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May 23, 2010 04:02 PM

CH gloves off! How do you like your Hot dogs?

OK I made SO many of these growing up in my family's Stewart's Root beer place, I cannot imagine how many I served, and how many I sampled! About once a month, if not once a week, another salesman (yeah in those days it was only sales men) came along and wanted to have us sell his brand only.

Alot of hot dogs later, geesh I still like them, (Root beer. maybe not just yet)

OK I like the burst! If you have to wonder what I mean, next!

For a LONG time I thought toasted bun did not matter; but a good Olive oil or butter toasted one, yeah. And while I adore potato buns for backyard grills of hamburgers, give me a white hot dog roll!, Split down the side please!!!!

So now, you have the bun and the dog is ready...
Smear mustard, a solid brown, in a thin stripe on the bottom. Place HD on top. Add green relish, ***roll***. Now add a thin strip of steamed sauerkraut. Make sure it was drained and reached end to end.
I am not done, wrap it as if to-go. yeah that slight steam does it for me.

NOW I will say Chile dogs are OFF topic; as they are another topic all together!

What makes your Hot Dog?

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  1. OK, need to clear the cobwebs out of the memory cavity for this one because i haven't had a hot dog in over 20 years! i preferred my dog grilled until it started to crackle, hopefully with a little char on the outside...on a dry-toasted white bun, spread ketchup on one side, mustard on the other, lay the dog in there, and top with kraut. YUM.

    9 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      There are different styles of hot dogs and many ways to enjoy them. I have what I'm in the mood for. Sometimes a spicy kosher style all beef dog with paprika and garlic dominating. Other times it's a German style pork and beef frank with a subtler array of milder spices like mace and marjoram. Little or no garlic in this style. And by ways to enjoy them, I mean different methods of preparation. Grilling on a gas or charcoal grill. Griddled fried. Deep fried. Simmered in water.

      But the most important thing is to use a quality natural casing frank. Preferably with minimal toppings. I use only mustard 90% of the time. Occasionally I'll have chili on half my dog. I like to taste a quality frank unencumbered with toppings that mask the flavor. A little mustard enhances the hot dog. Too much crap takes away from it. It seems that every review of a new, or even established hot dog stand mentions toppings, combinations, etc. Most important is the brand of dog, the type (all beef, beef/pork), whether it has a casing, and how it's prepared. Great dogs are made from quality cuts of beef and/or pork. If you don't start with a quality dog, it doesn't matter to me what you do to it. And it should be hot and prepared well. Either on a grill, griddle, deep fryer, or dirty water style. Roller grills are unacceptable and are for movie theatres, convenience stores and gas stations. Not reputable hot dog restaurants. And a hot dog should be made from meat. Not poultry. Not fish. Not soy.

      I am against the current trend of fancy pants "haute dogs." When I see or hear this expression, the hair on my neck stands up. I'm buying a hot dog, not a casserole. No need to ruin a great hot dog with all kinds of fancy toppings that should never see the light of day. Trends come and go, but old school places like Nathan's, Papaya King, and Rutt's Hut will be around forever. A hot dog is meant to be a simple unpretentious food.

      1. re: hotdoglover

        Now ya see, you went there. I said gloves off! hehehe.

        No. It is gloves off, down and dirty, your last dog would ya have it?

        If it was me, give me a Hayden's natural casing( before there was a difference) {This might be a local NJ brand and maybe long gone} deep fried, Grilled white bread bun, frieholfer's? The mustard, relish and sauerkraut stay the same. And yeah, that few minute wrap, in pastry paper of a "to-go" dog.

        1. re: Quine


          The brand you are referring to is Haydu's. Years ago they were made in Newark, N.J. and were a quality dog, especially the all beef version, which was served at the legendary Walt's 42nd Street Bar and Grill in Linden, N.J. The milder beef/pork version was served at most of the Stewart's Root Beer places and the Old Heidleburg in Keansburg. The plant in Newark closed and someone else began making Haydu franks. They aren't as good. Bland, in fact.

          Each individual Stewart's Root Beer now serves what they want. I've seen Haydu, Nathan's, Thuman's, Sabrett, and Dietz and Watson at a Stewart's.

