Rob Wile for Fusion

I grew up in Chicago, the nation's hot dog capital. And as a Chicagoan, I am a McDonald's loyalist—in fact, I went there alarming frequency as a child, though I somehow managed to avoid getting physically supersized.

In any event, I have always viewed Burger King with a certain degree of suspicion, their diverse ideal of a Kid's Club not withstanding.

So it was with great intrigue that I read the announcement that *Burger* King was going to start experimenting with hot dogs. For reasons that remain mysterious to all fast-food consumers, the major  chains have always avoided serving hot dogs, despite their obvious longstanding, though now evolving, obliviousness to the content of the meat they serve.

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Now residing in Florida, where Burger King was born, and with fast-food as a nominal part of my beat, I had to try them.

I'll cut to the chase: Not only did I survive, but I would eat them again if forced to. Ok, one of them.

As I expected, it was no problem finding a BK serving hot dogs in Florida. Here's what their in-store campaign looks like. It's actually a bit confusing: Do you get two hot dogs with one order, or are these the two kinds of dogs served? I'd have to find out.

Once inside, I realized how hard BK is pushing the dogs—they are now the most prominently displayed item on the flame-grilled menu.

They are also on the aprons of the servers.

So it turns out there are two kinds of dogs, which you order one at a time: Chili Cheese and Classic. I opted, at first, for Classic. With fries and a drink, the total came to $4.49.

A classic Chicago dog is served with

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  • Mustard
  • Relish
  • Onions
  • Celery salt
  • Pickles
  • Tomatoes

And absolutely no ketchup.

The BK Classic dog only scored a 3 out of 7 on this criteria, but this is corporate fast food, so I forgave them for foregoing expenses that would have undoubtedly priced out of of their target consumer's range.

I couldn't do anything about the ketchup, so I tucked in. The meat is advertised as 100% beef, and I could not discern the presence of anything too out of the ordinary. I ate the whole thing and felt fine afterward.

I was not prepared to eat two Burger King hot dogs in a row, so the Chili Cheese would have to wait. So a couple weeks later, the opportunity arose to try the it while on the road in Houston. The American chili dog was evidently created somewhere along the New Jersey-Pennsylvania border in the early part of the last century; that it has survived to 2016 is a testament to the bravery of the American eater.

I have to admit that I did not feel as good after eating this one. The dog may have been 100% beef, but there was no such guarantee for the chili itself. If you have no idea what you're looking at in the picture above, you're not alone.

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If you're feeling adventurous, I can recommend the Classic. I'll take a faux-Chicago dog than a real gut bomb.

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.