July is ‘National Hot Dog Month’ and nothing is probably more American than a Hot Dog except for perhaps a Hamburger. These two popular foods though made thoroughly American have their roots in Europe and mainly Germany. It’s just that we have so thoroughly Americanized these products that if this were a hundred years or so ago, they wouldn’t even be recognized in Europe. Thanks to vastly improved communication, Hot Dogs and Burgers are seen not only in Europe but all over the world.
We all have our favorite Hot Dogs and will probably remember at least one Hot Dog Stand as ideal. Since as a child I never had Hot Dogs outside of our home (except once) I cannot remember one single Hot Dog Stand. However, my sons have a whole repertoire that they can recite to you – many of which are of course my adult favorites too. The most recent addition to our locale is Dayne’s Chicago Dogs. Dayne’s is located on Thousand Oaks Blvd. in the city of Thousand Oaks and their specialty is the Chicago Dog. What makes a Chicago Dog different from other dogs? The points are listed below.
1. A Chicago Dog has to be in a natural casing – it just isn’t a Chicago Dog unless it has that crunch to it.
2. It also must come with Tomatoes, Green Relish and Peperoncini in the bun along with the Dog. And of course don’t forget the mustard.
Also pictured with Dayne’s Dog is Garlic French Fries. If you are a Garlic Lover these are ‘Heavenly’.
One of the oldest Hot Dog Stands in the city of Los Angeles is Pink’s which is on La Brea and ironically is practically right next door to where I went to school. Oddly enough, I never heard of Pink’s until maybe a dozen years ago. However, I’m sure I did have a Pink’s Dog unknowingly which was given to me by the Aunt of a girl who I was playing with at the time. This was the first time I had ever had a Chili Dog and quite honestly at 9 years old, I did not like it. More recently though, I did a class that featured the most popular Hot Dogs in and around the Los Angeles area. While I do not like Hoffy Dogs (which Pink’s uses) the toppings at Pinks were outstanding but oddly enough the item I liked best at Pink’s was their Coconut Cake.
Probably my favorite San Fernando Valley Hot Dog was Cupid’s. I first noticed the Cupid’s stand when I was about 11 years old and we had just moved to the Valley. By the time I got around to eating at Cupid’s their main stand was at Victory and Tyrone and it is still there today. The other stand that they have that I have frequented is across the street from Cal State Northridge. For years, Cupid’s only sold their Dogs one way and that was in a bun with mustard and Chili and Onions. As I recall the last time I was there they have added a few things to their dogs such as cheese.
My favorite Dog to cook at home has to be a Kosher Dog with a crunchy skin. I usually buy Vienna as they fit the bill. Boar’s head is second best for at home purchase. Today for lunch I had a Coleslaw Dog made with Boar’s Head Hot Dogs, Homemade Coleslaw and home-grown Yellow Roma tomatoes.
Last year when we were on Kauai, I had a Pineapple Dog – certainly something you would expect to get in Hawaii if nowhere else. It was delicious – just the right amount of sweet/tangy compliment to the Hot Dog.
If you have a favorite dog and pictures of such please feel free to comment and share your photos.
On an ending note, Hot Dogs can be boiled, grilled, barbecued, baked with beans broiled and/or wrapped in pastry. Take advantage of ‘National Hot Dog Month’ and frequent your favorite local Hot Dog Stand.