"People from Chicago are addicted to Chicago food," said Becky Wentzel of southwest Cherokee County, who owns Hot Dog Heaven with her husband, Barney. "Everything we do is authentic, right down to the neon-green relish on the hot dog."
At their two locations, Hot Dog Heaven specializes in authentic Chicago-style hot dogs. Made with 100-percent, all-beef Vienna hot dogs from Chicago, the dogs are nestled in a poppy-seed bun and topped with mustard, neon-green sweet pickle relish, tomato, onion, a dill pickle spear, a pickled sport pepper and sprinkle of celery salt.
"That's a Chicago dog. Otherwise it would be just a plain Vienna dog," Wentzel said of the importance of the toppings.
"They're 100 percent beef. No fillers. Nothing bad in them," Mrs. Wentzel said of their hot dogs. "They're not like anything you've ever tasted. They are like steak on a bun, they're so yummy."
Recently featured in AirTran magazine as one of the Top 10 places to see in Atlanta as well as in the Top 75 by Atlanta Cuisine for three years in a row, Hot Dog Heaven keeps a loyal following.
"If you eat a Chicago dog just once, you'll go home and go, 'Gosh, I want another one,' It makes you crave them," she said. "You just can't get enough of them. They're not something you can buy in the store."
But it's not just about hot dogs at Hot Dog Heaven. Also among the menu items are charcoal-grilled hamburgers, chili cheese fries, chicken sandwiches and sausages such as bratwurst and Italian and Polish varieties. Reasonably priced children's meals are served on a Frisbee that kids can take home.
"The Italian beef is the other thing Chicago people will come for," she said, referring to a popular sandwich that's "similar to a Philly Cheese, but with a lot more flavor and twice as big."
At both locations, Hot Dog Heaven makes its food fresh to order. "It's quality food instead of you not knowing what you're getting," Mrs. Wentzel said.
The new Kennesaw location is about four buildings away from Old 41, and offers outdoor seating. The downtown Woodstock site where Hot Dog Heaven has been for seven years features indoor and outdoor seating.