tried, along with a generous serving of parmesan truffle fries.

Here was this year's round-up from left to right:

  • The Cincinnati "Coney": Spicy beef chili, pickled onion salad, shredded cheddar, mustard, potato bun
  • The Sooo Cali: Bison dog, heirloom tomato and avocado relish, arugula, crispy shallot, lettuce, pesto aioli, ciabatta bun
  • Miami Vice: Turkey dog, mojo braised pork, spicy pickle, mustard aioli, swiss cheese, shredded lettuce, toasted garlic bun
  • The Northern Woods of Wisconsin: Venison dog, fried jalapeno jack cheese curds, caramelized onion, juniper-beer mustard, soft bun
  • New Orleans Po' Boy: Andouille sausage, olive relish, frisee, crispy salami, provolone, remoulade, sesame bun

The Frank Plank
While we anticipated our favorite dog would be The Northern Woods of Wisconsin dog (hellooo fried cheese curds), the clear winner was The Cincinnati "Coney". Why was it our favorite? It had the most flavor, and the hot dog was the best of all five. Sometimes you gotta just stick to tradition.

A close second was The New Orleans Po' Boy. We loved the remoulade and the spicy andouille.

Parmesan Truffle Fries
In addition to the five daily dogs, Bull & Bear also offered the Chicago Style Home Wrecker, a 22-inch kosher hot dog with mustard, relish, onion, tomato, sport peppers, celery salt, and a potato bun. Anyone who finishes this bad boy in one sitting gets a $25 gift card and a "Homewrecker Champion" t-shirt. Are you up for the challenge?

Bull & Bear's hot dog week always proves to be creative and fun and we're looking forward to finding out the theme of next year's celebration!

Note: my meal at Bull & Bear was complimentary; however, the opinions expressed herein are my own.

Bull & Bear
431 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60654
Bull & Bear on Urbanspoon

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