Any Ferris Bueller fan knows that Abe Froman is the Sausage King of Chicago. But then what do they really know? Abe Froman isn't even real. He doesn't even show up in the movie. You want to know what's real? I'll tell you what's real.
Greg Vizzini and Todd Edge are real. So is their restaurant, Dog Days Chicago Hot Dogs in Peachtree Corners. They use only real Vienna hot dogs and their specialty, the Chicago dog, is as real as it gets, right down to the pickle, tomato, sports peppers, onions, relish, mustard and celery salt on a warm, steamed poppy seed bun.
And people who know their hot dogs know they are real. Recently Vizzini and Edge received a letter from a first-time customer. Not an e-mail, mind you, but a real letter typed on a typewriter and delivered by a real postman in a handwritten stamped envelope. When was the last time anyone saw something like that?
Anyway, the letter from Michael Bernardo of Duluth related some real memories about real hot dogs.
Bernardo wrote: "Now I'm an old hot dog man from way back. I remember my dad while shopping in the open air markets during the '30s in Paterson, N.J. with me trying to keep up with him as a seven or eight year old. We always stopped at the push cart vendor for one of their steaming hot dogs covered with mustard and kraut. Theses were inferior dogs, but we ate several of them as if prepared by the gods. As a young adult, I learned to discern between a quality and inferior hot dog."
After years of tasting and testing, Bernardo declared, "Johnny and Hanges and Falls View in Paterson made the best chili dog ever with a special chili recipe no homemaker could duplicate."
"Now we come to the present,' Bernardo continues. "I have not eaten any chili hot dog since my youth to compare to those described above until now when my son and I each enjoyed our favorite hot dog: mine the homemade chili dog and he, your Chicago hot dog. Every bite was a true delight. I guess I'm saying your hot dogs are perfect which I have no doubt can be found in the other 22 varieties you have listed in your menu."
Those other 22 appeal to all ages and ethnic backgrounds. Vizzini notes that some are made with real Italian beef sausage and Polish kielbasa. And for those with more local tastes, Dog Days offers local specials like the Georgia Dog (or is that dawg?) with BBQ sauce, the OTP (outside the perimeter) Dog, and even closer to home, the 141 Dog in honor of people who live and work around Peachtree Corners.
I don't know if anyone has declared Vizzini and Edge to be the Sausage Kings of Gwinnett County, but I do know for sure, everything about them is real.
Susan Larson is a Lilburn resident. E-mail her at email@example.com.