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Good Hotdog like Grey's Papaya?

Does anyone know who has good hotdogs like Grey's Papaya. A hot dog that is special and good. Not a steamed hot dog. Not skinless hot dog. a hot dog with "snap" when it is bitten down on. A hotdog vendor who knows what a primo dog should be like. No wannabees/no pretenders/no advertizers/
Please - no vendors reply - only patrons. I want an honest answer.

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  1. Apart from the halfsmoke at Ben's/Weenie Beenie, natural casing dogs are rare around DC. I think the footlong chili dog at Hard Times Cafe is natural casing, but I may be mistaken. It is grilled, though, not boiled.

    1. Not sure where you can get them prepared, but Laurel Meat Market carries an excellent dog that you can make at home -- Thumann's. Natural casing dogs that are skinny and fairly long. The seasoning is ever so slightly sour, which really elevates the experience if you ask me. Excellent dog.

      1. Nathan's sells a natural casing dog that's readily available at Shoppers Food Warehouse and some Safeways. Long and thin, similar to the one at Grey's Papaya and Papaya King.

        I think part of the reason why sidewalk vendors and restaurants don't serve them is that they require low heat grilling to keep the casing from burning/rupturing. It's easier and cheaper to just dump a package of dirty water dogs into steam tray.

        Windy City Red Hots does good Vienna Beef dogs, but they're not natural casing. Johnny's Half Shell makes their own natural casing dog, cooked perfectly, but it's kinda steep.

        1. Ok, so I'm not up on all the intricacies of hot dog vs wurst. But if you want a really fine product, no apologies offered, then go to Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe in N. Arlington. Regular hours, they have a bauernwurst that has all the requirements you are asking for. If you can get it on a logenbrotchen (pretzel roll), then that is a bonus. On Saturdays in nice weather, they are sometimes outside grilling. Very good sauerkraut.

          1. Gray's Papaya serves a Sabrett hot dog according to reliable sources.......if that helps you out locally.

            1. If you're not opposed to making them yourself, go to Wegmans and buy some Sahlen's hotdogs. They're they best you will ever buy.

              1. Too bad that the DC area (where I am at least) doesn't classic dog places. I guess we have Ben's Chili Bowl which I like but wish there was another option. There are many around the country and I have seen shows on Travel Channel and Food Network showcasing these great establishments. Having said that, a place that has pretty decent hotdogs and chili dogs is Hard Times Cafe. Check online for locations near you. They have several in the DC area.

                Ben's Chili Bowl
                1213 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009

                2 Replies
                1. re: jac0077

                  Weenie Beanie and Burger Delight both do halfsmokes, hotdogs, and even bbq. Good, greasy, divey, and you don't have to pay $8 for a halfsmoke. Their hotdogs, unfortunately, aren't natural casing.

                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                    The best you'll probably do is a Nathan's, but I see there are only two vendors in the DC area. One is a movie theatre in Fairfax and the other is a Carvel store in Herndon. Fortunately, I work fairly close to Polock Johnny's in Halethorpe, so I can indulge my occasional nitrate craving.

                2. I would head over to Eastern Market and get the hotdog from the vendor inside. If you get the half smoke even better since it's the local specialty. I tried their half smoke recently and it had that perfect snap. Lots of flavor and a little spice. They also have regular dogs.

                  1. The (windy city hot dog) best hotdog in the DC area is sold out of a truck in Ashburn but that is a chicago style dog. Beenie weenie is respectable and hard times is not bad. I also like Vienna Inn but it is not because of quality more having to do with the fact that I've been going there for over 25 years. Love the chili dogs.

                    No one ever seems to mention costco on the hot dog threads. Great value but the dog itself is a bit lifeless. Still solid dog but not a great do. I wish they would deep fry or grill the dog instead of boiling it.

                    Nothing compared to the stuff you can get in NY and NJ though.