It's National Hot Dog Day: Make Some Dinner Plans

hotdog2Whatever was on your menu for tonight’s dinner, shift gears, back up, and rethink things.

It’s National Hot Dog Day, which means that it’s time to enjoy the fruits of summer. The best way to do that is to exclude fruit from your meal (unless you want to call tomatoes fruits, and I really don’t have the energy to debate that right now).

So here’s what you do: Depending on where you live:

When in New York, New York
Find the nearest Nathan’s or Sabrett’s street vendor. Let the guy load it up with kraut and onions, and squirt some brown mustard and tomato paste on it. Next to Chicago, this is a great dog. I had one in Brooklyn once and it made the hotel food seem anemic by comparison.

When in Kansas City, Missouri
Throw some melted Velveeta on the dog (hey, it works for Philly cheese steaks), add a generous sprinkling of tart and tangy sauerkraut, and load one side of the bun with Thousand Island dressing. The kraut and dressing just seem to work together.

When in Atlanta, Georgia
Broil up your dog and put coleslaw on it. It helps to add an under-layer of yellow mustard. Atlanta may be an exciting city, but this is actually a pretty dull dog. I had one while watching the Falcons one Sunday – it was a dull day all around.

When in Detroit, Michigan
The Motor City may not know finance too well, but those cats know what they’re doing in the hot dog department. Get the beefiest chili you can find, made with real beef and none of this “turkey” stuff. Heap it up tall right on the dog, and sprinkle liberally with chopped, raw onions. Man alive!

When in San Francisco, California
Present the tofu dog on a powder blue plate, with fat-free mayonnaise on the side. Garnish with shallots and shredded lettuce. Eat with pinkies extended.

When in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Use a crunchy hard roll, lightly toasted in butter. Add some spicy mustard, preferably with big brown grains you can see, throw on some sweet pickles and top with a spoonful of sauerkraut. These guys know sausages – ever see the sausage races at Miller Park?

When in Newark, New Jersey
Wash your hands. Then, t’row your giant quarter-pound dog on an Italian roll, the kind used for hero sandwiches and sausages. Ladle on some giardiniera and as many onions as you want, and then t’row on some fries. Hey, whaddaya want from me? This thing’s good!

When in Chicago, Illinois
The options are endless, really and Hot-C and I are at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to great local places. Nobody has to make their own dog in Chicago, unless it’s an urge to see how you stack up against the giants. What giants? How about the winner of the 2014 Golden Weenie Award – Murphy’s Red Hots? Or last year’s winner of the Golden Weenie Snappy Dog? Or any one of these joints, with Your Humble Narrator as your video guide?

Just remember. If you’re preparing your dog in Chicago, you’ll need the sacred seven ingredients: fresh tomato, big spears of pickle, sport peppers, sweet onion, neon green relish, celery salt and poppy seed buns. Enjoy!

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