In 1893, Samuel Ladany arrived in Chicago and started a small sausage making company, using old world recipes and techniques. Ladany’s effort blossomed into the Vienna Beef company, by far and away the most popular hot dog manufacturer in Chicago. How popular? There are hundreds and hundreds of hot dog carts and shops that carry only the Vienna dog. Anecdotal evidence says that in 2000, Vienna’s revenue topped $180 million.
Grandfather’s beget sons in the business, who beget their sons, and such was the case with one of the grandsons of the founder, Scott Ladany, who, after learning the family business, struck out on his own in 1986, and started the Red Hot Chicago Hot Dog company, which manufacturers a wide variety of franks, sausages, and related products for consumers and the trade.
I’m picky about which hot dogs I like. I prefer a natural casing, all beef dog, with flavor coming from the beef, spices, and smoke. At present, out of the midwest manufacturers, I’d say Usingers of Milwaukee tops my list, with Vienna a close second.
I sampled the skinless all beef dogs of Red Hot. The package claims “That Great Hot Dog Stand Taste.” I think they are selling themselves short, the pups are better than your average hot dog stand. It’s an ample (14 oz) package, and the product is generally priced less than Vienna.
However. It doesn’t have a whole lot of ‘old-world’ flavor, and I was disappointed to see “corn syrup solids” on the ingredient list, even tho it’s a small amount.
Would I buy them again, tho? Yep. You bet. I’d like to try their NC dogs and maybe their Polish, and Italians.