Everyone loves a love story and this afternoon we heard a great one. It is the story of two people that were high school sweethearts. The couple went on to college and then decided to make money to pay those high Northwestern tuition fees. Everyone loves hot dogs right , so they started their business in 1948. Seeing how lucrative the restaurant business was , they decided to make their summer project permanent. Now ,with three generations running the business , Superdawg is not only still thriving , but has become a piece of Americana . It has been enjoyed by celebrities like Steve Zelinsky , our master foodie, Billy Dec, and the iconic” Maurie and Flaurie “that decorate the roof have been used in various ads as a symbol for Chicago. Superdawg has also had the distinction of some of their boxes to be used as set dressing for television series that are shot in Chicago ,and has also been included in numerous publications including the world famous ” Thousand Things to See Before You Die.” On this particular afternoon, we ventured out to see the true Chicago landmark.
Scott Berman , their son, was our genial host as he told us his parents love story. Scott was so friendly and he welcome everyone that comes into Superdawg. There was a girl who had to stop on the way in from O Hare and a man from Virginia. Far and wide , they come for this great food. “They decided to put the restaurant on the end of the old street car line so it would have that country feel. ” Scott said. The restaurant is quite a jaunt from the shadows of the Hancock and Sears towers. By car, the iconic hot dogs on the roof can be seen for miles. “Originally the dogs were not going to be permanent, so they were made from paper mache . When they realized that the statues were going to be made permanent, they were covered with fiberglass so they could weather the elements. ” I will say this for “Flaurie” and “Maurie” , yes the boy and girl hot dog are named for Scott’s parents , who coincidentally are still healthy and active in their eighties.
We were treated to a variable “Super” feast. Superdawgs are not just normal wieners . They are all beef and made especially for Superdawg. In comparison , most wieners are ten to a pack, Superdawg wieners are six. They are more plump than a regular hot dog and have a terrific garlic flavor. I told Scott that they needed to sell these at Wrigley and he agreed. Superdawgs are dressed with all the trimmings and each meal is accompanied with Superfries. They are called “Superfries” because each fry is hand cut with a cutter that was invented by Maurie. The potatoes are hand cut in the warehouse in Skokie and then brought in the Super trucks. The potatoes are a special brand that come from Iowa and they are thick and flavorful. These are fries that if you forget the ketchup, fuggedabout it! You can still enjoy the fries. Just because the place is called Superdawg, doesn’t mean it ‘s all about the dawg. We also enjoyed a tasty polish basted in their bbq sauce called a whoopski dawg. Boy did the sauce make the difference! Their Superchic was a yummy chicken breast sandwich that was marinated in the same sauce. It wasn’t one bit dry and still held its flavor. Jen dug into the Supercheesie since she loves cheese so much. Scott explained that the cheese is special too. It is not your typical cheddar , but a mixture of cheddar and American to give it a mellower flavor. The burger was beefy and chewy and oh so good. One of my personal faves were two of the sides, we were given some of the Superonion chips and Superveggies. I love onion rings and also fried veggies and the ranch sauce totally made the flavor come out more. Best part is that the coating on the sides , is a batter base, not oil , making it a little more healthy. The meal had to be completed with a world famous shake . Jen had a chocolate malt and I got to try the best strawberry shake I have ever had. Pure fruity flavor mixed with real ice cream. Yummm. The best part is that everything prepared at Superdawg is made to order.
We ended our visit with Scott presenting us with two t shirts. I have to say I have shirts from a lot of Chicago landmarks, but this one I will treasure. We also had to have a pic taken with Scott outside the restaurant. I have to say this visit will be one I won’t soon forget and we plan to come back to Superdawg. If you really want the true Chicago experience , take a bus, drive a car and find a way to get to Milwaukee and Devon. You can’t miss the place because Flaurie and Maurie will be smiling down to welcome you.
You are looking at part of the original Superdawg. This window is part of the original building that was built in 1948. It was a project for two lovebirds so they could afford to go to school. It eventually became a family affair.
It ‘s not a hot dog! It’s a Superdawg! I love the design of the Superdawg boxes with those adorable hot dog people on the box. You also certainly get enough fries but you still can’t get enough of these heavenly potato creations.
I could munch on these all day. The yummiest were the Superonionchips and the Superveggies and their sauce. The veggies are cooked in batter instead of oil , so they are healthier. Never thought that cauliflower and mushrooms could taste this good.
Now that’s a Supercheesie! That’s a burger! It is chewy and tasty and like the Superdawgs , pure beef! Jen’s fave- lotsa cheese!!
Thirsty! There is plenty to drink at Superdawg! Each soda comes in a special color coded cup so the waitress can tell what drink you ordered. Each shake has a whole pint of ice cream in it. There are also old fashioned root beer and flavored floats.
Here we are outside with our new friend. thanks Scott for a bright spot on a cloudy day. We’ll come and visit you , “Maurie” and “Flaurie” real soon.