Chicago hot dogs in Spokane? Surely you can’t be serious?
Heading back from a ride one day we noticed a food trailer/cart parked on a little lot on Government Way that said “Chicago Style Cuisine”. A few days later it was gone. It turns out the fine City of Spokane made “Big Red’s” move to an area that was zoned for his business. It’s now located at the Southeast corner of Sunset and Government way.
Last night we finally decided to give it a shot. The menu is small but very Chicago…and when deciding if something is truely Chicago style cuisine you always order a Chicago hot dog (with everything on it). Being from Chicagoland I know what a Chicago dog should look and taste like and Big Red’s hits it perfectly.
I talked to the owner (and I’ll assume he goes by “Big Red”) and asked him where he was from and sure enough he claimed Chicago. I asked where and he said Manteno (I’m pretty sure I remember this correctly). Now, if Manteno is Chicago, than I grew up downtown on Michigan Avenue and not the Northwest suburbs. But that does not matter. Chicago cuisine is far reaching in the Midwest and you know it when you have it and Manteno is still in Chicagoland (and yes, “Chicagoland” is a real term). I asked about his brand of hot dogs…since that would be the litmus test of how “Chicago” the food would be. He chooses Red Hots whereas I prefer Vienna Beef…but I’m okay with that since it still fits the bill of what a Chicago Dog is. Interestingly Vienna Beef is currently suing Red Hot Chicago. Bottom line, dude knows his Chicago food.
Whenever I head back to the Chicago area the first stop from the airport is Portillo’s where we scarf down a few Chicago hot dogs and occasionally an Italian Beef, its how all trips back to the mother-land start…and usually finish too. So how does Big Red’s hot dog stack up? Damn good. He chooses the larger 3.2 oz Red Hot which makes for a meal in itself. And that makes sense, if you look into how the Chicago hot dog originated.
I’ll be back there soon…and I’m getting an Italian Beef next time as I know he’ll do a great job with that as well. If you like “Chicago Cuisine” I suggst you head over to Big Red’s. It’ll be worth your trip. And if you complain that it’s too messy to eat or too much food…be thankful you live in Spokane and not Chicago…because you would proabbly get your ass kicked for being a wuss.