An unexpected location for wagyu beef in Chicago is a hardware store. There are now three Home Depot sites in Chicago and four in the suburbs where customers can purchase steak dogs dragged through the garden.
It's a collaboration between Vander Farmers, a Michigan-based farm that raises crossbred American wagyu cattle, and Fixin' Franks, the hot dog vendor situated at each of those seven depots.
James Gray, a former Chicagoan who has worked in marketing for companies like One Eleven Food Hall and Passion House Coffee Roasters, became a supporter of the farm.
The chef at Lexington Betty Smokehouse, which replaced One Eleven, Dominique Leach, will shortly launch her own brand of steak dogs.
But Jeffy Mai, a former contributor to Eater Chicago and current assistant editor of Time Out Chicago, was the one who proposed taking the waguy to Home Depot.
Bratwursts and frankfurters from Vander Farmers are now available at Fixin' Franks. The majority of Chicago's hot dog stands sell Vienna Beef goods, while Fixin' Franks on the South Side offers sausages prepared by Makowski's Real Sausage Co.
The Italian beef is still on the menu at Fixin' Franks, along with those dogs. The $8 wagyu dogs, sometimes referred to as "steak dogs," are warmed up for around three minutes on a flattop.
No one wants a wiener with a frigid middle, so it won't hurt to request that the Fixin' Franks employees take a little more time heating the dog.
Even while the beef isn't the premium A5 that customers would find at a fine dining establishment, there is a novelty to eating wagyu where shopping can buy power drills or timber.