News, Recipes, & More...
If you ask Mark Reitman how Hot Dog University started, he’ll take you all the way back to 1955 when he was just eight years old. Selling food in his father’s soda fountain drug store and later becoming a teacher and hot dog salesman perfectly prepped Reitman for a post-retirement life as the founder of Hot Dog University, a program that teaches people the skills they need to open a hot dog cart. Read the full article here!
Enhancing the image, quality, and iconic status of an Italian Beef and hot dog stand around Chicago for over four decades is no small project. Following the success of those first two decades, Steve DiSilvestro has taken on that task, quite successfully, for nearly 20 years now. He has done just that in stepping up all business niches, from dine-in to delivery, carry out and drive-thru. Steve and his loyal staff have perpetuated The Original Luke’s on Harlem as a fast food icon in the heart of a great restaurant laden area on Chicago’s northwest side.
Featured in the print media, as well as on WGN-TV’s Chicago’s Best, with Brittany Payton and Steve McMichael, The Original Luke’s has been recognized for their fabulous food fare; excelling as a traditional quality ‘beef stand’, with Vienna hot dogs and Polish sausage, their own charbroiled burgers and homemade Chicago style pizza, and much more. Steve and the Original Luke’s team are deeply involved in the community, their schools, many charitable events and even the Franklin Park Ice Arena.
Now, its Vienna’s turn to acknowledge and thank this great beef and hot dog icon, and welcome The Original Luke’s on Harlem into the Vienna Beef Hot Dog Hall of Fane. From all of us at Vienna Beef, we congratulate Steve and the DiSilvestro family and their great staff and look forward to continued success.
Jason Marzullo has been at the helm of Hot Dog Ritchie’s perpetuating the name and neighborhood icon status since 1999. Originally started up by Rich Smith in 1975 as a northwest suburban fast food oasis; he would be very surprised and proud at the impact created by the 3 future owner / operators, particularly the passion for the business displayed by Jason; not to mention the tremendous seating and kitchen expansion.
Many regular customers refer to the place as ‘HDR’ with its tag line of “when you’re here you’re here, and when you’re not you should be”. Jason’s HDR has been acclaimed as the best thin crust sausage pizza and best hot dog in Palatine and is always supportive of the community events and needs such as ‘Rosie’s Toy Box Cancer Fund and supporting local sports, from Celtic Soccer to Palatine Youth Football. Once inside Hot Dog Ritchie’s, regulars and newbies love the menu and it’s variety, which also includes Vienna’s corned beef and pastrami as well as hot dogs and polish sausages; while burgers beef and gyros are on the radar of many. You can always check out the entire menu and what’s going on by visiting www.myhotdogrichies.com.
Now it’s Vienna’s turn to say thanks to Jason and the Marzullo family and staff and welcome Hot Dog Richie’s to the Vienna Beef Hall of Fame. it is a recognition of a hot dog restaurant operation being a passionate and positive part of the Foodservice community in product and community for over a quarter century. From all of us at Vienna, congratulations to Hot Dog Ritchie’s and best wishes for much continued success.
One of the most amazing success stories in the food service industry began in Villa Park, Illinois inside of a small food trailer. Although in 1963 this trailer had no running water, it did have a very energetic and motivated young man by the name of Dick Portillo. Over the last half century Dick and his supportive wife Sharon have transformed one small trailer into a fast food empire. Along the way Portillo’s has received numerous accolades and awards. Dick Portillo has earned the title of ‘Top Dog’ and “Hot Dog King of Chicago’. He has most definitely rewritten the food service model for success.
Each Portillo’s restaurant reflects a different theme and portrays Dick’s love for Chicago history. Consistency and love for quality is apparent in every facet of the business. The Portillo Family has created their own ultimate success story.
Vienna Beef is proud to have maintained a relationship with the Portillo’s Restaurant Group during this legendary climb. From the beginning in 1963 Portillo’s has been serving Vienna Beef products. We now take pride thanking, acknowledging and congratulating Dick Portillo, his family and dedicated staff. Welcome to the Vienna Beef Hot Dog Hall of Fame, please accept our first-ever, Legends Award.
Vienna Beef is proud to induct Homer’s Ice Cream in to the exclusive Vienna Beef Hot Dog Hall of Fame in April 2014. Homer’s is a longstanding quality establishment with personality, customer service and commitment to community.
Over three quarters of a century ago, Greek immigrant, Gus Poulos created his own homemade ice cream in the sleepy little town of Wilmette, Illinois. Today, nearly 80 years later, Homers Ice Cream still stands (though expanded) in its original location serving the finest ice cream products and more throughout Chicagoland. It’s been over 40 years since the menu expansions brought together two Chicago icons: Homers Ice Cream and Vienna Beef hot dogs. Quality and consistency are two ingredients that both of these respected companies hold in common. One of Gus’ sons, Dean Poulos who spearheads the company has even held those attributes to their allied menu products as well. They use a proprietary beef blend for their burgers and have only used Vienna hot dogs for the past 42 years.
Homers has won numerous accolades and awards such as ‘number one ice cream’ by the Pioneer Press, ‘Best in Chicago’ by Chicago Magazine and ‘Top 10 ice cream in the country’ by Bon Appetit Magazine just to name a few. As Dean says, “what sets us apart is that we are constantly improving and have a great loyal staff, most of whom have been at Homers for 10-25 years”.
Vienna Beef congratulates and pays homage to Homers Ice Cream and the Poulos family and staff both then and now, who have provided great ice cream for nearly 80 years; and for providing Vienna beef hot dogs for their customers for over half of those years. “Homer’s Ice Cream’s exceptional quality, personality and hospitality make them an ideal candidate for our recognition program. We are proud to work with them and excited to recognize their success in this way.” says Bob Schwartz, Vice President of Vienna Beef.
Chicago; the city once known as, “the hog butcher for the world,” now has but one specialty meat company left; Vienna Beef, in business here 121 years. Vienna Beef was recently awarded the title of; “The official corned beef of St. Patrick’s Day” by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.