Sunday, April 10, 2011

Rediscovering the Hot Dog

The hot dog is an under-appreciated food icon.  Sure it’s recognized on ball fields across the country and is as American as apple pie, but it rarely gets front page coverage in the food media.

With families juggling busy schedules and tightening food budgets, the hot dog is a good go-to option.  But don’t just slap a boiled dog on a cold, dry bun.  Here as some delicious topping ideas:

Nacho Hot Dog:  guacamole, salsa, melted cheese
New York Park Hot Dog:  sauerkraut, onions, brown mustard
Coney Island Hot Dog:  chili, mustard, onions
Carolina Slaw Hot Dog:  coleslaw, mustard, onions
Cincinnati Cheese Hot Dog: mounds of cheddar cheese, onions
Chicago Hot Dog:  mustard, relish, onions, 2 tomato wedges, 2 pickle spears, banana peppers, dash of celery salt
New Jersey Breakfast Hot Dog:  bacon-wrapped hot dog, fried egg and melted cheese
Kansas City Hot Dog:  hot dog wrapped in swiss cheese, sauerkraut
Seattle Style Hot Dog:  cream cheese, scallions
New Jersey Italian Hot Dog:  potato wedges, sautéed peppers and onions
Chile Hot Dog: avocado, tomato, mayonnaise, sauerkraut-optional
Arizona Sonaran Hot Dog:  bacon-wrapped hot dog, tomatoes, cheese, onions, salsa, beans, mayo, ketchup and mustard

The hot dog is not a pedestrian food item anymore as evidenced by the success of Pinks, a Hollywood legend, serving specialty hot dogs since 1939.  Celebrity diners at Pinks run the gamut from Snoop Dog to Martha Stewart; Arnold Swarrzenegger to Bobby Flay.  Its walls are covered with over 200 celebrity signed photos and its menu contains over 21 varieties of hot dogs.

Here are two of Pink’s unique hot dog menu items:
Bacon Burrito Hot Dog:
Big flour tortilla wrapped around 2 hot dogs,
2 slices of cheese, 3 slices of bacon, chili & onions
Pastrami Burrito Hot Dog
Big flour tortilla wrapped around 2 hot dogs, grilled pastrami, swiss cheese, chili & onions
Other hot dog hot spots across America include Nathans of Brooklyn, New York; The Varsity of Atlanta, Georgia; Superdawg of Chicago, Illinois; Hot Doug’s of Chicago, Illinois; Jimmy Buff’s of Newark, New Jersey; and Franktitude of Miami, Florida.

Go Dog! 

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