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The 'Hot Dog King of Chicago' Takes on Hawaii

The 'Hot Dog King of Chicago' Takes on Hawaii

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Ira Helfer hands out thousands of free hot dogs yearly at the Sony Open

Wikimedia Commons/Evan Swigart

Hot Dog

For those participating in the Sony Open, the golfing event that comes to Waialae Country Club in Honolulu every year, a visit to Ira Helfer is one of the highlights of the experience.

No, he’s not doing deep-tissue massage, roasting kalua pigs, or anything else that is commonly associated with Hawaii — he’s handing out hot dogs, just as he has for years.

The Chicago native, who moved out to Hawaii with his family in 1985 and has been handing out hot dogs during the event ever since, was recently profiled by The Golf Channel. His backyard abuts the first tee of the country club, and year after year folks drop by for a free hot dog (Vienna beef, wrapped in aluminum foil and served with mustard, pickles, and other condiments except ketchup), hang out, listen to him tell stories, and generally enjoy each other’s company. He went through more than 1,000 last week, but doesn’t plan to start charging any time soon.

And while thousands of people have eaten his hot dogs over the years, including professional golfers and governors, the one story he never gets tired of telling is the time he served none other than former President Bill Clinton ("He had two," Helfer reminisces).

And while it might seem strange to waltz right in to someone’s backyard and grab a hot dog, Helfer welcomes them, friends and strangers alike.

Just don’t ask for ketchup.

The Hot Dog King of Chicago holds court in Hawaii

HONOLULU &ndash The man runs a hand through his thinning, silvery hair, looks knowingly at a few friends and methodically says, &ldquoSo there&rsquos this lawyer who&rsquos out to dinner with his wife when this voluptuous blonde walks in&hellip&rdquo

Just then, a stranger walks up to his green gated backyard just 150 yards off Waialae Country Club&rsquos first tee and to the right of its fairway, and interrupts the joke.

The man stops for a moment and without reservation yells, &ldquoCome on in! Have a hot dog!&rdquo

He then leans back in his chair and addresses the semicircle of friends eagerly awaiting a punchline they&rsquove been hearing for years. When it comes, they laugh. Not polite chuckles, but loud, forceful belly laughs, as if the man just told them the funniest thing ever. And maybe, just maybe, he did.

His name is Ira Helfer, but people around here know him as the Hot Dog King of Chicago.

This is what they do during the Sony Open. They walk in, they grab a hot dog, they listen to some jokes, they hang out with the Hot Dog King. They&rsquove been coming every year since 1985, when Helfer moved here with his family and decided to open his backyard to friends and potential friends alike.

He&rsquos originally from Chicago &ndash sorry, &ldquowest side of Chicago,&rdquo he reminds people &ndash where hot dogs are less a meal than a way of life. He&rsquoll go through close to 1,000 of them this week, each one individually wrapped in aluminum foil, served with mustard and your choice of pickles, peppers and other complements.

Even at the mention, Helfer&rsquos eyes grow cold and his brow furrows. He may suffer fools, but not fools who request ketchup on their hot dogs.

&ldquoIf they do,&rdquo says longtime friend Paul Shinkawa, &ldquothey don&rsquot get a hot dog. He&rsquos like the Soup Nazi.&rdquo

Everyone else is welcome, though. There are those who have heard all the jokes and those listening for the first time. There are those he greets with a friendly hello and those who receive acknowledgment in their native Japanese, his fluency the result of spending years in the import-export business in Asia.

The hot dogs are Vienna beef. They are real &ndash and they are spectacular. Grilled on the outside, juicy on the inside. And they&rsquore free, too, since the Hot Dog King refuses to take a nickel from anyone.

Even players have been known to meander into his backyard. Mark O&rsquoMeara used to partake in Helfer&rsquos hot dogs. So did &ldquosome no-name&rdquo with whom he won the tournament&rsquos pro-am years ago.

But those are hardly the most esteemed guests. A few years ago, Helfer was playing Waialae when he received some interesting news.

&ldquoWhen I checked in, the starter said Bill Clinton and the governor were going to be here,&rdquo he tells for what must be at least the 1,000th time. &ldquoThey had gone off the back. I waved at them I knew the governor. He pulls the cart around, gets out and introduces me to the president. What the hell do you say to a president? &lsquoGood afternoon, sir. Playing nine?&rsquo He said, &lsquoNo, playing 18.&rsquo

&ldquoNow what do you say? &lsquoWell, if that&rsquos the case, why don&rsquot you stop at my house at the turn and grab a hot dog?&rsquo The governor turns to him and says, &lsquoThis guy&rsquos got the best hot dogs west of the Mississippi.&rsquo The president says, &lsquoThen we&rsquoll stop there.&rsquo

&ldquoSo I came back and asked my wife to get hot dogs for 20-30 people. She said, &lsquoWho did you invite?&rsquo I said, &lsquoThe president.&rsquo She goes, &lsquoThe president of what?&rsquo I said, &lsquoThe president of the United States.&rsquo She looked at me and goes, &lsquoYeah, right.&rsquo But they came by.&rdquo

And did the president have a hot dog?

&ldquoNo,&rdquo he says with a pause. &ldquoHe had two.&rdquo

The belly laughs continue around the semicircle, large men choking down beef and bun with contagious smiles spread across their faces.

But there were almost no laughs this year. No smiles, no hot dogs and &ndash most distressingly &ndash no Hot Dog King.

He was in the hospital until Thursday morning, only getting out just prior to the opening round.

&ldquoI don&rsquot know why I got sick,&rdquo Helfer, 68, says while pulling a bandage and gauze from his right hand. &ldquoMy kids were here and Monday evening after dinner, I couldn&rsquot stand up. My youngest son is like 350 pounds and he couldn&rsquot even help me up. I&rsquove never been like that, so we called an ambulance and went to the hospital. But they didn&rsquot know what the hell was wrong.&rdquo

So he was discharged from the hospital?

&ldquoNo,&rdquo he answers. &ldquoThe doctor is coming here later. He said, &lsquoYou&rsquove got to be there.&rsquo&rdquo

This is what the Sony Open means to the Hot Dog King of Chicago &ndash and what the Hot Dog King of Chicago means to the Sony Open.

Hundreds of friends will flood his backyard this week, each one enjoying a hot dog, most of them going back for seconds or thirds or more. The only thing missing from the party is ketchup, just the way Helfer likes it.

Even if you&rsquore not a friend &ndash not yet, at least &ndash feel free to walk up to the green gate, where the Hot Dog King will let you in with a yell.

