Lovers of elaborate hot dogs, rejoice.
Taste of Chicago on Powder Springs Street in Marietta is about to reopen under new ownership offering the same selection of Chicago dogs, Italian beef and Polish sausage.
For the uninitiated, a Chicago dog is an all-beef hot dog served on a poppy seed bun with mustard, onions, relish, pickled peppers, tomatoes, a pickle spear and celery salt. Taste of Chicago will serve those as well as regular hot dogs, chili dogs and other treats.
The original owner recently retired and closed shop after opening in the spot in 1990. Mom and son team Angie and Joshua Vandervort have bought the restaurant, including the equipment and menu. Angie Vandervort said if all goes according to plan, they will hold a grand opening Saturday, Nov. 23.
The restaurant is petite with a small indoor dining area and some benches outside for hot dog fans who want to dine al fresco.
The reopening is sure to please the restaurant’s many long-time fans, which include transplants from Chicago and native-born Georgians.
“Very good place!” wrote one Yelp reviewer. “Authentic Vienna products and the feel of a hot dog joint in Chicago. I also like the Italian Beef. It is as close to a classic Chicago Beef I have found down here. Really good bread, giardiniera, lightly dipped. Delicious!”
Giardiniera is a popular sandwich topping in the Midwest made from spicy pickled vegetables, and Italian beef is a Chicago sandwich that consists of simmered roast beef on an Italian roll soaked in au jus.
Angie Vandervort said she also has fond memories of the place and wants to keep it going for future generations.
“I grew up here, I went to Wheeler High School,” she said. “I double dated there when I was a teenager. It’s been around for years and years and years. It’s something we just want to keep authentic for all the people who know and love it. We want to be a family-owned business and we want to make all our customers feel like family.”
Residents of the Windy City take their hot dogs seriously, and the golden rule of a Chicago dog is this: thou shalt not ask for ketchup.
Some Chicago hot dog stands have strict penalties for ketchup seekers, which include ejection from the premises or having one’s photo taken and posted to a “Wall of Shame.”
Angie Vandervort said Taste of Chicago’s policy won’t be quite as harsh.
“It will be bring your own ketchup,” she said with a laugh.