This may be the most “Chicago” podcast episode I’ve ever produced.
My guest this week is author Dennis Foley (The Streets and San Man’s Guide to Chicago Eats, We Speak Chicagoese). We meet at Byron’s Hot Dogs at 1017 W. Irving Park (also located at 1701 W. Lawrence), and owner Mike Payne jumps in the backseat to join in on the conversation. Foley’s a terrific writer and an expert on all things Chicago… especially on Chicago food. As for Payne? Well, he’s simply a hot dog titan.
Some of the things we discuss:
*What sets a hot dog apart? (“It all starts with the steam table.”)
*The beauty of a Chicago dog (“It’s like a ballet in a bun”)
*The excellent new book Foley co-edited,”We Speak Chicagoese” (“short stories, creative essays and poems about Chicago by some of the top literary voices to ever roam the Windy City’s streets”). We cover some of the collection’s most compelling entries, including Foley’s contribution, “Pretty Please.”
*How my enjoyment of Byron’s hot dogs spread to the front of my shirt.
*Why Mike Payne should run for president this year.
*I mis-credit Karen Abbott’s must-read book “Sin in the Second City” as “Sex in the Second City.” I regret the error.
*How Payne met President Obama and taught the White House the way to make a proper hot dog.
*What defines “Chicagoese?”
Grab a seat over by dere and give this one a listen, my friend.