When you do, ask him the one about the lawyer, his wife and the voluptuous blonde. Then sit back, take a bite of your hot dog and get ready to laugh.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 all-beef hot dog
  • 1 poppyseed hot dog bun
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sweet green pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 4 tomato wedges
  • 1 dill pickle spear
  • 2 sport peppers
  • 1 dash celery salt

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, place hot dog in water, and cook 5 minutes or until done. Remove hot dog and set aside. Carefully place a steamer basket into the pot and steam the hot dog bun 2 minutes or until warm.

Place hot dog in the steamed bun. Pile on the toppings in this order: yellow mustard, sweet green pickle relish, onion, tomato wedges, pickle spear, sport peppers, and celery salt. The tomatoes should be nestled between the hot dog and the top of the bun. Place the pickle between the hot dog and the bottom of the bun. Don't even think about ketchup!

50 States of Hot Dogs

From Chicago’s famous vegetable-topped Red Hots in a poppyseed bun to so-called dirty water dogs on New York City street corners, franks are an American culinary rite of passage. Here are the 50 United States of hot dogs.

Related To:

Photo By: Vincent Sorrentino

Photo By: Michael Christodoulakis

Birmingham Hot Dog, Gus's Hot Dogs (Alabama)

One of the oldest hot dog stands in a city that was once home to countless frank purveyors, Gus&rsquos is the place to try the Birmingham hot dog developed by the city&rsquos early Greek immigrants. Both the regular and the "special" dogs feature a half pork-half beef weenie charred on the 70-year-old grill and served in a steamed standard issue bun with yellow mustard, chopped white onion, sauerkraut and spice-scented special sauce that&rsquos like a sweeter, tangier version of New York pushcart-style onions. The special, with the addition of ground beef, is city&rsquos storied hot dog claim to fame, as owner Lee Pantazis sees it. "A small piece of history wedged in a bun covered in sauce," he says.

Reindeer Dog, International House of Hot Dogs (Alaska)

Long before the wild game sausage trend took over gastropub menus across the United States, Anchorage residents where noshing on dogs showcasing one locally ubiquitous, otherwise rare ingredient: reindeer. Reindeer has been a summertime street cart specialty in the Last Frontier for more than two decades. But International House of Hot Dogs serves its McKinley Dog throughout the year - sleigh-pulling season included. It starts with a hearty and heavily spiced Polish-style reindeer sausage in a bun with a simple combination of sauteed onions and a sweet and smoky homemade chipotle sauce.

Sonoran Hot Dog, Aqui con el Nene (Arizona)

Peddled by hundreds of restaurants and street cart-pushing hotdogueros throughout Tucson and Phoenix, Sonoran hot dogs are so common in Arizona, they might as well be called Grand Canyon wieners. Beef franks are swaddled in bacon and griddled until they fuse together like a carnivorous candy cane. Those flavorful franks are cradled in a fluffy Mexican baguette, then topped with a whole shebang of toppings like pinto beans, onions, tomatoes, mayonnaise, mustard and spicy salsa. At Aqui con el Nene in Tucson, those exceptional dogs are served chilipon-style with a toasted bun and melted cheese with all the old reliables and a world-class jalapeno sauce.

Chili Dog, Spradlin's Dairy Delight (Arkansas)

One of those dishes of unknown origin, the Frito Chili Pie &mdash corn chips topped with bold chili, cheese and crisp onion &mdash is claimed by many places throughout the South and Southwest. This 1957 England, Arkansas, dairy is one. Owner Claude Spradlin claims that infamous dish has been on the menu for more than a half-century. And while he still serves plenty of chili-topped Fritos, he sells a lot more hot dogs coated in that same sauce. Spradlin's chili dogs follow the Arkansas ethos, its footlong dog topped with mustard, chili and slaw with optional additions of American cheese, pickled jalapenos and raw onions. And, of course, Fritos are available on the side.

Dodger Dog, Dodger Stadium (California)

Hot dogs are a baseball rite of passage, and few dogs are as associated with a ballclub as the Dodgers' Dodger Dog. A fan favorite since 1962, the 10-inch Dodger Dog is available steamed or grilled at kiosks throughout the stadium, then tucked into a steamed bun. Kiosks nearby offer ketchup, mustard, onions and relish. Bring it back to your seat and feast while looking out at the palm tree-silhouetted horizon. It's as Californian as a hot dog experience can get.

Elk-Jalapano-Cheddar Sausage, Biker Jim's (Colorado)

From a souped-up hot dog cart on Denver's 16th Street Mall to multiple carts, a brick-and-mortar locale and a stand at Coors Field, Jim Pittenger, aka Biker Jim, has become the de facto hot dog king of the Rocky Mountains for his creative toppings and 15 gourmet different sausages. Many highlight Rocky Mountain-inspired wild game, ranging from wild boar and Southwest buffalo to rattlesnake and pheasant. None represent the Centennial State better than the spicy and savory elk-jalapeno-cheddar sausage. Guests can order it topped however they please, but the proper accoutrement for this top dog is Biker Jim's cream cheese and caramelized onion cooked in soda.

New Englander, Super Duper Weenie (Connecticut)

Cities like New York and Chicago get tons of hot dog praise however, Connecticut is hailed by those in the know as one of the greatest wiener sanctuaries in the United States. Exemplary hot dog stands can be found in pretty much every town. One of the best is Super Duper Weenie in Fairfield. Owner Gary Zemola is known for sourcing prime ingredients for all of the housemade toppings (like the highly classified relish), house-baked rolls and fresh-cut fries. The proper order is the New Englander, which starts out with a Hummel Bros. frank purchased from the family-run New Haven deli. In the classic New England style, it&rsquos split in half and grilled, then topped with a healthy serving of sauerkraut, bacon, raw white onions, mustard and relish.

Griddle-Fried Franks, Deerhead Hot Dogs (Delaware)

Split griddle-fried franks are an obligatory Delaware rite of passage during the summer months. For in-the-know Delawareans, these crisp dogs drum up ardent everyday affection akin to Joe Biden' s obsession with aviator sunglasses. Deerhead Hot Dogs has been center-slicing and crisping up its dogs according to local tradition since 1935. Those side-by-side halves are cradled in a soft dinner roll-like bun with compulsory mustard, onions and a healthy serving of its secret tomato-based sauce thatâ s like a slightly spicy, sweet and tangy cross between standard chili and the liquid that comes in a can of Heinz baked beans.

