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We took a road trip up to Chicago last weekend to spend some time with my Uncle Wally and to decompress a little bit. I had the best intentions of going into the City and maybe going to a few blues bars, but all we really did was hang out in the northwest part of the city, shopping and eating at some good, familiar places.

This was not one of those familiar places at which we ate, however. Uncle Wally wouldn't be caught dead eating here. He made that mistake back in the '60's when he took his wife Elaine there for dinner.

Elaine, well, you had to know her to really understand. She was a super-nice lady, just a wonderful Polish gal who liked to have a good time and laughed a lot. Wally loved her and made sure she had everything she possibly could have and she never had to work. Unfortunately, Elaine died of cancer a few years ago. That is a completely different story, though, not one that we need to worry about for the purposes of this photograph.

Elaine was nice, absolutely, and funny and fun. But, she was also fastidious to a fault. She was always "put together", dressed finely and even carried matching pocket books no matter if she was going to church or going to the flea market. Sometimes that grated on Wally, I think, but he loved her so much that he put up with it for a long, long time. Wally's not too worried about being put together. He's a retired glazier, worked for the Chicago Public Schools for many years. He also drove a cab and held other blue collar, manual labor jobs. Wally worked hard for his money, so he liked to play hard, too. It usually involved a few bottles of his favorite beverage - beer.

Anyway, they just got their home not real far from this place, way back in the 1960's. You can hardly get to that house from anywhere in Chicago without passing Superdawg!. Elaine decided she had to check it out. She was like that - she had to check it all out, from the seediest to the fanciest. Wally didn't mind seedy much, but he sometimes took affront to fancy - especially if there was a cost premium on something he could get somewhere else for cheaper. Like a hot dog.

So, you are probably getting to where I'm at now. I probably could have skipped the long story to tell you why Wally won't eat here by just saying you can buy hot dogs at any baseball stadium for less...

It was about time I mentioned my favorite aunt and uncle anyway. We stay with Wally practically everytime we go to Chicago, unless we will be spending a lot of time in the City. Wally doesn't do the Loop, either. So anyway, we were coming into town last Thursday evening and of course had to pass this place. I decided that if I didn't get downtown, I would come here and get a few kitschy blue hour shots, just to give you all something to laugh at.

So here it is: Superdawg!

There are several of these in Chicago now, but you can get a cheaper (and maybe better) hot dog at about a thousand other places. Of course, they don't have a place where you can park under a shelter and order your food, and eat it, in the car, or an anthropomorphic wiener couple on the roof, so I suppose there has to be a premium for that.

Uncle Wally could give a rat's butt about that. He tsks and shakes his head every time we drive by the place, which, as you know, is quite often.

He took us to a new place for Italian Beef sandwiches earlier this day - it was in a bar called Paterno's. Best Italian Beef sandwich I've had yet. We used to always go to Papa Chris's for that, but they don't have beer.

Anyway, here's Superdawg on Milwaukee Avenue in the northwest part of Chicago. It's Saturday night in this shot, so they are packing in the people not worried about spending five bucks on a single hot dog.

Up the street is the Apple, a Polish smorgasbord which is awesome!

Thanks for looking!
Reed

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Additional Photos by Reed Radcliffe (rlrad) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 250 W: 18 N: 393] (1845)
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