CHICAGO: 26 September – Essential Debate Day FOOD Edition!

I am in Chicago.  More exactly, I am in Park Ridge, the city where the worst of the presidential candidates grew up!  I will be here tonight and will watch the first presidential debate with friends.

There will be cooking.  There will be popcorn, too.  I have seen the actual popcorn to be popped, so I know that’s going to happen.  Despite the gravity of the stakes, popcorn is essential.

For lunch, however, we went to….


This isn’t your average Chicago hot dog shack. Nosirree.

Note the giant hot dogs on top of the restaurant.

This is one of the places where you can still drive up, park, order from your window and the food will be run out to you.

I know you would want a closeup.

NB: W.  It was the Cubs last home game yesterday and they won.   “Cubs win” has not been unusual this year.   They won more home games (57!) than in any season of the storied history of woe and resignation.  Are they Series bound?  Franky, she looks a little apprehensive.   He, on the other hand, is jazzed.

My dining companion informed me (after his own 52 years of dining here) that if you ask for a “hot dog” you will be told that they “don’t have any of those”.  They have, rather,…


I got one with everything.  And, yes, that’s a pickle.  You can’t see the Superdawg itself under all that onion and relish, etc.  I assure you, it’s there.  The fries were greasy but crispy!  NB: hot peppers.

It was really good. And it is owned by… I’m not making this up… Mo and Flo.   You can’t make this up.

Tonight will involve preparation in a large quantity of my good ol’ standby Spaghetti al seminario followed by mastodonic-size pieces of beef from the grill in the Florentine fashion.  We do, after all, want to make American great again and that’s a good way to start.  Or, to revise, not make it as nearly bad as it would be if one in particular of these candidates is elected.

Meanwhile, in regard to making America great again, my friend Fr. Heilman (who always has some project going) now has these.

No.  Neither pumpkin or… hopefully hat will be on the menu this debate night.

Do I hear an “Amen!”?


Second course.

Second course… again.



The debate is on!


A reader wanted to know how I made the gremolata.    It’s easy: chopped flat leaf parsley, minced garlic, lemon zest.  Experiment until they are in the right proportion for your taste.  Easy peasy.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. MarkJ says:

    Where can I get one of those hats?

  2. Mario Bird says:

    “America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
    — de Tocqueville

  3. jaykay says:

    The nourishment is palpable, Faddah.

  4. Kathleen10 says:

    Those hats are a slam dunk winner!
    So are those wieners up on the roof. Completely adorable!
    A place like that is sheer Americana, something to be treasured. God bless Mo and Flo.

  5. Charles E Flynn says:

    From Roadside Architecture:

    Illinois Drive-Ins

  6. adriennep says:

    I Vote Father Z for the next Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives!

  7. GrumpyYoungMan says:

    There are very few things I miss about living in Chicagoland – Superdawg and the Cubs are among those things.

  8. ChgoCatholic says:

    Superdawg! Cubs! Now I’m homesick. My nearly 80 year old aunt still loves their hot dogs.

    Park Ridge is a lovely town, my grandparents lived out their later years there. Ironically, used to be a conservative town; in fact, the candidate’s family was reportedly one such conservative family (or at least her father was).

    We plan to have popcorn for the debate watch, too, presuming we can stay awake and don’t get interrupted by our persistently wakeful little ones. But Superdawgs would be even better ;)

  9. ChgoCatholic says:

    P.S. Amen to the hat!!

  10. Sorry, but the best dawgs in the entire universe are chili dogs from Cupid’s Hot Dogs, a long-time institution in California’s San Fernando Valley (and one of the few things I miss about the place).

  11. LouLou says:

    IMHO we need to pray and fast for DT.

  12. S.Armaticus says:

    You Lucky Dawg!

    SD is my first stop when I get back home. After swing by the house of course.

    Now I’m hungry!

    Looks like Christmas at the parents house this year!

  13. slainewe says:

    My compliments to the grill chef. Cows must pray for such a happy death. (Not to mention being consumed by a priest.)

  14. tominrichmond says:

    Next time, cook the meat!

    [Not to worry. After a comment like that, you won’t be invited.]

  15. Michael_Thoma says:

    Father, I’m only a street over from you in Des Plaines. Open invite for you to celebrate the Malankara Syriac Holy Qurbono with our parish priest, if you’re up for a drive to Evanston this Sunday morning! Kauffman’s deli in Skokie is in between – my offer post-Divine Liturgy!

    [Very kind, but I am already gone!]

  16. Pingback: FOLLOW UP POLL: 26 Sept 2016 – Trump v Clinton | Fr. Z's Blog

  17. Sconnius says:

    This place was one of the features of one of those PBS documentary things, this one about hot dogs across America.

    My brother and I decided then and there to go to as many of those places as possible, since I had just gotten my driver’s license the month before.

    There a good spot in Chicago, called Fatso’s (was Phil’s) Last Stand that serves an excellent tubed meat (they call them char dogs). It was right across from St Volodymyr’s in the Ukrainian neighborhood.

  18. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Fr. Heilman’s splendid cap got me suddenly wonder if a Trisagion series might be an idea: “Sanctus Deus, miserere nobis” , “Sanctus Fortis, miserere nobis”, “Sanctus Immortalis, miserere nobis” .

  19. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    (Something for Rubricians in teams of three?)

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