Cartel Dog, Pincho Factory (Florida)

Drawing inspiration from the local flavors found throughout Miami and the streets of Latin America, the folks behind South Florida&rsquos fast-casual Pincho Factory created the Cartel Dog. It has quickly beat out all other wieners to take the podium as Miami&rsquos favorite hot dog. A grilled kosher frank is slathered with a wholly unkosher, but incredibly delicious mix of chopped bacon, cheddar cheese, mango sauce, potato sticks and secret pink Pincho sauce, a ketchup and mayonnaise blend that&rsquos a favorite condiment throughout South America.

Scrambled Dog, Dinglewood Pharmacy (Georgia)

Back around 1946, an inventive Columbus, Georgia, restaurateur decided to create a unique hot dog dish with boiled chopped franks smothered in chili, onions and pickles served with a substantial handful of oyster crackers on top that was intended to be consumed with utensils. That diner went out of business, but its Scrambled Dog stuck around, becoming a Columbus-area mainstay. It's been on the menu, true to its original form, for more than 50 years at the century-old Dinglewood Pharmacy, where it's served in a porcelain relish dish and a spoon. This regional classic is still so popular that accounts for 85 percent of the independent pharmacy's soda fountain sales.

Puka Dog, Puka Dog (Hawaii)

Essentially a larger, more interesting take on pigs in blankets, this Hawaiian specialty features a proprietary dog cradled inside freshly baked Hawaiian sweet bread. That bun, called a puka for the hole in the center, is where the shop and corresponding hot dog style get their name. Each one of these volcano-like snacks comes with choice of Polish sausage or veggie dog, garlic-lemon secret sauce (ranging in heat from mild to lava), and pick of Hawaiian fruit relish with tropical flavors including mango, pineapple, coconut and papaya. Those seeking traditional condiments can also add ketchup, yellow or Dijon mustard, sweet relish and the state's special &mdash and addictive &mdash Auntie Lilikoi's Hawaiian mustard.

Tater Dog, Dave's Tater Grill (Idaho)

Idaho is best known for its eponymous spuds, so it makes sense that representative wiener has some potatoes incorporated into the mix. Cue: the tater dog. At Dave&rsquos Tater Grill, a food cart parked on Boise&rsquos 6th Street between Main and Grove, late-night diners queue for shredded hash browns grilled with cheddar and jack cheeses laid on a toasted bun with a quarter-pound Nathan&rsquos all-beef hot dog (or whatever other sausage you please) crown.

Chicago Red Hot, Superdawg Drive-In (Illinois)

The winking weenie couple atop this 1948 drive-in have been a beacon to Windy City hot dog lovers for more than half a century. This multigenerational icon is hailed as one of Chicago's top red hots. Here, proprietary beef hot dogs are served on steamed poppy seed buns and dragged through the garden with yellow mustard, sweet neon green relish, chopped white onion, a kosher dill pickle spear and hot sport peppers as is tradition in the Second City, but this real drive-in - complete with carhop service - also throws on a pickled green tomatoes, as well. Get yours with a side of crinkle cut fries and an old-fashioned Supermalt to wash it down.

Coney Island Hot Dog, Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island (Indiana)

A short drive from the Michigan and Ohio borders, Fort Wayne&rsquos Famous Coney Island picks up where celebrated Coney traditions of Detroit and Cincinnati (sort of) stop. Owned and operated by the same family for more than a century, this lively eatery has worked its way into the city&rsquos culinary fabric. It sells around a million hot dogs per year. Why the fuss? Its legendary dogs are just that good. Each frank is grilled and placed inside a steamed bun with mustard, hand-chopped onions and homemade Coney sauce that&rsquos essentially Greek bolognese. The must-order is "three and a bottle," three dogs with all the fixings and a bottle of Coke.

Good Dog, Los Banditos Hot Dog Speakeasy (Iowa)

What started as a joke between friends &mdash about a hot dog speakeasy in the old basement bar of Krunkwich Ramen House &mdash turned into an reality. This late-night weekend pop-up serves a diverse array of hot dogs from the ramen shop after it&rsquos finished serving noodles. Locally produced Berkwood Farms pork franks serve as the base for most of the Asian, Latin American, French and Midwestern-inspired hot dogs and sides. (The tater tot casserole should be Iowa&rsquos state dish.) The most-popular pick is the Good Dog, inspired by a late-night chat about crab rangoon pizza. Unlike the other franks, this dog is all beef, served alongside a cream cheese and real crab spread, rolled in an egg roll wrapper, deep fried and placed on a bun with housemade sweet chile sauce.

When Pat and Gina Neely went on a hunt for some of the best eats around Kansas City on Road Tasted with the Neelys, they stopped by Fritz' s Meat & Superior Sausage for a taste of its prized smoked bacon. But this small Leawood, Kansas, butcher shop is known for way more than its luscious cured pork belly. As one of Kansas Cityâ s oldest smokehouses, established in 1927, all of the meats and sausages sold from this butcher are top notch - including its hot dogs. During lunch, locals lineup for housemade all-beef dogs simply served with mustard and sauerkraut or dressed up with a bacon wrap, deep-fried and gussied up like a BLT in the HDBLT.

Alligator Dog, Dixie Chili (Kentucky)

Cincinnati&rsquos love of chili spills across the border into Northern Kentucky. There are probably just as many places serving that chili-topped spaghetti and Coney dogs in the top reaches of the Bluegrass State as in the city that inspired its name. Founded in 1929, Dixie Chili is one of the state&rsquos top places to get a taste of a Cincinnati Coney however, its most iconic dog doesn&rsquot come with the spicy, meat dressing. The alligator, a petite beef and pork frank, is covered in a heaping pile of shredded cheddar cheese, a crisp dill spear and a mix of mayonnaise and mustard inside a soft white bun. Of course, guests can add chili and chopped sweet onion if they really want to go for it.

Crawfish Étouffée Dog, Dat Dog (Louisiana)

What Louisiana lacks in hot dog history, it makes up for in culinary ingenuity. The fun-loving folks behind NOLA&rsquos Dat Dog draw from the city&rsquos deep-rooted comestible heritage, stuffing it all into various hot dog buns. Its sausage selection spans from alligator and creole hot sausage to a Guinness-infused brat. The item most representative of South Louisiana, however, is the crawfish étouffée dog. Crawfish sausage, smoked with mild Creole seasoning, is smothered with savory crawfish étouffée, sour cream, onions, tomatoes and Creole mustard, nestled inside a sweet sourdough bun.

Maine Red Snapper, Dysart's (Maine)

Earning their name from their crimson hue and signature snap, Maine Red Snappers are a mainstay at family barbecues and campsites around the Pine Tree State. These locally made naturally cased beef and pork franks get their vibrant neon color from a healthy dose of food dye. They can be found at grocery stores and hot dog stands in every corner of the state, but they come paired with another Maine signature at Dysart&rsquos Restaurant & Truck Stop. Those glowing wieners are paired with baked Maine yellow-eye beans, served 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the Herman roadside stop.

