CHICAGO — The votes are in: The best hot dog in America, of course, calls Chicago home.
But Superdawg won the crown in a landslide.
"We're thrilled, honored and humbled," said Don Drucker, operations manager. "We were quite surprised, actually."
The signature Superdawg is pure beef in a poppy-seed bun topped with mustard, piccalilli, a dill pickle, chopped Spanish onions and a "memorable" hot pepper. For $5.50, it comes with Superdawg crinkle-cut fries.
Drucker credits the Superdawg's unique recipe for the win.
"It's made for us. It's our recipe," he said. "The certain amount of smoking and spices that go into it, the way it's prepared — it's something that you can't get anywhere else. We just don't settle unless it's the best."
Drucker is the son-in-law of Maurie and Flaurie Berman, who opened the drive-in restaurant in 1948 and are still involved in its day-to-day operations at 87. The family business isn't the only thing that's generational, Drucker said.
"We have a lot of longtime, loyal customers, and generational, too," Drucker said. "One generation passes it down to the next generation."
The voting took place over Facebook and Twitter, and the family saw an outpouring of support for Superdawg, Drucker said.
"We just go about our business, making sandwiches for people and making it in the best way possible that we know how, and to be rewarded with compliments like that is very humbling," he said. "And I guess that’s why we've been around for 65 years."
Drucker said he looks forward to seeing some new customers at the Norwood Park hot dog stop, now that its menu boasts America's top dog.
"Now there's a little bit more pressure on us to live up to that title," Drucker said. "But I think we're up to that challenge."