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Portillo's condones putting ketchup on hot dogs

Photograph: Kris Vire
Photograph: Kris Vire

There is a specific way hot dogs are served in Chicago and it should not be messed with. Yellow mustard, onions, neon green relish, dill pickle, tomato slices, sport peppers and celery salt are all we need. No more, no less. We're big fans of Portillo's—it's a one stop shop for hot dogs, dipped beefs, cheesy crinkle fries and the heavy but amazing chocolate cake shake. We're even anticipating the opening of the chain's second Chicago location with the same excitement we usually reserve for the holiday season. But now, Portillo's has crossed a line—a big, red, ketchup-y line.

In a recent promotional video, Portillo's details its usual lineup of hot dog condiments, which doesn't include ketchup (thank goodness). Then, all of a sudden, the video's narrator intones, "While ketchup doesn't come standard, we'll add it if you like." The horror. What are we? Animals?

At least the video's conclusion make it clear that Portillo's is just listening to its customers' demands, stating, "...we know the very best way to make a hot dog is to make it just the way you like it." Thank you, Portillo's. If you must squirt high-fructose corn syrup-infused ketchup all over your Vienna Beef hot dog, that's your prerogative. The rest of us will stick to garnishing our Chicago-style dogs the way they were meant to be.

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