7/01/2013 10:00:00 AM

Haute Dogs: 10 Must-Try Gourmet Franks

Breakfast dog at The Original Dinerant in Portland
The weather is hot, the grills are hotter, and coast-to-coast, haute dogs are popping up. We aren’t talking about the run-of-the-mill frankfurters from your childhood barbecues, nor the piles of limp sausages competitive eaters stuff into their mouths this time of year. No, this is about the new hot dog, a model that takes inspiration from all over the world, from Asian-style dogs with seaweed and spicy Indian options to cheese-stuffed sausages wrapped in bacon and gently placed on a fluffy roll. While some of these creations might sound a bit outrageous, they work, though now we beg the question, what makes a hot dog truly special? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

26 comments :

  1. Can't believe Hot Dougs in Chicago didn't make the cut! Every dog there is amazing!!!

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    1. I logged in just to see hot dougs. I have a tattoo of Doug cause I love them so much

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  2. I was just going to say that- Hot Dougs is an experience in itself. Everything from Doug to the fois gras in his dogs are simply fabulous. They should have been your #1.

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  3. What?! No Hot Doug's on the list ANYWHERE? This list is a fail.

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  4. I'm sorry, call me boring or Luddite or whatever you want, but I just can't get with these fancy non-dogs. If I want to eat Japanese or Indian, I'll go and eat Japanese or Indian - I don't want my dogs twisted this way or that. OK, I might throw on some onions (crispy or sauteed, I don't mid) or even chili, but that's pretty much where I draw the line. In short, I prefer my dogs the way nature intended!

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  5. to me, the most important ingredient in a great dog is the dog itself, and it has to be in a natural casing to give it that juicy pop when you bite into it. are any of these in natural casings? please spare me from any more skinless dogs.

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  6. Wow. To echo the other comments, this list has zero credibility without Hot Doug's on it. For shame!

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  7. Where are the Sabot dogs. To the true dog lover nothing beats Sac's Tasty Dogs in Vallejo California. They have been there since the 70's. second to that is Jerry's Dog's in Long Beach California. All their dogs are done on a hickory smoked grill.

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  8. What? Where is Chicago's Hot Doug's? Have you guys no shame?

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  9. Hey folks, give ZAGAT's some credit here. At least they got in a car a drove outside their usual 8 towns. Yeah the choices are a little weird, but but at least they are not all from NYC.

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  10. You're writing for the Zagat and you don't know the proper use of the term "begs the question"? Come on now.

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  11. Ok, I'll join the chorus ... How can you make this list and not have Hot Doug's? In fact you easily could have presented 10 of his dogs for this list.

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  12. Just to note, we love Hot Doug's and have given them a lot of love! Since the last time we wrote about hot dogs we featured them, we thought it was time to give some other guys the limelight. On that note, Bark and Crif Dogs in NYC are also not on this list despite being awesome.

    http://blog.zagat.com/2013/01/destination-hot-dogs-10-franks-worth.html

    http://blog.zagat.com/2013/02/pre-order-hot-dougs-book.html

    http://www.zagat.com/buzz/chicagos-best-hot-dogs-who-makes-your-list

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  14. This article is a joke. Unless you are in Chicago, a hot dog should have one or more of the following in any combination, but nothing else: ketchup, mustard, onions (raw or nyc style onion sauce), relish (sweet preferably but dill is fine), sauerkraut, chili and maybe cheez whiz. jalapenos or hot peppers -- maybe. Most true hod-dog lovers would take issue with ketchup even being included, but the point is debatable.

    But even all of the above are just ancillary and somewhat of an afterthought -- a good hot dog must rely first and foremost on the quality of the sausage itself and not what goes on top of it.

    Add any ingredients other than these and you are making some sort of fancy-pants fusion sausage sandwich. It might be tasty, and I am not necessarily knocking it, but it's not a hot dog. A hot dog is a simple german-american comfort food that is meant to be loved by adults and children alike and eaten at sporting events and picnics. These are something entirely different.

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    1. You sound like a fundamentalist religious fanatic. Why are you worried about the semantics of what is or is not a hot dog? Why bother to take a hardline with something as enjoyable as eating a hotdog, regardless of the topping? No more food police, please.

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    2. Everyone is entitled to get their dawg on...even if it means the yummy classic way.. (hold the ketchup, please).I suggest the weenie yawing about ,really(? )fundamental religious fanatics, try a hot dog with just a tad more of that koolaid than they are presently guzzling. MAYBE it will make them eat their words as well as their goofy little weiner!

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  15. but what about Hank's Haute Dogs in Honolulu ??

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  16. It may be too new to be noticed but LinX in Orange should be on anyone's list:
    http://linxdogs.com/

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  17. NYC street dogs are the alpha/omega.

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  18. The AK-47 in Andrae's Kitchen in Walla Walla is pretty impressive and should be on this list:
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=478270558889167&set=pb.122200071162886.-2207520000.1372888685.&type=3&theater

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  19. Although I am thrilled as a Denverite to see two Denver restaurants make the list, I am nonetheless floored to see a list of 10 must try gourmet dogs that doesn't make a single reference to Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs!

    Any of their amazing dogs should have easily made this list, particularly their Southwest Buffalo Dog with their Desert Toppings (harrisa roasted cactus, Malaysian Tomato Jam, scallions, cilantro and onions two ways).

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  20. How about Spikes in New England (RI and Boston).
    That place is amazing. Always Fresh. Great combinations and toppings. Try the Texas Ranger you wont regret it.

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  21. There's always some interesting dogs at Hot Diggity on South Street in Philly. I think the Saigon dog is a classic riff on banh mi, but the really cools stuff is some of the specials they do - often in collaboration with other local restaurants - couldn't get enough of a recent baguette - cheese - mushroom French riff they did recently.

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  22. The best dogs in the world are in (and near) Oakland California. Kaspers dates back to the '30s when Kasper (can't remember his last name, but he was Armenian) had a hot dog stand in the parking lot of a gas station. Some time later Kasper's brother split with him and started another stand named Caspers. The two became mini chains with shops from Oakland down the Bay to Fremont California. Kasper was originally from Chicago, so they have similarities with those from that city (but Kaspers are better).

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