Chicago-style hot dogs make their way to Dubai

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While traveling to Dubai, ABC 7's Hungry Hound discovered not only a Garrett's Popcorn, but also a Chicago dog franchise. (WLS)

Chicago's classic dishes certainly have appeal outside of town. You can find Portello's in Arizona, for example, and of course Uno's is all over the world.

But while traveling to Dubai, in the Middle East, ABC 7's Hungry Hound discovered not only a Garrett's Popcorn, but also a Chicago dog franchise. While both concepts come close, but they do have regional distinctions.

Steve Dolinksy was in the United Arab Emirates covering the Dubai Food Festival for another publication, and while there, he discovered a couple of Chicago icons, each with a very Middle Eastern approach to the beloved caramel corn, cheese corn and hot dogs.

More than 7,000 miles from home, it's interesting to see what the other side of the world thinks Chicagoans eat on a regular basis.

Beneath the world's tallest building, in the world's largest mall, Garrett's popcorn sure looks familiar to Chicago eyes. But look closer, Lotus Carmelcrisp and Tikka Cheddar? Clearly, a result of being just a few hours away from India. Then there's the Chicago Dog spotted at a different mall, at the Chicago's Original kiosk.

"I've been in hospitality for a while, and I said I need to create something new in this part of the world, and I did research, going around for the hot dogs, and I was very fascinated and I thought, very intelligent idea of putting it together," David Thomas, the owner of Chicago's Original, said. "And they said hot dog in Dubai? Because the perception of a hot dog in Dubai is a little, small frankfurter they get in supermarkets or petrol pumps - at gas stations," he said.

So he got creative. They need to have Halal-certified beef here and the various styles are hilarious. How about a "SkyDeck" with white and yellow cheddar, mushrooms, jalapenos and spicy salsa?

"Initially people said it's nice, but I think it's expensive because we can get them for a dollar-and-a-half probably at petrol pumps and that's not the pricing window we're looking at," he said.

These are seven dollar dogs, mainly because they're quarter pounders, but the Original is awfully close, even though presentation is different. A boiled size four is placed into a toasted bun (no poppyseeds) shmeared with a bit of butter. Red tomatoes, check. Pickles, neon green relish, onions and yellow mustard? Check. They even tracked down sport peppers and celery salt. But why no steamed Rosen's poppyseed buns?

"Poppyseed in Dubai is a banned goods under the category. So you're not allowed to use any poppyseeds as such here. We refrain from using poppyseed as a word, because people think they're carrying drugs," said Thomas.

In this week's Extra Course, Dolinsky takes a look at how they translated a Chicago-style burger in Dubai, using beef bacon as a garnish.

EXTRA COURSE: CHICAGO-STYLE BURGERS IN DUBAI
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In this week's Extra Course, Dolinsky takes a look at how they translated a Chicago-style burger in Dubai, using beef bacon as a garnish.


Chicago's Original
Wafi Shopping Mall
Dubai
United Arab Emirates
+971 55 480 1746
wafi.com/dining-out-in-dubai/restaurant/chicago's-original

Garrett's Popcorn
Financial Centre Road, Ground Floor, Unit 171, Dubai Mall
Dubai
United Arab Emirates
+971 4 330 8600
garrettpopcorn.com/uae

Related Topics:
foodhungry houndfoodu.s. & world
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