2. They taste like fermented salad. Chicago favors the “dragged through the garden” approach to toppings, which means your dog (normal or char) will arrive buried under more pickled produce than you’d find in a Bushwick loft during jarring season.
Here in New York, we don’t hide our dogs beneath an avalanche of flavor-masking greenery. If the water’s dirty, we want to taste it. Sauerkraut and relish -- no problem. But once you get into tomato and “sport pickle” territory, you’ve crossed from “convenient street food” to “sloppy hassle”. And have fun getting those poppy seeds out of your teeth.
At this point, Chicago’s hot dog apologists usually swoop in with allegations of NYC’s “dirty water” storage method. Yes, our carts keep their dogs in vats of warm water. No, it doesn’t bother us. There are germs all over this town, and we aren’t afraid of ‘em. Welcome to the big leagues, Loopers.
3. Coney Island… ever heard of it? Every Fourth of July, the world’s finest athletes descend on Brooklyn’s original Nathan’s Famous stand to showcase their fearsome hot-dog-housing abilities. It’s pretty disgusting. We don’t generally enjoy watching it. But regardless, this frankfurter fiasco doesn’t go down on Lake Michigan’s shores, because Coney Island is the world’s one and only cased-meat capital.