Hot Diggity Dog

This studio shot shows John Wayne in character for the John Ford 1939 film, "Stagecoach." Wayne had already appeared in 79 films, from extra to lead, before his breakout performance as the Ringo Kid. United Artists

Hot dog stands have been a Chicago tradition since around the turn of the century, with about 2,000 of them in business right now, serving the city's own distinctive breed of dog, reports CBS News Correspondent Carol Marin for CBS News Sunday Morning.

And just what is a Chicago Hot Dog?

“Mustard, relish, onions, tomato, pickles and sometimes cucumbers and hot peppers. It's kind of like a salad on a bun, but no ketchup.”

“No Ketchup” is the title of an exhibition at Chicago’s City Gallery, featuring photographs by Patty Carroll.

“One day,” says Carroll, “I was driving back and forth from work, and everything was dull gray. And the only place that had any color at all was this hot dog stand that I drove past every single day. And I realized that going to a hot dog stand in Chicago is like going on a mini-vacation.”

Carroll relishes the idea of documenting this Chicago tradition, not because of the dogs (she's a vegetarian), but because of the décor.

“Graphically, they're phenomenal,” she says. “I've always loved the fact that people paint hot dogs in these really crazy ways.”

At the Superdog Drive-In on Chicago's north side, it's sometimes hard to find the hot dog underneath all the relish and trimmings and French fries. Superdog has been a family run business since 1948, owned by Maurey and Florie Berman. Flo takes the orders, son in-law Don Drucker packs them, and even grandson Max pitches in.

And are they worried at all about competition?

“Nobody is competition. We are unique and supreme,” says Maurey.

Adds Don, “We're the only drive-in left, anyway, in Chicago, with car hop service.”

Carroll observes, “And each hot dog stand has its own little breed of fun.”

At Downtown Dogs on North Rush Street, loyal customers doggedly add their own personal touch, bringing in for display photos of their own canine friends.

In the never-ending battle to stand out against all those look-alike fast-food franchises, there can be no doubt that Chicago hot dog stands continue to cut the mustard.

For more information:

No Ketchup

City Gallery (through June 22)
(in Chicago’s Historic Water Tower)
806 N. Michigan Avenue

Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is free.

Phone: (312) 742-0808

Web site: http://w4.ci.chi.il.us./CulturalAffairs/CityGallery/PattyCarroll.html


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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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