August 21, 2011

Café Brauer Hot Dogs vs Chicago hot dogs

Bill Matteson
Uptown Chicago History Correspondent

Cafe Brauer hot dogs were among the finest hot dogs in Chicagoland
Although they were not the "Chicago Hot Dog" that we know today

In Uptown the hot dog was king, you could get a great hot dog almost anywhere any push cart stand that sold hot dogs was great.
the best was at Lawrence and Marine Drive, then at Clarendon and Wilson, One of my Favorite places was Goldblatts Basement they had a unique "Bun Puffer" that had needle like valves that shot a blast of steam through the bun, they used a fat hot dog and their relish was greener that anyone else's

Cafe Brauer Served hot dogs At The Lincoln Park zoo and every concession stand in the Park,
all the beaches and I think even Wrigley Field, but I'm not sure about that.
Their Hot dogs were great and the only condiment you could get with it was some kind of brown mustard
they cost a whole dime more and they were worth it

I will go to a hot dog stand outside the area that advertises Chicago Hot dogs
they haven't a clue as what a chicago hot dog is, But then neither do most of the patrons,
At one place advertising a Maxwell polish, I asked the owner if he knew where Maxwell St is. ?
he told me it was just the name of the sandwich and not a place.
The true Chicago Dog, I believe can only be had in Chicago

Bill "I miss the good old days" Matteson


adgorn said...

I can still smell them, mixed with the sand and lake water aroma, at Montrose Harbor, while sitting under the rotating Nike radar!

adgorn said...

adding email followup

old guy said...

Thats right! the bunn puffer in the basement. I could never remember where that was, I was just a kid when my father used to buy hot dogs there. There was also a hot dog trailer on montrose and marine drive and my neighbor told me that the guy who ran it was able to put a couple of kids through college. But that was in the sixties.
I remember my friends and I would go down by the Nike base in the hopes they would fire off one of the missiles. Thank goodness that never had to happen.

old guy said...

Was that hot dog bun puffer just an uptown thing? When I looked it up I could'nt find anything on it.
Thanks Al

bill Matteson said...

the bun puffer at Goldblatts was the only one I have ever seen
I also looked them up and can't find anything on them.

Old guy, glad I was able to bring back a memory or two!

Anonymous said...

I lived on 833 W Lawrence from the late 40's until 1951 and I use to get hot dogs from the Gypsy lady at Lawrence and Marine Dr. They were the best. When she was tired, she would take her dress off and ly in her slip on the side of the hill. It was just a small white cart with glass shelves that would have the tomatoes, onions and cucumbers, I believe, lined up.
I think they were a quarter but for some reason that sounds high.
Cheryl Peck

bill Matteson said...

You are so right they were they best and don't forget the tamales.
Right behind you on the 800 block of Lakeside place My Buddy Don French lived in a court yard apartment building, Bob Carter lived there also, Don now lives in Kentucky is 80 years old and we sent 4 hrs together talking old neighborhood stuff
Cherly my email is

Anonymous said...

These comments really bring back memories, espescially the one about the beache sand getting in the mustard. good memories from a better day

Unknown said...

My Father was Cafe Brauer as all of his family to begin with. Actually my Father's Mother (my Grandmother) was Brauer so her husband last name Hecker handled Brauer until my Father took over. I grew up thinking I owned Lincoln Park Zoo and the Lakefront from Olive Park to Foster avenue was my very own playground. Of course during the summer I worked for my Father. First at Olive Park, then the Zoo and at the Cafeteria. I preferred being lakeside so the next summer I worked at North Avenue boathouse and eventually Fullerton (my personal fave) by the summer of 70. I so miss those days and am now retired in Florida. If anyone would like to know more you may first contact me thru this page. I'll be checking on and off. Ellyn LaVine

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author. said...

I used to sell refreshments in a refreshment truck owned by Cafe Brauer. Because they had a monopoly on refreshments in the parks/beaches, they had to cover the areas where there were no stands and I drove between the refreshment stands in the beaches on "the rocks" on the bridle path. I worked on 20 % commission. It was a great job for a late teen and I bought a brand new 1969 Camaro from the factory in Detroit. And yes, you could only get brown mustard on the hot dogs at the beaches...for 30 cents.


Related Posts with Thumbnails


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin