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Best Hot Dog joint you ever ate in
Old 01-28-2009, 04:07 PM   #1
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Best Hot Dog joint you ever ate in

This story reminds me of the two best hot dog joints that I ever had the pleasure to enjoy a tube steak at. The #1 is Hyde's in Liverpool, just north of Syracuse, NY, and the #2 contender was a place called Green's Lunch in downtown Charlotte, NC.

Not sure if either place is still in business, but the dogs that they served were impossible to duplicate. I don't believe either place spent a lot of time cleaning the grill, perhaps that was a key to the flavor...

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Full disclosure: I like the place so damn much my wife and I had our post-wedding photos taken here after our wedding in Detroit. But back to the economy . . .
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:03 PM   #2
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Those may be good dogs, but there is NOTHING like a Chicago-style hot dog. Hmmmmm

Hot Dog Chicago Style - The Search for the Perfect Hot Dog







Chicago dogs do NOT have ketchup. And they MUST have Celery Salt. Imperative. Glow in the dark looking pickle relish is a nice touch. Hot 'sport peppers' are a must for me, but some consider them optional. Pickle slices (lengthwise, sometime cukes), tomatoes, chopped raw onion, poppy seed bun. That picture looks like a representative sample, all the key ingredients.

Here is a great excerpt from Chicago writer Mike Royko:

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No, I won't condemn anyone for putting ketchup on a hot dog. This is the land of the free. And if someone wants to put ketchup on a hot dog and actually eat the awful thing, that is their right.

It is also their right to put mayo or chocolate syrup or toenail clippings or cat hair on a hot dog.

Sure, it would be disgusting and perverted, and they would be shaming themselves and their loved ones. But under our system of government, it is their right to be barbarians.

The crime is in referring to the above abomination as a "Chicago hot dog."
Italian Beef sandwiches. It wasn't until I traveled a bit more that I realized they were unique to Chicago. Deep dish pizza. Hmmmm.

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Old 01-28-2009, 05:33 PM   #3
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Are there seriously hot dog restaurants around? I've only seen the pushcart style that just buy the dogs from Costco.

Unless you count that Indian place that sold exclusively boba tea, boba icecream, and hotdogs for a year before it shut down.
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:34 PM   #4
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I assume I'm in a minority here, but the question is an oxymoron. But faced with the choice, I'd go for a Chicago "dawg" too...
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:47 PM   #5
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Are there seriously hot dog restaurants around? I've only seen the pushcart style that just buy the dogs from Costco.

Man, you gotta get out more!
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The Chicago metropolitan area boasts more hot dog restaurants than McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger Kings combined.[6]
and...

Hot Doug's - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
Hot Doug's is a Chicago-based restaurant, specializing in hot dogs and other encased meats. The restaurant is in its second location at 3324 North California Avenue in the city's Avondale neighborhood. Its first location, on Roscoe St, closed after a 2004 fire.
Hot Doug's features a diverse and rotating menu that includes the traditional Chicago dog, to more exotic items such as the "Game of the Week", a rotating selection of game-animal sausages.

The restaurant continues to serve its specialty french fries, which are cooked in duck fat.[6]
I need to go have the duck fat fries. That sounds really good. Wash it down with a Goose Island Harvest ale maybe.

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Old 01-28-2009, 05:53 PM   #6
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When I lived in new Jersey Italian hot dogs ruled . They had hot dogs or sausage and green peppers , onions and potatoes stuffed in a pizza dough pita .
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Portillos!
Old 01-28-2009, 06:20 PM   #7
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Portillos!

Hey, for a Chicago dog, don't forget about Portillos. Their dogs are among the top to be found in the US. Chicago style - mustard, onions, peppers, relish, tomatos, and a pickle. You can tell non-locals, 'cause they're the ones that put ketchup on their dogs.

Of course, my favorite was a jumbo hot dog I used to buy from a cart on a street corner in Caracas. Don't know what it was made of, but there were never any strays in the area. It was so bad, but it was so good...I'll never figure out how I survived.

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Old 01-28-2009, 06:55 PM   #8
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I like Portillo's, Gold Coast Dogs - and almost any other hot dog place in Chicagoland.

