BonAppetit has a guide of “global hot dogs” on their website this month. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. Some of the entries are just downright ridiculous (why would you put vegan mayo on a hotdog? Why would you put mayo on a hotdog at all?), while others are…interesting enough that I’d try it out but not so interesting as to be completely unappetizing in my particular opinion, and some are just genius.
It got me thinking about hot dogs in general though. I love hot dogs, especially chili dogs. In fact, I think that this summer I’m going to have to do some experimentation in hot dogs myself. I’ve done minor experimentation in the past, mostly to find a hot dog that didn’t make me sick to my stomach. I’ve fallen in love with organic, all-beef uncured hot dogs that I pick up from Whole Foods. Josh, on the other hand, doesn’t like store-bought dogs so much (although he will eat them at say, a hot dog restaurant); he prefers to get snappy Polish sausages. Our favorite toppings are chili and onions (although not on Polish sausages), sautéed bell peppers and onions (on both hot dogs and sausages) or, for me, just a good healthy dose of ketchup on the top and bottom of the dog. Delish.
Chili dogs are an especial favorite of ours. There’s a few good places in town to get them, too, luckily. For regular gourmet no-frills hot dogs (no chili), there’s Le Dog. Red Hot Lovers, which seems to be “temporarily” (read: probably never coming back) closed, used to sell a great variety of dogs and sausages with just about any topping you wanted, and their chili was great. We also recently tried the chili dogs at Cluck’s in Ypsi, and they were pretty good in general. But in our opinion, the best place for chili dogs (with Red Hot’s being closed) is definitely Bill’s Hot Dog Stand in Ypsi, on Michigan Ave.
There’s only three things you can get at Bill’s: chili dogs (with or without onions), Lays chips and the best root beer on the face of the earth (that’ll be a post for another day). Bill’s is a drive-in and probably the cheapest place around, too: we scored a total of 4 hot dogs, 2 bags of chips and 2 delicious root beers for $8.80. I can barely buy a burger for that much in some places in town.
I think hot dogs are entirely underrated just about everywhere. There’s so much to be covered here: buns, types of dogs, toppings–on which I could write on endlessly, I bet. Ketchup? One of my coworkers does not believe in ketchup. That’s just crazy talk in my opinion, but there it is, an entire debate on whether or not ketchup belongs atop one of the greatest culinary inventions of all time. Clearly this is a topic that requires more exploration. And I will be exploring.
And there will be pictures.