Jumbo Jewish Hot Dog, Attman's Delicatessen (Maryland)

A landmark on Baltimore' s Corned Beef Row since 1915, fourth-generation-owned Attman's has outlived most of its peers and generations of newcomers. It is not just one of the most-famous delis in Charm City, it' s one of the most-legendary Jewish sandwich shops in the entire country. The Jumbo Jewish Hot Dog has become a Maryland staple. Here' s why, an all-beef frank is tucked under a blanket of crisp-fried bologna, cloaked in your choice of mustard, onions, relish and ketchup - plus chili for those who really want to live boldly - barely held together with a fresh-baked roll.

Fenway Frank, Fenway Park (Massachusetts)

Coney Dog, American Coney Island (Michigan)

Motor City may be the Car Capital of the World and the birthplace of Motown, but food-lovers have long associated it with the Coney Dog. Layered with chili, lined with mustard and dotted with onions, these franks have spread across the Midwest, becoming staples in places as far away as Kentucky and Oklahoma. You have to try them at side-by-side originals Lafayette and American Coney Island to get in on the age-old Detroit debate as to which is best. That multigenerational question has most likely spawned more than one Montague-Capulet-like feuds.

Corn Dog, The Depot Tavern (Minnesota)

Minnesotans take their state fair seriously. It&rsquos one of the best-attended expositions in the United States. And attendees start planning what they&rsquore going to eat months before the event takes place. Obviously, the requisite order is something deep-fried on a stick. Though, the options keep getting crazier and crazier (think: corned beef-stuffed giant tater tots), the Minnesota corn dog is still a long-standing favorite. Minneapolis locals can indulge in one of the best riffs on the cornmeal-battered frank throughout the year at the Depot Tavern. Its Diamond Corn Dog features a quarter-pound all-beef weenie wrapped with pepper bacon, dunked in cornmeal batter, deep-fried to golden brown, served with a tangy maple mustard sauce on the side.

Creole-Topped Mississippi Dog, Dis and Dem (Mississippi)

Bringing a taste of New Orleans&rsquo nouveau gourmet frankfurter trend to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Dis and Dem offers a nationally inspired selection of wieners, including the beer-battered fried-cod Pacific Dog, a classic Chicago Dog and the grilled gator Swamp Dog. Each is inspired, but the simple Mississippi Dog is the way to go. Grilled Polish Kielbasa, made from garlic- and paprika-scented beef, is topped with choice of cooked or fresh sauerkraut, onions, tomatoes and mustard. It&rsquos straightforward, flavorful, crisp yet juicy, but if you really feel the need to jazz it up, opt for the Creole mustard on top.

KC Dog, Up Dog (Missouri)

Hootdog, Lewiston Farmers' Market (Montana)

Rita Hofer admits it was a crazy idea. The King Colony Hutterite woman essentially created Montana&rsquos state hot dog &mdash it&rsquos frankfurter roots aren&rsquot as deep as places in the Midwest and East &mdash when she skewered a hot dog, wrapped it in fry-bread dough and dipped it in a vat of boiling oil. Hofer serves it with ketchup and mustard on the side at the Lewistown Farmers&rsquo Market on Saturdays from June through October. Basically a corn dog without the corn, Hofer named this Big Sky Country invention after the slang term some Montanans use to describe members of her Anabaptist-descended religious colony, Hoots, hence the punny Hootdog title.

Nebraska: B&B Classic Dogs (Nebraska)

The specifics are cloudy but the most-credible story about the birthplace of the Reuben claims that the sandwich of corned beef, melted Emmental cheese and sauerkraut with Russian dressing on grilled marbled rye was created at Omaha&rsquos Blackstone Hotel. So, it make sense that Nebraskans love their Reubens in any form, including hot dogs. At Bellevue&rsquos B&B Classic Dogs, one of the most-popular franks is the Cornhusker-inspired Rueben [their spelling], a quarter-pound Nathan&rsquos beef frank covered with thousand island dressing, kraut, melted swiss and, to mimic the original bread, caraway seeds all nestled within a toasted bun. Guests can opt to get the whole thing, bun included, wrapped in a tortilla and dunked in the fryer.

Naked Dog, Cheffini's Hot Dog (Nevada)

At some point in its flashy history, Las Vegas adopted a hot dog style all its own, the naked dog. Seriously. Exactly as it sounds, the dog is a simple char-grilled beef hot dog served simply in a plain bun. It&rsquos either the most-perfect or most-inaccurate metaphor for Sin City, depending on how one looks at it. The modest dogs can still be found all over town, but one of the best places to munch into one is Cheffini&rsquos Hot Dogs. There, guests can sample the classic naked dog in all its bare glory or follow the city&rsquos ostentatious vibe with an array of diverse and showy toppings ranging from seaweed, avocado and pickled mango to dry chorizo, pork belly and fried quail egg.

New Hampshire: Vin's Dogs

It&rsquos pretty clear that New Englanders love their hot dogs. From Connecticut&rsquos omnipresent hot dog stands to Fenway&rsquos famous franks to Maine&rsquos red snappers and Rhode Island&rsquos oddly titled New York Systems Wieners, the Northeastern tip of the United States has plenty of regional hot dogs. New Hampshire may not have its own style, but the state is still home to one weenie that combines two &mdash or three &mdash of the greatest dishes known to man. At Vin&rsquos Dogs in Woodsville, fans love the bacon mac and cheese dog, a Sabrett frank topped with Cabot Creamery Vermont cheddar-infused mac n&rsquo cheese and crispy smoked bacon hold together by a steamed bun.

Rippers, Rutt' s Hut (New Jersey)

Garden State residents love their weenies just as much as New Yorkers do. The most-famous of all Jersey dogs is the Ripper, a deep-fried pork and beef frank that gets its name from the rips and cracks in the skin that result from its dip in the deep fryer. Rutt&rsquos Hut in Clifton has been cooking rippers this way since 1928. They&rsquore served on a regular or toasted bun with a mustard and special relish that&rsquos just as legendary as the hot dogs themselves.

Chile Dog, Dog House (New Mexico)

Highlighted on several episodes of Breaking Bad, this tiny Route 66 shack has become a mandatory stop for fans. But long before it achieved small-screen glory, Dog House already had an ardent following for its peppery chili dogs. A small amount of meat serves as the base for the flavorful crimson sauce, which is cooked down for hours to the point that the meat is nearly invisible. Hatch red chile and a secret blend of spices are added at the end. It&rsquos served atop split and grilled skinless beef and pork footlongs (or six-inchers) with brown mustard and additional options of cheese sauce and onions.

