5 a.m., April 16
Ave et Vale, Wolffy’s
Am I the last to know? Wolffy’s Place, the “real” Chicago eatery on the edge of the Gaslamp (844 Market Street) is no longer.
The two Wolffys, Bob, and his brother Steve
I worried about it for a long time. Place was built to be crammed with raucous Chicagoans and wannabes like me, bawling out for the Cubs, shouting out Carl Sandford’s love letter to the Windy City (“tall, bold slugger set vivid against the little soft cities/ Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action…”), joshing about "the lake effect," and tarring and feathering anyone ignorant enough to try to put ketchup on their hotdog.
The late, lamented Polish kielbasa hotdog. Notice, no ketchup
In Chicago, you “drag it through the garden,” meaning add chopped onions, tomato wedges, sport peppers, and always some of that nuclear-green sweet relish Chicagoans love. Plus celery salt and a pickle spear.
And as much mustard as you want, but never, ever ketchup. If you wanna live. It’s just a Chicago thing. Why? Uh, dunno. And now the two Wolffys, Bob, and his brother Steve, aren’t there to tell us.