Can a New Yawker successfully peddle a Chicago hot dog to Portlanders? One stop at the Fried Onion will make you coo an utter “oh, yes!”
The Fried Onion is another newcomer on the scene, and in a slightly unlikely location, NW Raleigh between 22nd and 23rd. (Actually midway in the block on Raleigh).
Affable folks, the Onion proprietors are experts in their field and experts on hot dogs. The Chicago “Red Hot” is not “hot”, but rather a brand name, and, interestingly, the founder of Red Hots is the grandson of the founder of Vienna Beef, arguably, THE Chicago hot dog.
At least in my mind. At least until today.
A nicely charred dog, skinless, ample in size, lovingly checked by the cook for the required doneness temperature (nice touch), and placed in a also slightly charred locally baked roll. A dab or kraut at my request, and a squirt of yellow mustard, a dash of celery salt (homage to Chicago), and man oh man, that’s a great dog. Great flavor, great taste, no overbearing smoke or seasoning flavor. And a damned good size, as well.
So why did I order a burger as well? How could I not. I ordered it undressed, with a slice of cheddar, and you see that crispy protrusion off to the right? Nope, it’s not bacon, but crispy melted cheddar goodness. An ample sized hand-formed patty, lean, nice beefy flavor, I ate it “as is”, and didn’t clutter it up with condiments, wanted to enjoy the taste and texture of the patty itself.
I couldn’t finish both the dog and the burger, oh, I could have in my salad days (did I ever really have “salad days?”
Well, actually, I couldn’t finish the buns. I ate the meat out of both the dog and burger, and didn’t leave a morsel behind. Caution: Red Sox fans pay extra, the sign sez. Menu is here.
Go the the Fried Onion. Order. Purchase. Partake. Enjoy. Smile.
If you can’t get enough on site, it appears you can order Red Hots by the ton, online here. I’m gonna.