Every dog has its day, but for the all-American hot dog, it has 31 of them.
July was National Hot Dog Month, a time to celebrate those tube-shaped hunks of beef that's a lunchtime staple for every 5-year-old and a must-have at the ol' ball game. In fact, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans devour over 19 million hot dogs at Major League Baseball stadiums per year.
"There are challengers galore, but hot dogs remain king of the concession stand," explained Eric Mittenthal, NHDSC President. "From childhood through old age there are two things guaranteed to put a smile on your face: baseball and hot dogs."
Of course, it isn't only at the baseball diamond that Americans enjoy their flavor-filled frankfurters. Last year alone, consumers spent over $2.5 billion on hot dogs purchased in grocery stores, according to NHDSC estimates, with 150 million of them scarfed down on the Fourth of July alone.
There's a lot to love about Dallas, but one of its best features is its assortment of delicious restaurants. And as you might expect, the Big D is packed with dine-ins and dives that specialize in hot dogs. Here are a few that you should consider giving a try this summer, the peak season for hot dog enjoyment:
Whoever said "Dogs don't get mad, they get angry" was right on point based on the wide array of dishes served at the Angry Dog. Located on 2726 Commerce Street, Angry Dog's portion sizes are not far the faint of heart or stomach, as each sandwich ordered comes loaded with a plate overflowing with French fries (though they also serve pasta salad or refried beans as alternatives). Regulars point to the dish that gave Angry Dog its name. Billed as "Dallas' Best Hot Dog" by the Dallas Observer on numerous occasions, the $7.95 all-beef Kosher gets the full-fledged flavor-filled treatment with mustard, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, and chili for a splash of heat.
Twisted Root Burger Co.
Though Twisted Root Burger Co. specializes in hamburgers, as it's name implies, the hot dogs served up here are no shrinking violet at any one of its 17 locations (coming soon to Bossier City). Perhaps its most talked-about dog is the one that's fried to golden perfection and topped with virtually any flavor under the sun, from relish to gooey cheese to caramelized onions. Twisted Root also has more than one bun, including the traditional whole wheat variety to the somewhat unique pretzel-inspired bun.
Wild About Harry's
Located at 3113 Knox Street in the heart of downtown Dallas, Wild About Harry's is crazy about hot dogs, selling 10 different kinds that are location-inspired, up from four when it first opened its doors 20 years ago. For instance, its Chicago dog includes mustard, relish, tomatoes, sport peppers, celery salt and the Windy City's signature hot dog ingredient, the pickle. Meanwhile, its New York-inspired hot dog is more to the point, with spicy mustard, sauerkraut and onions. But make sure you leave room for ice cream, as the Knox Street institution offers over 50 different flavors to choose from, each made with vanilla or chocolate, two of America's' favorites.
Samson's Gourmet Hot Dogs
Given that hot dogs are traditionally eaten by hand and tend to be messy, you typically don't think of frankfurters as being gourmet grub. But the people – and the diners – at Samson's would beg to differ. The brainchild of Troy Gardner, Samson's Gourmet Hot Dogs is a full-service eatery that provides outdoor vending and catering all around the Dallas metropolitan area. Where it really makes a name for itself is with its wondrous wieners. From the Shanghai turkey dog to the Vegetation veggie dog, Samson's frankfurters gourmet tastes don't have a gourmet price at a mere $8.
Mutts Canine Cantina
If you're a hot dog fan who's attached at the hip to your four-legged best friend, Mutts Canine Cantina is calling your name. Located at the corner of CityPlace West and Oak Grove Avenue in uptown Dallas, Mutts Canine Cantina is a restaurant that doubles as a dog park, so your pooch can play while you grab a bite. And as a Mutts Member, you can bring your dog to the off-leash play area to serve as a daycare when you're busy running errands. Based on its mouthwatering selection of choices, however, you'll want to hang around for awhile. As you might imagine, dogs have a few choices as well that they're certain to wolf down, like Boo and Neo's Pupsicles.
Wherever your tastes buds take you in Dallas this summer, they're all certified "wieners" of a meal!