        2. re: hotdoglover

          A good chilli dog w/ mustard and raw onions, like Geprge's Cony Island Dog in Worcester, Ma.

          1. re: Passadumkeg

            Yes! Those look just about right!

            1. re: Quine

              Quine, we're both from South River and of a similar age. Can you remember "The Greeks" on Ferry St., in the 60's? It was were Jensen's Resto. was. Two Greek sisters began my love affair w/ the chili dog.
              Man, is it hard to find a decent hot dog in New Mexico. It's just not part of the culture.

              1. re: Passadumkeg

                I would like to say, yes, but at that time, the early 60's my parents ran Stewarts' Root Beer on rt 18 in East Brunswick and the later part was the one we owned in Manahawkin, NJ. So, almost all the Dogs I ate, we made. But we cooked some mean chli dogs, Made our own chile sauce for them.
                We had one regular customer who always wanted his Dog with just chopped raw onion. Always asked for LOTS. So once my Mom played a joke on him, she placed two Hot Dog ends in the roll, and filled the middle with heaps of chopped onion. I don't know who laughed more, he or my Mom. Good times, now that I forget the drudge hard work it was. :-).

                1. re: Quine

                  I hit the Stewart's on the causeway, by the old bridge, in Sayreville. Mustard and kraut, all the way.

        3. re: goodhealthgourmet

          ghg, you put ketchup on your dogs? Even back in the day? Of course, now that I am all growed up and a goormay what knows how to sawtay and everything, I know better. Mustard, or nekkid. (I am not as virtuous as that which is you.....I ate a dog as recently as last week, right off the Costco cart.) Shame on you.
 Midwestern mom had this idea that mustard was "too strong" for young palates, so from the first 'dog I remember 'til I was maybe 10, they were presented to us....with ketchup. (Look, she also didn't "let" me have coffee 'til I was 21 and long gone from under her had some odd ideas.) So that is my first memory of them, and my imprint. With ketchup. And every now and then, like once every 8 years, I need a fried hot dog dipped in ketchup.

          These days, if I'm doing them at home, and it's a rare thing, I go out of my way to source hormone-and-nitrate free dogs made by dwarves under the waning light of a gibbous moon, and to get the absolute best-quality condiments I can source for a classic Chicago-style dog, and in fact did that for a "Chicago" release party that came off well. (Mustard, kraut, kosher pickle spears, neon relish, celery salt, optional tomato slices that must be cut in half - I'm sure you all know the drill.) But if I'm out and about and I see a cart? Just ballpark mustard and 'kraut, thanks. A lot of kraut.

        4. If it's not in a natural casing nothing else matters.

          1. If anybody says "ketchup", I'd be ready to start a flame war!

            10 Replies
            1. re: Sharuf

              Why? What does it matter to you what someone else eat?

              1. re: Shann

                Yeah, I have never understood the anti catsup attitude. So what? Plenty of people think that the mere idea of eating a hot dog is disgusting. Why try to cause division within the pro hot dog camp over something as simple as a condiment?

                My favorite dog? Hot Dog Johnnys. One w/mustard and pickle. One with catsup, mustard, and relish.

                1. re: viperlush

                  HD Johnny's, what a memory of my youth! Driving home from the Water Gap. Don't forget the root beer!

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    Yes, the frosty mug of birch beer is a a must.

                    1. re: viperlush

                      Duh, yes, birch beer! Ever hit Yacco's in Allentown, Pa.?

                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                        No. Only driven through Allentown, have never stopped in it.

                  2. re: viperlush

                    ketchup on a hot dog is just wrong - that's why


                    just kiddin'.
                    Well not really I do wholeheartedly believe this...BUT
                    I couldnt care less if ou liked whipped cream on your dog...
                    and I'm sure Sharuf was just being cheeky...nothing to go silly about!

                  3. re: Shann

                    Yeah, ketchup gets some people worked up. But here I'd suggest two possibilities: there are some people who think that ketchup in general is low-class and undiscriminating (not a likely sentiment in a hot-dog enthusiast thread), and there are others in the mustard camp (or Chicago style, which involves mustard and a further set of ingredients).

