July is National Hot Dog Month, and in honor of America's finest cuisine, every week from now til the end of July Mike Seely and I will be sampling dogs from a few of Seattle's favorite sausage purveyors. The hot dogs will then be rated on the Wiener-Eater-Meter on a scale of 1 through 10 -- 1 meaning I'd rather eat dog food than this dog, 10 meaning I'd sell my own dog for a lifetime supply of this dog.
So far we've been eating variations on the classic hot dog -- I kicked off the month with a chili dog from Mike's Chili Parlor, and last week Seely sampled a jalapeño corn dog from my own neighborhood grocery, Fremont's Marketime. This week I decided to scale things back and dine on a more traditional dog at a downtown mainstay located across the street from Westlake Center - and the winner of SW's 2009 Best Hot Dog.
The dog: The All Beef Favorite ($2.75)
The makeup: A savory beef dog split in half, grilled right in front of you, atop an artisan toasted bun and loaded up with grilled onions, sauerkraut, relish, and yellow mustard. I cursed DITP for being out of cabbage to grill up with those onions, and I cursed myself for forgetting to ask for cream cheese. Curses!The verdict: There's a reason DITP gets as many raves as it does -- there's no murky hot dog water involved, the onions are grilled just right (I kind of hate the feeling of limp, overcooked onions in my mouth), adding a good crunch to the dog, and having sauerkraut available at the toppings bar is genius. And the toasted bun makes all the difference - it tastes just as flavorful and satisfying as the dog.
The rating on the Wiener-Eater-Meter: 8. I was disappointed that the guy working the stand couldn't tell me where the franks come from or even what brand they were, but whatever meat bits go into them are damn tasty. And on separate occasions I have gotten this dog with the aforementioned cream cheese and cabbage, and it's been a home run every time.