Friday, October 7, 2011

Frugal Floozie Friday -- Chicago Reds

Chicago Reds is a great place to go for an inexpensive meal, which is why it's today's Frugal Floozie Friday feature. Yeah, we talked about Chicago food yesterday, too, with the famous Italian beef sandwiches. But we've moved on to a different classic food item today; have no fear of redundancy!

My dinner companion ordered the Chicago Style Dog for $2.99: "The Classic Chicago Dog, a Vienna all beef dog topped with tomato slices, Kosher Pickle, Neon Relish, chopped onion, yellow mustard, Sport Peppers & celery salt on a steamed poppy seed bun." It was definitely "dragged through the garden," as they say, and generously so. My friend enjoyed it immensely, taking a sharp detour from his usual healthy diet of steamed vegetables and rice to indulge in one of his favorite guilty pleasures. He's had a difficult time of late, and it was good to see him smile so happily as he ate.

I, however, don't want all of those salad ingredients and funky colors on my hot dog. I'm from New York, born and raised; I want my "dirty water" dog (affectionately named because street vendors keep the wieners in warm water until they're served to customers) with mustard and sauerkraut, period. So for $2.59 I ordered the New York Dog: "Sauerkraut & yellow mustard on a steamed poppy seed bun." Perfect in its simplicity, I felt transported back to my hometown for a little while.

To accompany the mainstays of our meal, my friend and I shared the basket of Garlic Parmesan Fries (pictured above) for $3.49. These were as close to perfection as fries might possibly come - golden, crisp, hot, salty, garlicky, cheesy, but none of these attributes was overdone. The consistency was ideal, and the flavorings were exceptional. And the serving was so generous, especially with the hot dogs, that we had to take some of the fries home.

So our very filling meal plus some leftovers cost the two of us less than $10, falling perfectly within the Frugal Floozie Friday budget of $5 per person or less. And there are lots of other options within this budgetary constraint, as all of the beef hot dogs are under $3, and the Polish sausages and vegetarian Italian sausage all range from $3.59-$4.79.

For a great inexpensive and casual meal - not to mention some passionate arguments over which city's hot dogs are best! - head to Chicago Reds. And leave me a comment telling me how you prefer your hot dogs: New York or Chicago style? Detroit style, with chili and onions? Southern style, with cole slaw? Or - gasp! - with ketchup???

Chicago Reds
312 S. State Street (inside Amer's Deli)
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104

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Chicago Reds Windy City Hot Dog on Urbanspoon


Jenn said...

I'm not ashamed to admit that I would eat both those dogs AND the whole basket of fries!!! YUM!!

Cranberry Morning said...

Until I found a hotdog that didn't have nitrates (nitrites?) in it, I couldn't eat them. Now, someone actually makes them!! What a treat!! I prefer my hotdog fried in butter to get it kinda crispy brown, then just my hotdog in a bun with a bit of Dijon mustard. YUM!!! P.S. Kevin loves the Chicago dog.

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Those fries look SO GOOD! What a great idea! I'm one of those horrid KETCHUP hot dog girls. Yes you can throw things at me now :)

Beth Zimmerman said...

Hi Mary! :)

You will probably not be shocked to note that I like my hot dogs au natural! Yep ... all beef on a bun! Though I will indulge in cheese and onions once in a while!


Leanne said...

Yum! It warms my heart to see "chicago" in your post! I'm a fan of the Chicago dog, minus the onions (is it still a "chicago dog" then? I'm thinking . .. no.) But I love the idea of them! For me, hot dogs are that thing that I just can't make at home. They never taste as good as they do someplace else (like, at Wrigley Field).

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