How Do You Eat Yours?

Chicago style hot dog

Image via Wikipedia

It’s nearing the end of grilling season here in Northern Virginia. Last night fall came tumbling in with brisk temperatures. This summer I had a little shin dig at my house. The main feature of the meal was grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and I realized that I pulled a BUNCH of condiments and toppings out of my fridge to please all pallets.

It seems the choice of what you place on your burger or dog is very specific. I know I have my favorite toppings and in any given situation the person on my left and right will top their grilled meat differently.

The first time I met my future in-laws I was whisked straight from the airport to a well-known Chicago area hot dog placed called Portillos. I’m an East Coast girl – so I guess I’m more a New York hot dog kind of lady (I love my sour kraut). The Chicago dog is VERY specific right down to a poppy seed bun. And while I’ve taken a bite of that particular hot dog I’m just not into it. You see, I just do not like yellow mustard. Spicy mustard or dijan are totally fine but that bright yellow stuff just makes my mouth pucker, and yellow mustard is a big part of that Chicago taste sensation.

I’m a minimalist when it comes to my hot dog. I’m pretty happy with just ketchup. If I have sweet relish, I’ll add that as well. A chili dog is also delish but hold any onions or cheese you may want to add on. My Man likes yellow mustard, spicy mustard, ketchup, and relish and my kids are all about the yellow mustard and ketchup combo (and finally have started eating their dogs in a bun).

Hamburgers are a whole other story. There are so many taste combinations that can be created and I’ve had many a delish burger. One of my all-time favorite hamburger places is a little restaurant in Edmond, OK called Flat Tire Burgers. This place is really a bar right next to the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) and you’d think it’d be full of college students getting their beer on. Maybe it is late at night, but if you head there at dinner time the place is full of families chowing down. They have a green chile cheeseburger (green chile, pepperjack cheese, chipotle mayo)  that you can have served on a jalapeno bun that is so good my mouth is watering right now thinking about it. In the past month My Man has made two trips to Oklahoma and in neither of them has he made it to Flat Tire. I’m glad, because I think I would be raging with jealousy.

For burgers at home I’ve had to forego the cheese. My digestive track just says no (although for that Flat Tire burger I’d deal with the consequences). I do like a burger with mayo, lettuce and tomato… but my all-time favorite combination is ketchup and dill pickles. That’s it. My Man likes ketchup, yellow mustard, dill pickles, and cheese. Both of my children prefer cheeseburgers  (only yellow plastic cheese please). Buddy likes ketchup only and Little Miss likes mustard and dill pickles.

Just in my little family of four there are such distinct tastes for condiment choices. I bet you have a favorite flavor combination too!


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