Pigs in a blanket are a classic New Year’s Eve appetizer seen at holiday parties across Chicago and beyond. But none match the gusto of a new collaboration offered throughout January at an award-winning Logan Square restaurant.
Wieners Circle, the famous Lincoln Park hot dog stand with unrivaled late-night hospitality, is teaming up with Daisies, the Logan Square pasta emporium with a daytime bakery. They just won an award from Michelin for its sustainability efforts. Daisies was also Eater Chicago’s Restaurant of the Year for 2023.
Daisies will sell a Chicago-style croissant through the month of January. The item was announced last week in a series of three Instagram video shorts. One features Wieners Circle’s Poochie Jackson insulting innocent Daisies’ customers. Or at least the actors playing them. Wieners Circle’s Ragen Eggert appears in another video.
Daisies pastry chef and partner Leigh Omilinsky — who Jackson colorfully describes in a video as “the heavy !@#% in charge” — tells Eater they’re charing Vienna Beef dogs at Daisies and using Omilinsky own croissant dough, something she’s taken years to perfect. They’re filling the pastry with yellow mustard, onions, neon-green relish, and celery salt. The dough is topped with poppy seeds. It’s all finished with spear of dill pickle, sport pepper, and tomato.
A customer in one of the videos asked if they could add ketchup. Jackson and Omlinsky, in union, reply: “!@#$ no!”
The Wieners Circle collaboration is part of a series of team ups including Paulie Gee’s, Kasama, and GG’s Chicken Shack. Meanwhile, Wieners Circle has worked with West Loop Italian sandwich specialist JP Graziano’s and others over the years.
“When we were planning the next few months of collabs, I was talking to my team and one of them said ‘it’d be funny if we did Wieners Circle,’’ Omilinsky texts Eater. “Careful what you joke about, because it’ll come true.”
Coincidentally, Daisies’ partner Scott Goldstein and his brother in law, Dave Yakir, run a company called Streeterville Productions, which specializes in video clips like the ones featuring the croissant.
Numerous customers have come up to Omilinsky and asked her about her viral video appearance. Some have left Instagram comments. She says she has “been known to be a patron of Wieners Circle” and is a fan of the classic hot dog dragged through the garden.
“Overall, the general reaction is excitement,” she texts. “It’s been pretty wild to see the reach it has gotten. I mean, it’s a grown-up hot dog. It’s a croissant. It’s a grown-up pig in a blanket. I didn’t invent any of those things — I just am making it fun and the best I can.”
As Omilinsky alludes, the concept of a pastry stuffed with a hot dog isn’t novel. Pillsbury has marketed its Crescent Dogs to America for decades. Hot dog croissants are a popular item at Korean-French bakery chain Tous Les Jours. Shuttered Logan Square restaurant Fat Rice grabbed headlines in 2016 for its bun that used a sliced-up Vienna Beef dog with all the fixings. In 2019, a recipe for a Chicago-style hot dog dipping sauce used for pigs in a blanket made the rounds.
Daisies, which uses counter service during the day — when the pastry is available — has become a community hub since they moved to a larger location last year. Will working with Wieners Circle change their approach to hospitality?
“I cannot confirm or deny anything,” both Goldstein and Omilinsky wrote in separate texts.
Wieners Circle and Daisies Chicago-style croissant, available through January at Daisies, 2375 N. Milwaukee Avenue.