Happy National Hot Dog Day! Yes, I know what you're thinking... another food holiday? I know, I know. However, as I mentioned last week, I'm a sucker for just about any fun food holiday (there's actually a food holiday for practically every day of the year, so things could get *really* exciting around here). And as you may already know, Chicagoans take their hot dogs very seriously (don't you dare ask for ketchup!), so I felt it was my duty to partake in this sacred day.
In honor of Chicago's love for encased meats, Bull & Bear took National Hot Dog Day a step further and created an entire week of celebrations. Their 5th annual Dog Days of Summer promotion pays homage to the mighty dog with a selection of five specialty hot dogs, each one themed after a different location in the United States (Cincinnati, California, Miami, Wisconsin, and New Orleans). The daily dog offerings are all customized with specific toppings that are unique to the areas they were named after. Diners are also able to try all of the dogs in mini form (and vote for your favorite!), via the Frank Plank, which Mario and I were invited to stop in and sample.
The Cincinnati Coney: Spicy beef chili, pickled onion salad, shredded cheddar, and mustard on a potato bun
The Sooo Cali: Bison dog, heirloom tomato and avocado relish, arugula, crispy shallot, lettuce, pesto, and aioli on a ciabatta bun
Miami Vice: Turkey dog, mojo braised pork, spicy pickle, mustard aioli, swiss cheese, and shredded lettuce on toasted garlic bun (this was Mario's top pick!)
The Northern Woods of Wisconsin: Venison dog, fried jalapeno jack cheese curds, caramelized onion, and juniper-beer mustard on a soft bun
New Orleans Po' Boy: Andouille sausage, olive relish, frisee, crispy salami, provolone, and remoulade on a sesame bun (this was my top pick!)
Bull & Bear is located 431 N. Wells, Chicago, IL. The Dog Days of Summer promotion continues through Sunday, July 27.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal to facilitate this post. Review and all opinions are my own.