White Hot, Schaller's Drive-In (New York)

Dirty water dogs, Papaya dogs, truffle mayo-topped gourmet dogs: the Big Apple has long sucked all the air out of New York state's weenie balloon. But love of franks spread well beyond the borders of the five boroughs. That's why it's time to extol the merits of the white hot, a Central and Western New York delicacy most often produced by Zweigle' s made from a combination of unsmoked, uncured pork, beef and veal, in a natural casing. Try one at Schaller' s Drive-In in Rochester. Open since 1956, the retro lakeside stop seems to have changed little in the decades since. Their classic white hot preparation is topped with the usual meat-based " hot sauce," mustard and onions.

Slaw Dog, R.O's Bar-B-Cue (North Carolina)

While mustard is a must on hot dogs in New York, tomatoes are a go-to in Chicago and Cincinnati chili tops dogs throughout Ohio, in the South it&rsquos all about the slaw. Across the Southeast, hot dogs are smothered in either creamy or barbecue coleslaw. One of the most famous versions is sold at Gastonia&rsquos R.O.&rsquos Bar-B-Cue. It may sound odd that a barbecue spot is better known for its hot dog &mdash slaw dog specifically &mdash than its &rsquocue, but it combines the best of the South in its unique recipe. Finely processed cabbage is mixed with mayo, hot and sweet spices, and pimientos in a creamy, orange-toned slurry that is the perfect &mdash though unexpected &mdash accent to a hot dog in a white bun.

Smoked Rabbit-Rattlesnake Wurst, Wurst Bier Hall (North Dakota)

Bringing the German bier hall tradition to the Roughrider State, this brew-centric Fargo hangout has been hailed as the best beer bar in the state. Its ever-rotating assortment of suds is the perfect pairing for the expansive sausage list, which spans from classic brats and Polish kielbasa to gourmet Portuguese linguiça and all-American chicken apple-smoked sausage. The best representation of North Dakota is the smoked rabbit with rattlesnake and jalapeno wurst. Combining Southwestern heat with northern plains inspiration, this exotic showboat is served on fresh-baked French bread with choice of grilled onion, kraut and sweet or hot peppers.

Polish Boy, Banter (Ohio)

Ohio has strong dog-centric culinary traditions, including Cincinnati chili dogs. Back in the 1940s, the Polish Boy emerged on Cleveland's fast food scene. It's a stack of coleslaw, barbecue sauce, hot sauce and a pile of fries loaded atop a smoky Polish-style kielbasa in a sturdy hot dog bun. It can be found all around the Rock and Roll Capital of the World, but one of the best examples is sold at Banter, a new-school sausage and poutine shop on the near west side.

Regular Coney, Coney I-Lander (Oklahoma)

Tulsa, Oklahoma, has a long-standing Coney tradition dating back to 1926, when Greek immigrant Christ Economou opened his first hot dog stand, Coney I-Lander. Following in the vein of the spiced meat chili-, mustard- and onion-topped franks found throughout the Midwest, that original stand sticks to the classics. It&rsquos since expanded to seven locations and has spawned countless impersonators, serving slow-grilled franks with all the standards and, for those who please, yellow grated cheese inside a steamed bun.

Corn Dog, The Original Pronto Pup (Oregon)

Though deeply beloved, corn dogs don't have a clear, verified origin story. Some claim that Oregonians George and Vera Boyington invented the corn-battered hot dog sometime during World War II. Whether they did or did not, the Beaver State still has some of the best and most-varied selections of corn dogs in the United States at Rockway Beach's The Original Pronto Pup. Boasting a 30-foot fiberglass hot dog on its roof, the largest corn dog on the planet, this 1941 shack now serves nine different pup variations including vegetarian options like veggie dogs and pickle pups. Plus, it has a new claim to fame, the World's First Riding Mechanical Corndog. Talk about prestigious distinctions.

Texas Tommy, Tony Luke' s (Pennsylvania)

The Philly cheesesteak may be Philadelphia&rsquos best-known claim to Cheez Whiz fame, but that golden liquid isn&rsquot just reserved for thin-sliced steak in Eastern Pennsylvania and its surrounding South Jersey suburbs &mdash it&rsquos also one of the main ingredients of the ubiquitous Texas Tommy, a split-griddled hot dog loaded with bacon and a river of liquid cheese, found on nearly every greasy spoon and neighborhood grill menu in the City of Brotherly Love and beyond. Pick one up at Tony Luke&rsquos, where you&rsquoll get a six-inch all beef dog, split and cooked on a flat top nestled in a toasted roll with two pieces of bacon smothered in Cheez Whiz.

Hot Wiener, Olneyville N.Y. System (Rhode Island)

A Rhode Island staple since the 1940s, hot wieners or New York System wieners are the unofficial frank of the Ocean State. Sort of like a Coney-Chicago dog-sloppy Joe hybrid, this state specialty comes topped with meat sauce, mustard, chopped onion and a dash of celery salt atop a griddled weenie on a steamed side-cut roll. The most-iconic place to get one is Olneyville New York System. With two locations, the fourth-generation-owned shop sells crisp beef-pork-veal dogs topped with all the obligatory ingredients on a plush roll from a nearby Greek bakery. Follow the local tradition by chasing the weenies with coffee milk.

The RiverDog, Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park (South Carolina)

Hot dogs and baseball games go together like birds and bees, chili and cheese, wieners and cole slaw. That last one is nearly obligatory throughout the South, where one would be hard-pressed to find a frankfurter without sweetly dressed cabbage on top. In South Carolina, one of the best slaw dogs is served during Charleston RiverDog games at Joseph P. Riley Junior Park &mdash a.k.a. The Joe &mdash at the Dog House and Dog World concession stands. The team&rsquos eponymous frank, the RiverDog, features an all-beef weenie slathered with slaw, mustard-barbecue sauce and pickled okra. Understandably, more than 5,000 of these delicious puppies are consumed every season.

Hungry Dog, Hungry Dog (South Dakota)

With a name like Hungry Dog, this place practically guarantees it&rsquoll leave diners stuffed. A five-minute drive from the World&rsquos Only Corn Palace, a top tourist destination in South Dakota, Hungry Dog serves a wide variety of franks and weenie-filled sandwiches, like the Philly cheesesteak-frankfurter hybrid, the Philly Dog, or a wiener-and-fried-shrimp Surf n Turf. The most-filling of all is the namesake dog, a fried, bacon-wrapped weenie, beer-battered and fried again and placed on a bun with shaved Ribeye, locally made Dimock Dairy pepperoni cheese and a pile of fries.

