Five Great Regional Hot Dogs
Hot dogs have been around ever since at least 64 AD when it was the practice to let a hog starve for one week before butchering it. One pig apparently slipped through without being cleaned. He was roasted and served to Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar. When the Emperor tried to cut the pig, the intestines popped out, all puffed up and hollow. The emperor’s chef, embarrassed about the mistake, grabbed the intestines and stuffed them with ground venison, ground beef, ground wheat and an assortment of spices. From this royal beginning, the hot dog was born.
While everyone has heard of Nathan’s Famous on Coney Island, and Pinks Hot Dogs in Hollywood, we wanted to dig a bit deeper for some regional Hot Dog recommendations. So we’ve scoured the United States high and low and have come up with five hot dogs we think you should try :
- Mutt’s Amazing Hot Dogs (Oklahoma City)
The hottest hot dog that we found was at Mutt’s Amazing Hot Dogs in Oklahoma City. Mutt has many creative toppings for the hot dog, but our favorite is the S’noran. To prepare the S’noran, Mutt takes a beef frank and wraps it in bacon, then fries the whole thing. When completed, he tops it with cheddar-jack cheese, pico de gallo, mayonnaise, chipotle ketchup, avocados, pinto beans and mustard. We triple dog dare you to be able to pick this one up and eat it with your hands. Mutt’s also offer several wonderful sides to accompany your dog, including duck-fat french fries with truffle oil, deviled eggs that will bring out the devil in you, and fried pickle slices.
- Dew Drop Inn (Mobile, AL)
Our next recommendation is the Dew Drop Inn in Mobile, Alabama. You really must drop in to the Dew Drop Inn, Mobile’s oldest restaurant, for the upside down dog. The wonderful bread is topped with sauerkraut, sweet beefy chili, mustard, ketchup and a pickle spear. Then the all-beef hot dog is gently laid on top of all these condiments. While you’re there, enjoy the atmosphere. Make a special point to look at the plagues along the walls. When a regular customer dies, the restaurant puts up a plague to commemorate the fact. It has been doing it and producing the wonderful dogs since 1924.
- Otto’s Sausage Kitchen (Portland, OR)
Next up is Otto’s Sausage Kitchen in Portland, Oregon. Otto’s has been in the same family for four generations. They make their own sausages for the dogs in their own smokehouse. Try their Cajun Andouille. It will definitely change your mind about northerners. The sausage is grilled with peppers and onions. Accompany the meal with some great jambalaya and some red beans and rice for a dog gone good meal.
- Hofmann’s Hot Haus (Syracuse, NY)
Hofmann has been making its famous Hofmann Franks and Snappys since 1879 out of Syracuse, New York. These traditional local favorites are available through three warm and comfortable Hot Haus restaurants throughout the Syracuse area, and via grocery stores in the greater region. This upstate New York favorite is now expanding nationwide and has added our favorite Hot Dog consumer, Takeru Kobayashi, as a business partner and brand ambassador. Kobi recently downed 110 of these dogs at the New York State Fair.
- Blackie’s Hot Dog Stand (Cheshire, CT)
Finally, we recommend a great dog at Blackie’s Hot Dog Stand in Cheshire, Connecticut. The secret to the dogs here is the hot pepper relish that must be eaten with each dog. The relish recipe is a secret. In fact, almost 50 years ago, the owner’s son auctioned off a gallon of his mother’s relish for charity. The gallon brought $125. That, however, did not make the mother happy and we all know that when mamma ain’t happy, no one is happy. She insisted that the buyer sell the relish back to her. Today, however, you can still eat at Blackie’s and buy some great relish to take home.