With stadiums squeezed in every metropolis and dirt fields dotted throughout the open, sprawling cornfields of middle America, baseball has long carved out its niche as the great American pastime. The crack of the bat and the crowd’s cheer have become synonymous with summertime, and with it comes its very own quintessential American fare: caramel-coated popcorn, ice-cold sodas and hot dogs in freshly-baked buns. While toppings vary from region to region, the iconic Chicago-style beef dog is in a league of its own, holding court as the king of the American hot dog.
Opening this month, Midway Beef Dogs brings a taste of classic Chicago-style, all-beef hot dogs to BELOWGROUND at LANDMARK. Helmed by American-born Chef Josh Stumbaugh, the limited time pop-up is a nostalgic nod to life spent growing up in Philadelphia, where hot dogs were a perennial staple, be it at family barbeques, grilling sausages with his dad in the backyard, or grabbing $1USD dogs and cold beers at Citizens Bank Stadium and catching the Monday night game with friends.
A Philly fan at heart, even Chef Josh admits that Chicago-style dogs are on a different level. “They are adamant about how it’s done in the Windy City; for them, there is really only one right way to do it. There are so many toppings that the running joke is that it has been dragged through the garden,” says Stumbaugh. “It might look like a lot of ingredients, but when these flavours are perfectly balanced, the taste is something else. This mash-up of ingredients, plus being all beef, is what makes Chicago dogs what they are.”
As any Chicagoan can attest to, it is the perfect combination of nine elements, from the crisp pickle spear and the finely chopped onions to the smattering of yellow mustard, but never any ketchup, that leaves you wanting more. In fact, with Chicago dogs, as every true hot dog fan knows, you always start with two.
Launching with a single style, Midway Beef Dogs will serve a classic Chicago all-beef dog tucked in a freshly-baked traditional poppy seed bun, topped with yellow mustard, relish, pickled peppers, tomato, a pickle spear, minced onion, and to finish, the secret weapon to any Chicago dog, a dash of celery salt ($40). Wash it down with your favourite soda, be it Coke, Fanta or a Dr Pepper ($20-$40).
“There is something about putting all these ingredients together, where the taste slowly wakes up your palate,” comments Founder Christopher Mark. “ Your senses are not immediately overwhelmed, but rather it is the fourth or fifth bite where all the flavours make you realise that this is the best iteration of the hot dog out there, at least in our opinion. So you grab another one.”
Midway Beef Dogs is now open from 11am to 7pm (or until sold out) for takeaway only at Space E, BELOWGROUND, 1B/F, LANDMARK Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central.