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The Most Life-Changing Hot Dog In America Is... Superdawg!

By Amy Cavanaugh in Food on Apr 4, 2013 4:40PM

That's according to Esquire readers, at least. The magazine's Eat Like a Man blog recently held a reader poll to determine which restaurant makes the Most Life-Changing Hot Dog. Though we don't know exactly makes a hot dog "life-changing," the winner was Chicago's own Superdawg, which captured nearly 50% of the vote.

With locations at Milwaukee and Devon in Chicago and Wheeling, Illinois, Superdawg was cited for its "exacting commitment to quality."

The Superdawg itself is a large, all-beef hot dog made to a family recipe, boiled, and topped with all the condiments of a Chicago-style dog — mustard, relish, onions, a dill pickle, and hot sport peppers — plunked in a poppy-seed bun and garnished with a Superdawg specialty: a green pickled tomato.

Maurie and Flaurie Berman opened the restaurant in May 1948 when they were studying at Northwestern on the G.I. Bill and teaching schoolchildren, respectively, and wanted a way to make money. The couple's plan: "open a hot dog stand that sold perfected versions of the Chicago dogs they'd grown up on."

Maurie designed a distinct, mod drive-in restaurant, placed two eye-grabbing, 12-foot-tall anthropomorphic hot dog statues on top, and named the business Superdawg…Not much has changed at Superdawg since it opened at the corner of Milwaukee and Devon in 1948. Maurie and Flaurie are still involved in the day-to-day business operations; car hops still bring food to and from customer's windows (only they're now aided by that wonderful invention, the electronic speaker system); even the menu remains intact.

Lest Hot Doug's fans get up in arms—the sausage emporium made the short list and took almost 10% of the vote. Rounding out the top 10 were hot dog restaurants in Michigan, New York, Houston, Boston, and other places.

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