Hot Southern Mess, I Dream of Weenie (Tennessee)

This East Nashville VW bus-turned-food truck aims to Southernize the hot dog. It features regional toppings, many of which are made from locally sourced ingredients, atop its weenies. The most-emblematic example of its style is the Hot Southern Mess (or HSM) featuring three Volunteer State staples: creamy coleslaw, house-made pimento cheese and locally made Tennessee hot chow chow, a sweet cabbage-based pickled relish that dates back to old-school country kitchens as a means to preserve the end of season bounty. It&rsquos all sandwiched together with its charcoal-grilled all-beef hot dog within a steamed, locally baked bun.

Rodeo Dog, The Good Dog Houston (Texas)

Expect all-American hot dogs with a Lonestar State twist at this Houston weenie shop. Toppings include fresh guacamole, refried black beans, brown sugar-baked ham, and beef and chorizo chili. One of the top-sellers is the Rodeo Dog, created by Chef-Co-owner Amalia Pferd during Houston&rsquos rodeo season. It features an all-beef dog smothered in creamy cheddar mac & cheese, barbecue sauce, bacon, scallion and parmesan breadcrumbs inside a buttery split-top bun. "It&rsquos everything that is comforting about the south and also a little tangy just like Texas," says Pferd.

Polish Dog, J. Dawg's (Utah)

In 2004, Jayson "J" Edwards pawned his Fender Telecaster guitar to raise enough funds to transform a tiny Provo shack into the site of Utah&rsquos impending hot dog revolution. The ethos is simple, according to Edwards, "That quality meat, a freshly baked bun and our family&rsquos special sauce might not change the world, but it might make you smile." For just $4, locals indulge in simple Polish or beef hot dogs slathered in the sauce that&rsquos been in the family since Edward&rsquos Grandma Marcela clipped a barbecue sauce recipes out of her local paper more than six decades ago. That a sweet and tangy tomato-based brew has garnered a cult-following with at least a few blogs attempted to recreate the formula.

Texas Dog, Handy's Lunch (Vermont)

Vermonters love their chili dogs, but they can&rsquot decide on a name. Depending on where you are in the Green Mountain State, your hot dog covered with chili, chopped raw onions and yellow mustard may be referred to as a Michigans, a Red Hot or a Coney Island. At third-generation-owned Handy&rsquos Lunch in Burlington, the iconic chili dog is called a Texas Dog. The year-round treat includes snappy dogs coated with all the compulsory toppings stuffed inside a classic top-loaded New England-style bun that&rsquos griddled until buttery-crisp on the outside with that signature pillowy interior.

Bánh Mì Dog, Haute Dogs and Fries (Virginia)

The simple hot dog gets a complete makeover at this Alexandria place. All-beef franks are made with natural casings from grass-fed cows reared with no antibiotics or hormones, placed within toasted split-top New England-style buns made fresh and delivered daily by Ottenberg&rsquos Bakery in nearby Washington, D.C. The most popular haute dog is the bánh mì dog, a rainbow of flavors and textures that strikingly impersonates the original sandwich with sliced jalapenos, matchsticks carrots and cucumber, fresh cilantro and hearty, twisty squeeze of sriracha mayo.

Seattle Dog, Monster Dogs (Washington)

Seattle&rsquos signature dog is kind of like a cheese dog but also somewhat like a bagel. The city is known for grilled franks, split in half and slathered with cream cheese stuffed inside a bun. Anything goes in the topping department, but grilled onions, jalapenos and grilled cabbage tend to be available at all Seattle dog haunts. Monster Dogs, a Capitol Hill cart, is hailed by many as the best in town with some of the longest lines to prove it. There, the franks are steamed before they&rsquore tossed on the grill, split in the middle and cradled inside a cream cheese-coated bun that&rsquos been toasted on the grill. A simple garnish of caramelized onions tops it off.

Homewrecker, Hillbilly Hotdogs (West Virginia)

Hillbilly Hotdogs may not have the biggest sign, weenie statue or a mechanical bull corn dog, but it has one thing no other hot dog stand does: an onsite wedding chapel. For real. The restaurant &mdash two school buses backed up to a shed &mdash is a local obsession due to its gourmet dogs covered with things like kimchi and truffles. Its classic West Virginia Dog is like the state&rsquos captain of the frankfurter team, a deep-fried weenie paired with slaw, mustard, chili sauce and chopped onion in a split-top bun. While the latter is the most-popular order, the place is best known for its whopping 15-inch Homewrecker, a gut-busting take on the Mountain State favorite with added chile peppers, cheese and other belt-unbuckling toppings.

Bratwurst, Charcoal Inn (Wisconsin)

Found at every restaurant, bar, butcher shop and home barbecue, the bratwurst is the food most-associated with America&rsquos Dairyland &mdash other than cheese in pure or fried curd form. To get a true taste of the German-style sausage, head to the Bratwurst Capital of the World, Sheboygan, where places like Charcoal Inn dole out the "double with the works," two brats squeezed side-by-side on an oversized hard roll with mustard, onions, pickles and ketchup.

Buffalo Brat, Pitchfork Fondue (Wyoming)

Ever wonder how cowboys ate their hot dogs? Straight off the tines of a pitchfork, sizzling hot from bubbling cauldrons of oil heated by wood fire, if you ask the folks at Pitchfork Fondue. Offering prime views of the Wind River Mountains, this Pinedale spot is one of the most popular places to experience a western cookout in the Cowboy State. While most places grill their meats over an open flame, these guys prefer to deep fry their steak, chicken, potato chips and onion rings. And each all-inclusive meal begins with buffalo brats cooked the same way as well as regular old deep fried hot dogs for kids &mdash in actual age or mental maturity &mdash upon request.

