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Jun 16, 2013 04:32 AM

Top 10 Hot Dog Lies (in no particular order)

1) "We get our dogs made specially for us" Easily the most common lie in the business. Owners say this so that you will think you can only get a particular dog from them. There are exceptions, such as the Galloping Hill Inn and Marci's, but more than 9 times out of 10 it's a lie. I was disappointed to hear this lie repeated twice recently at Rutt's Hut. Of course I didn't sit by quietly but called them on it.

2) "We make our dogs here" Not as common as lie #1, but I've heard it more than a few times. Galloping Hill Inn and Maui's were guilty of this. I ask to see the sausage making equipment.

3)"Our dogs are smaller so we can fit in more toppings" Bull$hit. Get a bigger roll. Many serve smaller dogs, charge the same as those who serve bigger ones and count on you not noticing.

4) "We use skinless dogs because the elderly have a hard time chewing the casing" No you don't. You do it because skinless dogs are cheaper. I've heard this one a lot. Once a guy who was located in an industrial area and served mainly factory workers gave this as a reason. I doubt he had very many elderly customers.

5) "You'll like OUR veggie dogs" Whoever invented this abomination should be shot. If you don't want to eat a real hot dog, get a salad. A real hot dog is made from real meat. Beef. Pork. Veal. Buffalo. Or any combination. Anything made from poultry, fish, or whatever the hell they put in veggie dogs is not a hot dog. I don't care what the label calls it.

6) Adding stupid ingredients like truffles, foie gras, raspberry wasabi sauce, cream cheese, and other assorted crap and calling it a "haute dog" enhances the hot dog. No, it masks the flavor of it. A true hot dog was meant to be enjoyed with mustard and/or a minimum of toppings that enhance, not mask the frankfurter. You wouldn't put this crap on a high quality pastrami sandwich. It's trendy, pretentious, and more often than not the invention of a bored chef. These people ought to be lined up next to the veggie, salmon, and poultry dog people.

7) "It's a hot dog; no one can tell the difference" I get this when I ask why someone is using a cheap, low quality dog. This one may not even belong on the list because in many parts of the country, particularly the south, hardly anyone cares about the actual frank; it's more about the toppings. Especially the slaw in places like Virginia and Carolina where they use a cheap, bland dog.

8) "Our special chili is from a family recipe dating all the way back to the Garden of Eden" Many, if not most hot dog purveyors make their own chili. But a lot use the canned kind (which is not a crime) but try to pass it off as homemade.

9) "You're a hot dog snob" No, I'm not. That term is an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp. We are talking about a simple, unpretentious food. I look for a quality frankfurter, prepared well whether it's in water, deep fried, griddled, grilled, or some combination: at a decent size served hot on a fresh bun. There's no such thing as a hot dog snob, although the "haute dog" people who gussie up their dogs with all sorts of esoteric crap and have them with expensive wine come close.

10) "Hot dogs are good for you" I've uttered this one myself in an effort to get my wife off my back for complaining that I eat too many double Italian Hot Dogs. I tried to tell her they are a healthy, well balanced meal containing bread, meat, vegetables, and potatoes. She wasn't having it.

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  1. Nice observations.....there's currently a request looking for the best hot dogs in Manhattan.....a couple of recommendations were for Katz's and Papaya King, Both are made by Marathon, no?

    1. Yes, and the same rcipe although the Katz's dog is a little bigger.

      1. How dare you make such a sweeping indictment of the South. Just because my favorite, Mustard's Last Stand, has 40 or 50 toppings on the menu, doesn't mean you cannot get a classic Chicago. Or Hot Dog Heaven in Orlando only has about 20 last time I was there.

        On the other hand, you might have a point. :-)

        1. lOL I love hot dogs...even tried to make my own ...once.. I dont care if they are evil I dont care if they are made from puppy dog tails they are yoummmy

          3 Replies
          1. re: girloftheworld

            I made them in cooking school, and they were the best hotdogs!

            1. re: wyogal

              :) maybe youll share your recipe and secret.. and I will try again one day...

              1. re: girloftheworld

                I think we just followed a recipe in the garde manger book, and then did a smoke. Real casings, great snap.
                Most of the kids in the class (college kids, I went when I was 50) were pretty grossed out, liquid meat kinda thing. But, it was fab.

          2. You know what they say - a hot dog tastes good as long as you eat it anywhere but home.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Veggo

              Except for the $1.50 Polish with a drink,the only hot dogs we eat are the Oscar Mayer Angus ones you turned us onto a long time ago. They're great. I saute some onion and jalapeno and dump in a can of spicy chili. Good stuff.

              @OP, I've never heard any of those things but I live on the Left Coast where they're not a religion as they appear to be in some parts of the country.

              1. re: Veggo

                especially when they ended up looking lie this :(

                1. re: girloftheworld

                  They look like they may be pretty good. Cut the buns to size, top with lots of goopy stuff, plus kimchee.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    trust me ... they were wierd tasting.. they almost tasted like hot dogs,,but were a little off..we had to buy a ton of stuff too ..nonfat dry dry milk..dextrose..casings .. and then squeezing it throuh the tube and twisting it off seeeeeeemed dog didnt eat them

                    1. re: girloftheworld

                      A good lesson not to serve anything to a guest until it has passed your own quality test. Failures are part of progress.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        true- it was kind of fun... and I am still eating hot dogs.. so it wasnt too traumatic.

                          1. re: Veggo

                            she is gnawing on a ribeye bone as we speak... I think she got over it too.

                2. re: Veggo

                  How true! Hot dog in my mind is punishment food unless I am somewhere else. I prefer the natural casings. I like Hummels but not the Blackies that are thinner. Muckey's are good too.

                  Also it has to have a top split bun. The side split are an abomination, wish I lived in NE still.