Dog Days of Summer at Bull & Bear: Chicago Restaurant

Considering all the perspiring and patriotism going on right now, it's safe to say the dog days of summer are upon us. This is certainly true at Bull & Bear, where specialty hot dogs are on deck all week long as part of the restaurant's Dog Days of Summer extravaganza. Dog days are just more enjoyable when it's something you can eat, rather than something that gives you a sunburn and sucks the life out of you. For the fourth year in a row, Bull & Bear has gone hot dog-happy, rolling out five different specialty hot dogs. This year, the dogs draw inspiration from various Chicago neighborhoods, such as the Pilsen Dog and the Uptown Dog, so Chicago neighborhood diehards should get themselves here ASAP.

Last year, Bull & Bear featured hot dogs inspired by different parts of the country, so this year they wanted to get more Chicago-specific and engage more local customers from throughout the city. Considering Chicago's miscellany of eclectic neighborhoods, it's a thrill to see the city divvied up into hot dogs. Each dog is made with a different meat, layered with different condiments, and stuffed inside different buns, much like Chicago's disparate 'hoods. Yesterday's dog was the Pilsen Dog, a zesty al pastor sausage topped with grilled pineapple and cactus relish, cilantro creme, fresh jalapeño, salsa habanero, and a bolillo roll. Today's dog is the Little Italy Dog, a salami pepperoncini sausage bedecked with arugula pesto, grilled and pickle forest mushroom, aged provolone, and a fennel seed hoagie. On Wednesday it's the Greektown Dog, a gyro-like creation featuring a spiced lamb sausage wrapped in a pita with tzatziki, feta, tomatoes, and pickled red onion. Thursday it's the Pulaski Dog, a smoked Polish sausage with charred onions, brown mustard, spicy pickle, and a poppy seed bun. The Dog Days wrap up with the Uptown Dog on Friday, a banh mi-inspired medley made with an Asian spiced beef sausage, pickled carrots and daikon, Thai chile mayo, dehydrated cilantro, jalapeño, and a soft baguette.

In case you miss one of the speciality dogs, don't fret! You can enjoy them all as part of a flight of mini dogs. It's called the Frank Plank and it's adorable. Then there's also the Homewrecker, a Chicago-style 22-inch kosher dog sure to put your gustatory will power to the test.

The Frank Plank
(The Frank Plank)