In 2007, my husband and I lived in the beautiful city of Chicago for a short while. Our three main food groups consisted of deep dish pizza, Chicago dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. West coasters have no idea what deep dish pizza is and no, Pizza Hut does not count! They also don’t realize what a Chicago dog experience is like, so I am going to explain all the nitty gritty to you.
I remember walking into Portillo’s, a popular fast casual concept all over Chicagoland, and ordering a hot dog. The cashier quickly handed over my order, and I remember asking where the ketchup was. He chuckled and said, “You must not be from Chicago”. Whoa!?! I was being judged. What did I do? I felt self conscious. I replied with a big west coast attitude, “Umm No” in my finest valley girl accent. If I could’ve thrown the word “Hella” into that sentence I would’ve, just to hold my ground and represent my NorCal roots! Whaaaat Whaaat!?!
The employee explained that I was easily identified as an outsider because real Chicagoans do not put ketchup on the dog. It is mustard only, along with being served in a poppy seed bun and topped with sport peppers, celery salt, tomato slices tucked neatly along the sides, white onion, sweet pickle relish with mint and a kosher dill pickle spear. But wait! That’s not all. As you are taking the first bite into the dog, you get a “snap” right when your chompers sink in. That is when you know you are eating a true Chicago Dog.
Moving back to Reno was devastating at first because we had gained about 20 pounds each which was all hot dog, pizza and Italian beef sandwiches and it felt like our feeding tube was cut off. Where were we going to get those snappy little hot dogs with the poppy seed buns that jam all up in your grill? Fast forward 8 years, and I present to you…. Organic Taste of Chicago.
Today was one of those Saturday afternoons where my husband and I were out doing errands. We were hungry and had the usual conversation, “What do you want for lunch?” Me: “I don’t care”. Him, “Pick Something” Me: “Umm, I dunno”. Him: “What sounds goods?” Me: “Anything really.” Him, “Just pick something.” Me: “Omg, you pick, I pick all the time.” Him: “Fine, we will just go home.” Me: “Noooooo, lets just get sandwiches” Him: “I’m pulling over and looking myself.” Me: “Fine.”.
As we were scrolling through Yelp, we saw a food truck that was called, “Organic Taste of Chicago”. Quickly, hubs called them and asked where we could find them. As soon as we got the 411, we sped over as quickly as downtown Reno would allow us. My hopes weren’t crazy high at first. Everyone claims to have a Chicago dog, but soon you realize its a dollar tree knock off. Let’s just see if this food truck could live up to the reputation.
Organic Taste of Chicago
We found the parking lot and raced up to the window. My eyeballs quickly looked over the menu, I finally put to use that stupid speed reading class I was forced to take for credits in school to good use and ordered my ChiDog. The owner was super friendly, striking up conversation with us and giving us a little background of his food truck. I found out that he is always in the Recycled Records parking lot on weekends in Mid-Town Reno. I watched him pull the steamy poppy seed buns out and start decorating the dog. Yellow mustard, Pepper relish, tomato slices…my heart was pitter pattering with excitement. Did we finally find the real thing? Next came the sport peppers…my hopes just flew through the roof top! He wrapped the dogs in foil, handed them over and Sayonara it was.
After almost breaking my ankle in a parking lot pothole because I was fixated on just getting the car and ripping open the foil, I heard the doors unlock and hopped in my seat. I looked like Charlie from the Wonka movie opening the candy bar that contained the golden ticket. I carefully unwrapped my little foil packet, and stared in awe at what was finally sitting in my lap. I took my first bite and “SNAP”. The snap that I explained earlier was there!!!!! It was a Chicago Dog!!!! I turned to my husband and smiled with poppy seeds jammed all up in my teeth and mustard smeared across my face. I know, he’s a lucky man! I actually got a real taste of Chicago right here in the Biggest Little City.
Reno-ites and passer throughs… I highly encourage you to stop off at the Organic Taste Of Chicago food truck and experience a true part of Chicago’s food scene. The prices are fair and the food is authentically true! This is definitely a dynamite find!