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The hot dog arrived in Chicago through Frankfurt from Vienna. Pork sausages have been known in Frankfurt since the 13th century. Sometime in the 19th century a butcher in Vienna added beef to the sausage mixture. He called this a "wiener-frankfurter". Eventually reaching Chicago, Franks served in buns became popular at fairs and baseball games. Reportedly the pork-free and kosher-style all beef frank was originated by Fluky's in 1929. [20] During the Great Depression they were sold for a nickel out of carts along Maxwell Street. [21] Two Austrian Hungarian immigrants sold their Vienna Beef franks at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. [21] [22] Vienna Beef became a major producer of hot dogs and by the early 2000s was one of the major suppliers for hot dog carts. [23]

The "dragged through the garden" style is heavily promoted by Vienna Beef and Red Hot Chicago, the two most prominent Chicago hot dog manufacturers, [24] but exceptions are common, with vendors adding cucumber slices or lettuce, [1] omitting poppyseeds or celery salt, or using plain relish or a skinless hot dog. [25] Several popular hot dog stands serve a simpler version known as the "Depression Dog": a steamed natural-casing dog with only mustard, onions, plain relish and sport peppers, wrapped up with hand-cut french fries, [1] while the historic Superdawg drive-ins notably substitute a pickled tomato for fresh. Many vendors offer a Chicago-style dog with cheese sauce, known as a cheese-dog. Boz Hot Dogs locations offer a unique nacho cheese sauce with pieces of jalapeño peppers.

Chicago-style hot dogs are cooked in hot water or steamed before adding the toppings. [1] [10] A less common style is cooked on a charcoal grill and referred to as a "char-dog". Char-dogs are easily identifiable because very often the ends of the dog are sliced in crisscross fashion before cooking, producing a distinctive cervelat-style "curled-x" shape as the dog cooks. [26] Some hot dog stands, such as the Wieners Circle, [27] only serve char-dogs. [28]

The typical beef hot dog weighs 1/8 of a pound or 2 ounces (57 g) and the most traditional type features a natural casing, providing a distinctive "snap" when bitten. [9] [29]

The buns are a high-gluten variety made to hold up to steam warming, typically the S. Rosen's Mary Ann brand from Alpha Baking Company. [4]

The Chicago area has more hot dog restaurants than McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger King restaurants combined. [22] [20] A "hot dog stand" in Chicago may serve many other items, including the Maxwell Street Polish, gyros, pork chop and Italian beef sandwiches, corn dogs, tamales, pizza puffs and Italian ice. The restaurants often have unique names [30] or architectural features.

Hawaiian Hot Dogs

  • Author: Deborah
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 hot dogs 1 x
  • Category: Main Dish


Take a taste of the tropics with these Hawaiian Hot Dogs – grilled hot dogs topped with grilled fresh pineapple and onions for a Hawaiian flair.


  • 1/2 of a fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/4 cup prepared barbecue sauce
  • 8 hot dogs
  • 8 hot dog buns


Heat a grill to medium. Place the pineapple and onion on the grill and brush with the barbecue sauce. Continue to baste with barbecue sauce until the pineapple and onion are both soft.

Meanwhile, grill the hot dogs until warmed through.

Remove pineapple and onion from the grill and dice. Mix together in a bowl with the extra barbecue sauce, if desired. Serve the hot dogs with the pineapple and onion relish.

Recipe Notes:

Nutrition information provided as an estimate only. Various brands and products can change the counts.


  • Serving Size: 1 hot dog
  • Calories: 268
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Sodium: 416 mg
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Cholesterol: 15 mg

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Meet Deborah

Welcome to Taste and Tell. Here you will find easy, fast and family friendly recipes. I am a believer that anyone can cook and that dinner doesn’t have to be complicated. Come join me in my kitchen! Read More

15 classic L.A. hot dogs

Love or hate them, hot dogs are here to stay. But what exactly typifies a classic dog, here in Los Angeles or elsewhere? Should the franks be grilled or boiled? Should the skin have a snap or no snap? With the tortilla as one exception — because the taco is still king in this town — the dogs in this roundup are served on a classic bun with (mostly) traditional toppings. No trendy lobster rolls, sweet Hawaiian rolls or pretzel rolls here.

Art’s Chili Dog Stand — Art’s Famous Chili Dog is a bargain at $2.30 and includes mustard, chili and onions. A plain hot dog is $1.95. Additional toppings include kraut, jalapeno and coleslaw. Long-standing Art’s — open since 1939 — is at the corner of Florence and Normandie, and you can almost feel the history surround you with every bite. Art’s Chili Dog, $2.30, 1410 W. Florence Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 750-1313 (no website).

Belcampo Meat Co. — The Belcampo hot dog is made from 100% organic, grass-fed beef with a natural sheep casing. It’s less watery than most hot dogs, which makes it extra snappy. At $4 (not bad, considering) this extremely beefy dog may just be your new, favorite classic. Look for it on the specials board at Grand Central Market. Belcampo Hot Dog, $4, 317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, (213) 625-0304,

Carney’s — The Carney Dog, with chili, tomato, onions and mustard, is all beef with a natural casing. A local packer with a smokehouse uses Carney’s recipe to make the franks fresh every week. Still hungry? Bulk up with an order of Train Wreck Fries, topped with American cheese, grilled onions and a special thousand island dressing. Carney Dog, $4.30, 12601 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818) 761-8300,

Chroni’s — Chroni’s, open since 1945, serves a super snappy hot dog for $3.20 (mustard and onions included). The spot opens daily at 9 a.m. and has a large, covered eating area in back. Hot Dog, $3.20, 5825 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 728-7806,

Cupid’s Hot Dogs — Cupid’s Hot Dogs has been open in the San Fernando Valley since 1946. Originally called Walsh’s Hot Dogs, the family still runs the business today. Keep it simple and order the “triangle dog” (mustard, onions, relish). There’s Mexican Coke too. Triangle Hot Dog $2.99, 9039 Lindley Ave., Northridge, (818) 885-8160, check website for other locations,

Danger Dog — Bacon-wrapped hot dogs are the quintessential L.A. late night (hangover-preventing) street food. Whether you call them danger dogs, street dogs, bacon dogs or BWHDs (bacon-wrapped hot dogs), they can be found outside (or in the shadows of) clubs, concert halls and sporting events. Not into this type of adventurous eating? Why not make them at home? (Make the entire cart while you’re at it.) Near the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood (after a concert).

Earlez Grille — Brothers Cary and Duane Earle have been grilling hot dogs for almost 30 years. In 2014 they had to relocate to make way for the Crenshaw Metro Line you can find them currently grilling at a cart at 3864 Crenshaw Blvd. Does a hot dog taste better when you see, up close, the care put into each order? Of course it does. A new space is scheduled to open sometime in April. (Catering available.) Beef Sabrett Dog, $3, 3864 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 299-2867,

Infield’s Dodger Dog — The Infield is a baseball-themed hot dog stand in Sherman Oaks. Order your dog and kick back in actual baseball stadium seats (both Dodgers and Angels represented). The Infield’s Dodger Dog, a Farmer John footlong, is $2 on Mondays, $3 otherwise. Got a sweet tooth? There’s a deep-fried Twinkies too. Infield’s Dodger Dog, $3 ($2 on Mondays,) 14333 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks (818) 501-1850,

Larry’s Chili Dog — Larry’s Chili Dog is a classic Burbank hangout with possibly the cutest hot dog sign we’ve come across (so far). Hoffy franks topped with chili are $4 with a generous topping of shredded cheese. Larry’s is known for fantastic breakfast burritos too. Chili Dog, $4, 3122 W Burbank Blvd., Burbank, (818) 842-0244 (no website).

