Happy National Hot Dog Day! There's nothing more American than a hot dog-- except maybe seeing how many insane toppings you can pile on one. From mustard and ketchup to atomic relish and french fries, true 'mericans have dreamed up some wacky franks-- and we've got the map to prove it. Feeling hungry? In honor of the holiday, take a bite outta one of our country's craziest, most delicious dogs!
The Chicago Style: Legend has it that the Chicago dog became popular during the Great Depression because it had so many toppings-- more bang for your buck! This juicy wiener starts with a poppyseed bun and all-beef dog, and is topped with yellow mustard, chopped onions, atomic relish (made with sweet pickles), tomato wedges, pickle spears, and sport peppers, all sprinkled with celery salt. And don't even think about asking for ketchup-- if there's one thing Chicagoans hate, it's ketchup on hot dogs. Grab one at Gene & Jude's!
The Slaw Dog: Cole slaw and hot dogs-- an unlikely, but totally perfect pair. Around Macon, Georgia you can find BBQ slaw dogs, chili slaw dogs, and more, but if you want the classic, stop by Nu-Way Weiners for a red hot piled high with classic cole slaw. Mmmm!
The Sonoran: Arizona really knows how to make a hot dog! Next time you're in the Sonoran region, dig into one of these beauties; the dog is wrapped in bacon and topped with beans, grilled and fresh onions, tomatoes, mayo, crema fresca, mustard, and jalapeno salsa. Did I mention that the hot dog is wrapped in bacon?? El Guero Canelo grills up one of the best Sonoran dogs in the country, so prepare your tastebuds accordingly if you plan to stop by!
The Danger Dog: Danger dogs are apparently a little too dangerous-- they've been declared illegal by the city of Los Angeles because street vendors aren't technically allowed to grill hot dogs. But, if you look really hard, you just might be able to find one of these bacon-wrapped tube steaks, with mountains of grilled onions and fresh tomatoes piled high, drizzled with ketchup and mustard, and garnished with a grilled poblano chile. Juuuust maybe.
The Coney: Don't let the name fool you-- these dogs aren't from Coney Island; they're actually from Michigan. It's like a chili dog, but made with all-meat chili and pumped up with diced onions and a few stripes of yellow mustard. It gets even more specific-- Flint-style means a dry coney sauce, and so on. Sample an authentic Detroit version for yourself at American Coney Island!
The Polish Boy: Cleveland's favorite frank is basically a whole meal on a hot dog bun. You take a kielbasa sausage, load it up with French fries, then top it off with hot sauce and cole slaw. If you're a glutton for punishment, Seti's Polish Boys (which is a favorite of Cleveland celeb chef Michael Symon) will even let you add chili and cheese to this unholy hot dog union.
The New York System Wiener: Olneyville N.Y. System is a Rhode Island staple that serves up "R.I.'s best hot wieners". These franks are nestled in steamed buns and lovingly slathered with meat sauce, mustard, chopped onion and a dash of celery salt.They're open until 1a.m. so their wieners can satisfy your hunger all night long!
The New York Style: It's classic for a reason! The world-famous Katz's Deli makes a an outstanding New York style dog, grilled and topped with a smear of mustard, a heap of sauerkraut and a touch of sweet onion.
The Italian Style: If you can't decide whether you want pizza or a hot dog, then the Italian Style Dog (also known as a Newark Style Dog) is for you! It's a piece of plain pizza crust stuffed with peppers, onions and fried potatoes-- and there should be a hot dog or two in there somewhere as well. Dickie Dee's makes an exceptional one, if you're feeling really hungry.
The Kansas City Style: It's impossible to enjoy a baseball game without a good hot dog, and you can't visit the Kansas City Royals' Kauffman Stadium without trying one of their famous K.C. style franks. They're almost like a Reuben sandwich-- hot dog, sauerkraut, carraway seeds, melted Swiss cheese and a hearty dose of Thousand Island dressing. Sounds like a home run to me!
The Scramble Dog: Next time you're in Columbus, Georgia, don't miss out on the local delicacy known as the "scramble dog". It's a bun, overflowing with chopped hot dog, chili, beans, onions, pickles and oyster crackers. The best place to get one is Dinglewood Pharmacy-- plus, since it's still a working soda fountain/pharmacy, you can pick up some heartburn medicine to go with your scramble dog.
The Seattle Style: This dog will keep you warm on a chilly Seattle night! It's a Polish sausage that's been split in half and covered in cream cheese, grilled onions, sauerkraut, jalapenos, and a squirt of mustard. Shorty's serves up the real deal in a great dive-bar atmosphere. Just don't let the creepy clown decor scare you away!