Lunch Meets | Hamburgers v. Hot Dogs

[Ed. note: Welcome to Lunch Meets. In this new weekly online column, TOC's Food & Drink intern, John Irvine, infiltrates the anonymous lunch masses in the Loop and asks the tough food questions: Chocolate or vanilla? PBR or Old Style? This week, to coincide with our hard-hitting investigation of fleeting summer sandwiches, John asks the man on the street this question: Hamburger or hot dog? Of course, tough questions always lead to more questions, and in this episode we ask if the best summer food is really a drink—and how do vegetarians navigate a barbecue anyway? The answers to all that and more are after the jump.]

Photograph: Anthony Soave

Tashio Martinez in Chase Plaza

What is your go to summer food?
Can it be a drink?

A smoothie.

What goes in your smoothie?
Yogurt, strawberry, banana, kiwi…. I have one of those awesome Magic Bullet things you see on TV and you know they work! 

What about sandwiches—do you go for a burger or a hot dog?
Probably a burger.

And what goes on it?
Lettuce, tomato and then you've got avocado and Swiss.

Where do you find a good burger?
I like going to Rocks on Broadway, they usually have a pretty good burger.

Do you like hot dogs, then?
I mean I like it, but I don’t like the Chicago style.

Oh, you don’t?
There’s too much in there. I just like my ketchup and my mustard. 

So you get ketchup?
I do and I've been called out on it.

Photograph: Anthony Soave

Julie Kelly in Chase Plaza

What is your favorite summer sandwich?
I’m not a huge sandwich person.

So are you a meat eater?
I’m not.

What is your sandwich alternative; If you go to a grill-out, what do you have?
I have the fixings. All that. I have the fruit salad or the green salad or broccoli salad or pasta salad.

What is your favorite of the salads?
Probably the fruit. I guess I’ll be a boring interview because I’m not going to say that I love the turkey legs with the grease dripping off of them and stuff like that.

Well I can’t say that sounds particularly appealing on a day like today. So where do you think they have the best fruit?
Well Whole Foods is so expensive, you know. But, [there's] the farmer’s market in Oak Park—I just went last Saturday…. I do stop by the Daley Plaza market on Thursdays and take stuff in to work.

Photograph: Anthony Soave

Mick Bockstruck at Dearborn and Madison

Hot dog or hamburger?
Well it’s hard to decide, but I guess I’d prefer a good hamburger to a good hot dog.

And where do you go for a good hamburger?
Kuma’s Corner.

What is the ideal hamburger composed of?
I would definitely have to say bacon is involved. And probably blue cheese is involved and mushrooms, something like that. 

What is your drink pairing when you get a burger with bacon, blue cheese and mushrooms?
I’m a big craft beer guy so probably some sort of IPA or an Imperial IPA.

What about a hot dog; are you a hot-dog purist with no ketchup?
Yeah, definitely no ketchup.

So are you a fan of the Chicago dog? 
I am a fan of the Chicago dog, yes.

What would you eliminate?
The tomato.

It can be sort of cumbersome. That’s the thing that always falls out.
Right. Yeah, the pickle and the pepper, relish and celery salt all have to be there.

Photograph: Anthony Soave

Joe Badalmenti in the Art Institute Gardens

What is your favorite—a hot dog or a hamburger?
A hamburger.

And what goes on it?
Everything, as much as you can put on it.

What’s your favorite?
Lettuce, tomato, mayo, large pickles. That’s probably it. And onions. Onions are good. Onion rings are good, too.

What about some fancy cheese, avocado, stuff like that?
Not so much avocado. When I get a burger, typically I’m not trying to be healthy.

Photograph: Anthony Soave

Sonia Turk in the Art Institute Gardens

What is your favorite summer sandwich to have?
I usually have a turkey sub.

What is your favorite sub shop?
I really love Potbelly’s. It’s right over there. I don’t know anything local yet, I’m working on it.

What goes on your turkey sub?
I really like jalapeños or peppers. I really love spicy sandwiches.

Hot dog or hamburger?
Oh, that’s hard. Hamburger.

Well, have you had a Chicago dog yet?
Yeah, yeah! I've had a Chicago dog.

And what was your impression?
It was delicious.

Photograph: Anthony Soave

Kate Gleb in Chase Plaza

When you think of summer and sandwiches, what comes to mind?

And what do you get with avocado?
Turkey, avocado, and Gouda

Summer go-to?
Mista. It has pizza and wraps and other things.

When you order a burger, what goes on it?
Cheese, avocado, peppers.

What’s your beer of choice to pair with a burger?
A nice summer ale would be good right now.

And your favorite place to go for a burger and summer ale?
I really like Rockit.

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