Sunday, March 9, 2014

Chicago Hot Dogs Flop But North Dakota Goes Ga-Ga For Gyros

One of the grand delusions that most Chicagoans entertain is that the rest of the world loves our unique style of hot dog.
Chicago expatriate hot dog magnates
Aramburu and Hackett

That, of course, is the Vienna red hot on a poppy seeded bun with mustard, relish, tomato, onion, a deli pickle and perhaps a hot pepper and a dash of celery salt.

We grew up downing these things and are crazy about them. The rest of the world -- maybe not so much.

That unhappy reality was painfully discovered first hand by an ex-Chicago cop and his buddy, who lit out for the wilds of the North Dakota Bakken oil fields to make their fortune purveying red hots.

The 33 year old former cop, one Joe Hackett, got tired of providing bullet fodder in the war on Chicago's West and South side ghetto rats. So he persuaded a childhood friend, Steve Aramburu, to wipe the dust of this frigid, multicultural hell-hole off their feet and bring Chicago red hots to the hungry denizens of the new oil-rich boom town of Williston, North Dakota.
For some strange reason gyros are
all the rage in the North Dakota oil field

They perfected the rather elementary recipe and set up a roadside joint along one of the busiest stretches of highway near the oil patch. In deference to Hackett's previous calling, they call it "Chicago's Finest."

In the wake of the new "fracking" technology, oil roustabouts in North Dakota are pulling down 6 figures for essentially blue collar labor. The economy of Williston has been booming.

That little windswept town at the oil extraction epicenter, now boasts the highest rental housing costs in the nation -- outstripping even Manhattan, NYC and San Francisco.

So Hackett and Aramburu figured to make a killing -- one hot dog at a time.

Now going into their 3rd year, they've done OK, but not quite well enough to be able to afford a year round rental in the hyper-inflated North Dakota housing market. Consequently, they move their road show down to Austin, Texas for the winter and resume in North Dakota when the snow stops flying.

What they've discovered, though, is that the relocated Southern  "good ole boys" who comprise their NDAK clientele aren't so hot on Chicago hot dogs.
Gyros -- mmmmmmm!

But for some strange reason, they've gone ga-ga over gyros.

That big fatty Greek slop atop pita bread, has been outselling the famed Chicago "garden on a bun," there by quite a long shot.

Seems that we Chicagoans have a tendency to forget that not all the US citizenry descends from long lines of enthusiastic sausage eaters.

So with the ice soon to melt up there, Hackett and Aramburu will once again be setting up shop alongside Highway 85 next to the Patriot Fuels truck stop.

And maybe they still will make their fortune up in Williston, North Dakota.

One sloppy Greek sandwich at a time.

1 comment:

  1. I always ask for everything on it but just 1 jalapeno pepper with my dog and I squeeze just a little of the juice from it on the dog to give it just a hint of that peppery taste. been doing that for years


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