As BBQs heat up on this Labor Day weekend, Americans all over the country are picking food at their nearest supermarkets, including the American classic frankfurter known as the hotdog.
Hotdogs are very popular during the summer time and are served in baseball stadiums everywhere. The thing about hotdogs is that they are never the same everywhere. For an example, in Chicago, they enjoy vegetables on their hotdogs but in Arizona, they enjoy nacho cheese and corn chips on theirs. So, hotdogs are like people, they are all different but still created equal.
Here in Cleveland, Ohio, we like our hotdogs done a special way, covered with Stadium Mustard. If you do not know what Cleveland Stadium Mustard is, you are either not from Cleveland or you are not from Cleveland! For those of you who honestly have never heard of Cleveland Stadium Mustard, it is a spicy brown mustard that is only served at Cleveland sporting events. It is NOT served at any other sports stadiums in America. It is a Cleveland trademark that we take a lot of pride for. The only other place you can get Cleveland Stadium mustard is at grocery stores in North East Ohio. What can I say? It’s a Cleveland thing!
I pretty much figured that most major American cities probably have their own hot dog condiment that you can only get in that city. This is where the story begins.
In March of 2011, I was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, visiting my cousin at Marquette University. Milwaukee is very similar to Cleveland. It’s a working class city, the winters are very cold, the local beers are great, and people take pride in their sports teams.
It was a Tuesday and my cousin had class all day, so I was free to do whatever I wanted. Miller Park, Home of the Milwaukee Brewers, is open year around because the TGI Fridays and the team shop inside of it. So, being the baseball fan that I am, I decided to travel a few miles off campus to have lunch with the Brew Crew fans.
When I went into the team shop just to take a look around, I discovered something I have never seen before. It was a bottle of Secret Stadium Sauce!
According to the Secret Stadium Sauce’s Facebook page, “"Secret Stadium Sauce is a condiment popular at Milwaukee Brewers baseball games in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Originally developed for use at Milwaukee County Stadium, it is still served on hot dogs and brats at its replacement, Miller Park.”
I was amazed to find a local sauce that Brewer fans have pride in. It looked nothing like Cleveland Stadium Mustard; it looked like a red tomato sauce. Without even tasting a lick of the Secret Stadium Sauce, I bought two bottles to bring home. I then asked myself something I never thought I would ask, “Is it possible that there is a better baseball hotdog condiment than Cleveland Stadium Mustard?”
Judgment Time: My best friend, Justin Fodor (Twinsburg 2008 graduate) and I said enough was enough. We had a bottle of Secret Stadium Sauce and a bottle of Cleveland Stadium Mustard.
Step 1: We cooked a few hotdogs for this condiment taste test. The dog of choice was Nathan’s hotdogs. It is personally my favorite hot dog and the trademark hot dog of the New York Yankees. Because of the baseball history that Nathan’s hotdogs have, it was a no brainer to use for this major league taste test.
Step 2: The Milwaukee Secret Stadium Sauce can be served a few different ways. The one way is straight out of the bottle and cold, but the sauce is best known to be heated up and mixed with a half a can of beer. I had to go as authentic as possible, so I heated up the sauce mixed with a half a can of Miller Lite. Miller is the beer of the Milwaukee Brewers, and they play at Miller Park!
Step 3: Justin and I had two hotdogs each, one with Milwaukee’s Secret Stadium Sauce and one with Cleveland’s Stadium Mustard.
Moment of Truth: We first ate the hotdogs with Cleveland’s Stadium Mustard on it. Just like normal, the hot dogs were delicious. Once we finish the first hotdogs, we had a drink of water and cleared our taste buds for the Secret Stadium Sauce. After a few minutes, we were ready for the Brewer’s best kept secret! As we ate the dog covered with the secret stadium sauce, we both asked each other the same question, “What is the big deal with this stuff?!?!”
The Milwaukee Secret Stadium Sauce was good, but it was not great. It was very similar to Arby’s sauce. It was very lite with a spicy tomato taste. We discovered that we were trying to compare apples to oranges but with baseball hot dog condiments. The Secret Stadium Sauce might be great in Milwaukee and just ok in Cleveland, it is probably vice versa with Cleveland’s Stadium Mustard. We love our mustard here in North East Ohio, but Milwaukee might not think the same about it.
If we learned anything for this taste test it is that hotdogs are 100% not the same everywhere like I said before. They are still delicious; but different everywhere.
The Legend of the Unofficial Harry Doyle Dog: Justin and I both agreed that we enjoy our mustard more than Milwaukee’s sauce, but we still like them both. We thought a hot dog with both condiments on it would be worth trying and it was. We liked the idea of it so much, we decided to name the hot dog; The Harry Doyle Dog. Harry Doyle is the announcer for the Cleveland Indians in the 1989 movie, Major League, played by Bob Uecker. In real life, Uecker is the long time announcer for the Milwaukee Brewers and Major League was filmed in Milwaukee. So since the hot dog has a little bit of Cleveland & Milwaukee on it, we thought we would honor Harry Doyle/Bob Uecker by naming the hotdog after him & his great announcing for both Major League teams.
And that is how the Unofficial Harry Doyle Dog was created!