In Phoenix, I spotted a "big unit" hot dog at Alice Cooper'stown restaurant that looked good

http://phoenix.about.com/cs/famous/a/alice01_3.htm
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:58 PM   #9
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In Phoenix, I spotted a "big unit" hot dog at Alice Cooper'stown restaurant that looked good
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:15 PM   #10
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Since I moved to Florida checkers hot dogs are my secret vice !
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:16 PM   #11
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As much as I like the original Nathans on Coney Island, the best dog in the country is on the other coast.

top dog
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:51 PM   #12
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Wow!

Thanks all. That looks like some serious eating!
I have nothing that compares.
The Original Hot Dog Shop in Pittsburgh is OK

Most unusual was a place called Law Dogs on Van Nuys Blvd in the San Fernando Valley. Owned by a lawyer and on Wednesday nights (I think) he gave out free legal advice with the dogs.

They sell something called a Taco dog around here. Foreign cusine I guess.

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Old 01-28-2009, 07:54 PM   #13
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[quote=Maurice;777802]As much as I like the original Nathans on Coney Island, the best dog in the country is on the other coast.

/quote]

When I lived in New Jersey I used to go to a nathan's hot dogs with the dumbest cashiers in the world . I would buy a hot dog , and a soda and give them a five dollar bill . I usually got six ones and change back .
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Too Many Good Places to Call 1 a Favorite...
Old 01-28-2009, 08:07 PM   #14
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Too Many Good Places to Call 1 a Favorite...

Mel's Hot Dogs in Tampa, Florida serves a good Chicago style dog and Mel & his wife are behind the counter most days. MEL'S HOT DOGS TAMPA, FL.

Rutt's Hut in Clifton, New Jersey - Deep fried hot dogs - who ever heard of such craziness!!!! The Rippers are the best. Rutt's Hut - Clifton, NJ

The Varsity in Atlanta, Georgia - What'll Ya Have... What'll Ya Have... This place is an Atlanta institution. Right up there with the Fox Theatre, Margaret Mitchell, The 1996 Olympics. Try the slaw dog - a southern favorite (even if you don't like the dogs the people watching is great.)
The Varsity :: What'll ya have!
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:13 PM   #15
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Thirty years of New Orleans Lucky Dogs - usually eaten on the run.

If I wanted sit down gour - met food: a Muffaletta from Central Grocery or equivalent. Or somebody's hot/Italian sausage Po-Boy - dressed of course.

heh heh heh - I wasn't overly picky about my hotdogs.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:56 PM   #16
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Well, I'm delighted that the Varsity made the list--what a great dog!

We have Jack's Cosmic Dogs in Mount Pleasant, SC. It is a great place for a dog and real fries plus a fountain drink. Yum! Great decor, too.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:02 PM   #17
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In Arlington VA we have a landmark dog place - DCist: Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Beenie - it's a real hole in the wall. But I'd heard all sorts of stores about how great the dogs were. Just goes to show, just because everybody says it doesn't make it true. They sucked! I had much better luck with the Costco dogs, big ole Hebrew Nationals. At least in the old days when they used to have sauerkraut to put on it.

I'll have to try a Chicago dog someday. They look great. Hopefully they'll live up to their billing better than NY pizza or Philly cheesesteaks did. I keep searching for gustatory nirvana, and I'm always disappointed. Except of course for Maryland blue crabs...ahhh!
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Old 01-28-2009, 11:42 PM   #18
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Here's a link to some hot dog websites - link

Holly Eats and Roadfood are great resources.

By the way I like everything about the Chicago Dog except the neon relish I make sure not to get it
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:23 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Maurice View Post
As much as I like the original Nathans on Coney Island, the best dog in the country is on the other coast.

top dog
Maurice I knew you were a smart guy. The only time in my life I seriously thought about getting in the the franchise/restaurant business was to open a Top Dog franchise in Honolulu. Top Dog rules.
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:43 AM   #20
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Yeah, those hotlinks especially. You know they do mail order... I have a friend in NY (Berkeley grad) who does 2-3 orders a year. I always pitch in for a few.
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