The Biggest Little Hot Dog: Organic Taste Of Chicago in Reno, NV


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
Twitter: @Taste_O_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!


My passion for good eats and restaurants started when I was 5 years old. Yes, you read that correctly, 5. My grandparents were my foundation and always enjoyed everything from a good ‘ole hole in the wall burger to seared octopus at the San Francisco Ritz Carlton. Of course, they always brought along yours truly, and I believe they had no idea what kind of foodie fanatic they were creating. Our family restaurant was always, “Original Joe’s” in downtown San Jose. The waiter would kindly ask what I would like to eat, (expecting me to order something like a child’s sized spaghetti like the rest of my cousins) and I would very confidently state, “I would like a New York steak, rare, with seasonal vegetables and a baked potato with sour cream and chives, please.” My Grandpa would always laugh and tell the waiter, “She better marry someone with money, this girl is expensive!” Later in life, the fire for food that burned inside me grew into a full on blaze. I started off in the restaurant business and worked every single position that exists. With dedication and a strong desire to succeed, I soon grew to be a professional chef. I absolutely loved watching people enjoy the meal I put in front of them. I loved seeing families laugh and create memories over a heart felt meal that I had prepared. The intensity of the kitchen, the plating, the perfection of timing in bringing a dish all together was a rush that I craved on a daily basis. After 8 years, I did decide it was time to keep my passion alive through my family and friends, so here I am! Thankfully, I have had the blessing of living and experiencing great culture. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area with hanging chickens on the streets, eventually moving to the beautiful city of Chicago with my husband for a short stint only to settle in the Biggest Little City aka Reno, NV with Lake Tahoe as my back yard to play in. I have experienced everything from Alligator in the back woods of Florida, deep dish pizza in Chicago, to Escargot right here in Reno. I also spend a lot of time in Lake Tahoe finding the local hot spots and lounging on the beach. I’m looking forward to bringing you exciting, witty yet genuine reviews right here from the Reno/Lake Tahoe area! Check out my blog Reno Tastebuds.