Let’s Be Frank — Let’s Be Frank uses California grass-fed beef without nitrates or nitrites. It’s a gorgeous dog, especially when topped with Devil Sauce (a chutney-like combination of jalapeno, ginger and garlic). But this dog is great with just mustard too. Find the cart at the Helms Bakery Complex in Culver City, on Helms Avenue between Washington and Venice boularvds, Check website for hours of operation. You can also buy party packs for your own hot dog party. Frank Dog, $6, Helms Bakery Complex, Culver City,

Lucky Boy — Lucky Boy serves a crispy turkey corn dog that’ll make you feel like a kid again. Unless you’re in your 20s, wearily lined up at the counter for hangover relief. On the weekend, the place is packed (inside and out) with (mostly college-age) folks and a few actual kids. Corn Dog, $2.45, 640 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, (626) 793-0120,

Marty’s Hamburger StandStudio execs and construction workers eat side by side at this fast-food stand, open since 1959. Marty’s serves a hearty Vienna beef dog with chili, cheese and onions. The onion rings are a must. Still hungry? Go for a combo burger, which includes a grilled, split hot dog. Chili Cheese Hot Dog, $4.75, 10558 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 836-6944 (no website).

Motordogs — Visit Motordogs with a grandparent or just take the entire family. The former gas station is filled with nostalgia — and this place makes a great Chicago Dog. It comes with mustard, relish, onion, dill pickle, peppers and a great poppy seed bun. Chicago Dog, $3.50, 1265 E. Green St., Pasadena, (626) 486-2256,

Oki’s Dog on Pico — Not to be confused with the Oki Dog on Fairfax. To quote Jonathan Gold: “The Fairfax Oki was never an official Oki — I think they may have been family friends at some point, but the family never had anything to do with it. I pick up a pastrami burrito at least once a year or so, and the counter guy still asks about my college girlfriend, whom he had a big crush on.” The classic Oki dog at Oki’s Pico comes with two hot dogs, pastrami, chili and cheese in a large tortilla. If you’re there with a large group of friends, you might as well order the legendary pastrami burrito too. Both are gut bombs in the best possible way. Oki’s Oki Dog, $4.50, 5056 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 938-4369 (no website).

Chicago Red Hot Poppy Seed Buns

Like Chicago itself (and its famous Chicago-style dogs), the hot dog buns are substantial: no undersized, spongy supermarket buns for their tomato-, onion-, pickle-, and sport pepper-topped creations! In the Windy City you'll find a big, chewy poppy seed bun that has enough oomph to support the skyscraper constructions that Chicagoland natives depend on for a quick lunch. Here's our version.


  • 3 cups (361g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 tablespoons (21g) King Arthur Easy-Roll Dough Improver or Baker's Special Dry Milk, optional, but helpful for shaping buns
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) butter or 1/4 cup (50g) vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (8g) salt
  • 1 cup (227g) lukewarm water
  • 1 large egg yolk, white reserved for topping
  • 1 large egg white, reserved from the dough
  • 2 teaspoons cold water
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds


Weigh your flour or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Combine all of the dough ingredients, and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine set on the dough cycle — until the dough is smooth and satiny.

Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it's doubled, about 90 minutes to 2 hours.

Divide the dough into 10 pieces if you have a scale, they'll weigh about 2 1/2 ounces (71g) each. Shape each piece into a rough 3" log, and let the logs rest, covered, for about 10 minutes.

Working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten it, and fold it in half lengthwise, sealing the seam. Repeat: flatten, fold, and seal. By this time the log will have elongated a bit flatten it one more time, making a 6" oval that's as even as you can get it.

Perfect your technique

Chicago-Style Hot Dogs

Lay the bun on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, laying the buns about 3/4" from one another, for soft-sided buns or farther apart for buns with crust all around.

Cover the buns lightly with greased plastic wrap, and let them rise until they're noticeably puffy but not doubled, about 1 hour.

Mix the reserved egg white with 2 teaspoons cold water, and brush the mixture over the top of the risen buns. Sprinkle heavily with poppy seeds.

Bake the buns for about 18 minutes, until they're golden brown. They may seem slightly "damp." That's OK they'll dry as they cool.

Remove the buns from the oven, and place them on a rack to cool.

Store the buns in a plastic bag for a few days on the counter, or store for up to 3 months.

Tips from our Bakers

The Midwest has a number of culinary traditions, and one of the biggest surprises is the simple hot dog. People in Chicago are very, very serious about hot dogs. The number of toppings and the specific sequence of layering on the dog of your choice are practically mind-boggling.

First of all, there is the Chicago Red Hot, "dragged through the garden." This means a Vienna Beef Frank, topped with (in order, please) yellow mustard sweet green pickle relish chopped onion chopped fresh tomato or tomato wedges a kosher dill pickle spear "sport" peppers (tiny pickled hot green peppers) and celery salt. This is the dog you'll find at Wrigley Field, home of the Cubs.

Other vendors stray off the trail somewhat, but in general a Chicago hot dog may have onions, sauerkraut, hot peppers, mustard, and the brightest neon green relish you've ever seen riding on top. Sometimes chili, sometimes cheese. Ketchup? Well, all right, if you really must people in Chicago are way too polite to scoff at you, but you will have branded yourself a non-native at the least.


King's Hawaiian Bakery & Restaurant opened its doors on Sepulveda Boulevard in Torrance in 1988 and quickly became a landmark for Hawaiians living on the mainland. The irresistible Hawaiian food coupled with the warm "Aloha Spirit" that is the trademark of this family-owned business has made King's Hawaiian Restaurant a gathering place for families and friends throughout Southern California.


The Local Place Bakery offers a wide selection of our most popular bakery items from King's Hawaiian Bakery & Restaurant, including our famous Hawaiian Paradise Cake. Whether it's your favorite place to eat breakfast on your way to work or dinner on the way home, The Local Place Bakery & Café offers great-tasting Hawaiian food that's perfect for people on the go.

Watch the video: American Street Food - The BEST HOT DOGS in Chicago! Jims Original Sausages, Burgers, Pork Chops


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