                    I speak as as someone who brought a few CH members to conniptions recently by asking who likes ketchup in their mac & cheese...

                    How do I like dogs? How NOT to like them? The only objectionable dog I've tried was some sort of low-fat, maybe non-meat concoction. But my favorite: gently grilled natural casing dogs, cooked just until they start to crack.

                    1. re: Bada Bing

                      Tofu Pups need lots of ketchup and every other condiment!!!

                  4. I am nondenominational when it comes to hot dogs, since I can find something to enjoy about almost any style. But my favorites are:

                    Chicago char dog: natural casing grilled beef dog on a steamed sesame seed bun, with yellow mustard, relish, raw onion, sliced tomato, and celery salt. Pickle spear on the side. I think the traditionalists prefer steamed but I can't see how steamed meat is ever better than charred.

                    Midwest chili dog: a milder pork dog on a strong, high-gluten bun with a single stripe of mustard, shredded cheddar, then a finely ground chili sauce on top of the cheese. It has to be cleanly eatable with one hand! None of these knife-and-fork affairs. If a hot dog style is not portable, why it seems to me it's lost its raison d'etre

                    Minimalist dog: a King David natural casing beef dog, on a sesame seed bun with brown mustard and a little raw onion.

                    Cheap dog: just for childhood nostalgia's sake. Pinkish mixed meat boiled dog on a generic bun, plenty of ketchup, mustard, and BBQ sauce.

                    And finally, never ever EVER eat a hot dog in China! I've been tricked so many times...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: RealMenJulienne

                      Me too!
                      it depends on my mood, and what kind of dog it is..

                      I enjoy it plain, w/ mustard, with mustard and sauerkraut, with onions... etc...

                      but NEVER with ketchup

                      1. re: RealMenJulienne

                        im def in the midwest dog category. lots of meaty chili and plenty of shredded cheese!! mmmm

                      2. I now live in the DFW (Dallas, Fort Worth) metroplex of 8 million people, and for the life of me, I have not been able to find a decent hot dog. I like mine pretty much as Quine has described, but it MUST be a natural casing dog. If it don't pop, I don't eat. And I go a little heavier on the kraut, relish optional. Hot dogs are a VERY regional thing. For me, a Chicago dog isn't a hot dog at all, it''s more like some weird salad without a salad plate. I've never gotten to NYC, but I drool when I think about NY street dogs. As long as they have kraut available! I've paid a ridiculous price for a kosher dog in a Jewish deli. Feh! And I simply cannot abide a "hot dog" in a "skinless" form where you cannot determine where the soft bun stops and the mushy skinless dog begins when you bite into it. I call those "pudding dogs" and they are food for the trash can. I mourn the passing of the hot dog "My Way." But maybe if I got out of town....???

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Caroline1

                          "weird salad without a salad plate" :)

                          1. re: Caroline1

                            When I first moved to Chicago, I felt the same way. My boyfriend took me to a restaurant and insisted that I had to have a Chicago hot dog. He ordered it at the counter for me, and brought it to the table. "Excuse me," I said (perhaps a bit too loudly, "but why is there a SALAD on my hot dog?" I proceeded to pick off all of the bits of vegetable. And then I demanded catsup. When I had trouble biting into the dog, I thought it was . . . stale.

                            The looks of horror and disdain from the surrounding tables was quite uniform. This was not the first time my south-of Detroit upbringing has made a spectacle of me in a restaurant (and it probably won't be the last), but, now, I love the Chicago dog. The pickle, tomato, mustard, and celery salt combination makes me very happy. I am thinking about expanding into giardinera.

                            But I still have a soft spot for the hotdog I grew up on. My father burned them perfectly, every time, and always steamed the buns (cheap, soft, white). And I know chili has been declared OT, but there have been many a late night when I think, if I were back home, I'd be at Lafayette Coney Island *right now*. See, I found the loophole, because chili and coney sauce are two very different things.

                            1. re: onceadaylily

                              O-lily, maybe they stared at you in horror because you ordered catsup?