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On the Fourth, it's time for dogs

A Chicago red hot.

Call them what you will: wieners, franks, tubesteaks, Fourth of July must-haves. In this reprise of Food for Thought, Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson and our own Dick Stein discuss (burp!) everybody's favorite dog.

Forget Oscar Mayer and his weiners: Is there anything better than a garlicky kosher dog from Costco (with a huge soda thrown in for good measure)? Well, yes there is, says Nancy's husband Mac, who hails from Chicago and ate two Vienna Red Hots (topped with neon-green relish, tomatoes, onions, celery salt and spicy sport peppers) every day of his high school career -- and lived to tell the tale.

Today Mac (and Nancy) get their Chicago-dog fix at Seattle's own Matt's Gourmet Hot Dogs, though Nance is quick to pledge allegiance to the Costco dog.  In Tacoma, there's Red Hots for real Chi dogs imported from the Windy City and a huge list of craft brews. 

Stein reminisces about his childhood favorite, Nathan's snappy tube-steaks, while Nancy recalls the pre-Micky-D-days when kiddie parties were held at places like Lenny's Hot Dogs, in Philadelphia. In this Food for Thought re-run, we get fired-up about everybody's Fourth of July favorite, delicious year round!

"Meanwhile hot dog stands multiply and millions of young Americans grow up who will cherish the same veneration for them that we, their elders, were taught to give to the saloon."

 -- H.L. Mencken


Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.

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