The Great Hot Dog Project: Superdawg Review

[This is the first in a running sequence featuring one of my favorite street foods: The Chicago Style Hot Dog. A snappy sandwich which can be considered a 400 calorie snack or the cornerstone of a typical Chicago lunch from 1983: two hot dogs, a basket of fries and a Coke.

Chicago Style Dog Official IngredientsPoppy Seed Bun, Steamed Hot Dog, Yellow Mustard, Chopped White Onions, Sweet Pickle Relish with Mint, Tomato Wedges, Dill Pickle Spear, Sport Peppers and Celery Salt.]


First on the list is Superdawg at 6363 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago.

Superdawg is high on kitsch with two massive, flirting wieners on the top of the restaurant coaxing you in. It’s one of the few places I’ve seen which still feature drive-in service. I’ve never personally participated in this method of food delivery as I don’t particularly enjoy eating in the car. Too messy and antisocial. Their menu contains plenty of items, as you can see on the signage, but I only eat hot dogs. All-Beef hot dogs. Anyone who knows anything about hot dogs knows that All-Beef is the only way to travel. If it’s not All-Beef, ITS CRAP. Make sure you see a sign that says Vienna Beef, Nathans, or Hebrew National. This is paramount! If it’s not All-Beef, just throw it away. Incidently, Superdawg® features the biggest, baddest dog you’ll ever see: The Superdawg™. Their website makes the VERY clear distinction which is a registered trademark and which is a lowly unregistered trademark. The traditional hot dog features a 1/8 pound dog. The Superdawg™ has got to be a 1/4 slab.

Truth be told, the Superdawg™ is NOT a Chicago Style Hot Dog. I’m not sure why this thing gets in the category because it simply doesn’t contain the correct ingredients. No celery salt, no tomato wedges, and it comes with a pickled tomato. Despite its miscategorization, the Superdawg™ is an excellent sandwich. I’m a huge fan of the controversial pickled tomato and the big piece of meat. The Superfries™, which are included in the $5.25 price, aren’t anything special, but the presentation of the dog and fries in the custom box is fine addition.


Overall I give the Superdawg™ an 8.5 out of 10. Superdawg®, the restaurant experience, gets a 9.5

To further dive into the nuances of the Chicago Style Hot Dog, I must factor in price. At $5.25, the Superdawg™ may be the most expensive Chicago Style Hot Dog for sale in the world. It’s a great dog, but is probably over priced because of tourists. It is literally listed in the book “1000 Places To See Before You Die.”  As this is going to be a running sequence I’ll be toying with some sort of metric to factor in price. For now, let’s keep it simple and call it the Score/Price ratio. This ratio will probably penalize expensive, higher quality dogs, so I’ll probably have to tweak it as I get more data.

For now, the Superdawg™ sandwich (not the restaurant Superdawg®) is a strong start with a Score/Price ratio of 1.62.


Overall Rating: 8.5 

Restaurant Experience: 9.5

Score/Price Ratio: 1.62

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