I’m happy to say that there are hot dog companies who are making this ballpark favorite a bit healthier. Enter the turkey hot dog. I’ve found Oscar Mayer Selects natural turkey dogs just as good as beef hot dogs – in fact, I think they taste even better! Turkey hot dogs tend to have less fat, but these Oscar Mayer hot dogs have a bonus of NO artificial ingredients, and NO added hormones. I’m not saying hot dogs are “health food” – but some brands are definitely getting “healthier!”
In today’s world, the hot dog has surely come a long way. Restaurants tout new gourmet garnishes to get you on their hot dog train. I discovered my personal favorite garnish over twenty years ago in Pennsylvania. A man was selling slow grilled hot dogs at a quaint little flea market.
When I ordered my hot dog, he proceeded to tell me that I just “had” to try coleslaw and sliced pickled jalapeno peppers rings on my sandwich instead of the traditional mustard or ketchup. The guy picked up on the fact that I was looking at him like he was more crackers than a box of Ritz, and quickly added that if I didn’t like it, no charge. To this day, it’s my favorite hot dog garnish of all times – weird as it sounds – it’s a winner. The key, of course, is to use “good” tangy, coleslaw and pickled jalapenos.
My other two runner ups involve one of my favorite grocery stores, Trader Joe’s. If you are lucky enough to have a TJ’s, it’s probably one of your favorites too!
I love chili dogs and kraut dogs – so I make sure I always have Trader Joe’s Sauerkraut and a can of their organic vegetarian chili on hand.
While canned sauerkraut will do the job, once you get your hands on some really good fresh kraut, you may never go back to canned. TJ’s fresh sauerkraut found in the Trader Joe’s refrigerator section, kicks up their tart kraut into full gear by adding Persian cucumbers – absolutely fabulous!
TJ’s vegan chili is especially good as a hot dog topping with a sprinkle of shredded cheese or squirt of Dijon mustard. It’s not super spicy, but oh so tasty! You can add some hot peppers or red pepper flakes if you want more heat.
Ever watch re-runs of Andy Griffith in Matlock? Seems like high powered attorney Ben Matlock loves his hot dogs just about 24/7. When a case got rough or he scored a big courtroom win, you’d find him at the hot dog vendor ordering a hot dog: All the way! I can’t watch Matlock re-runs without craving a loaded down dog!
And I simply can’t end this post without mentioning the long gone kitschy Tail O’ Pup hot dog stand. Designed by architect Milton Black, the stand was shaped like a giant hot dog (with mustard) in a bun and opened in 1946 in Los Angeles, CA. The Pup faced demolition in the mid 80’s, so the hot dog stand was relocated nearby.
By 2005 the Tail O’ Pup was moved into a warehouse. That’s the last info I could find on it. I’m still hopeful that one day it will be rescued and opened for business or at least show up in a storage locker on Storage Wars! Maybe they’d even bring back cagey “Barry” to bid on it – that would be right up his alley!