Best Hot Dog on a cart

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Cointroller
Junior Burger
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2003/09/09 01:29:27 (permalink)

Best Hot Dog on a cart

I have been reading a lot of the posts and I mostly see Store front hot dogs. I have never had a lot of the brands that your talking about or a lot of the ways they where making them. What kind of dog do you like on a cart? Boil, steam, grill what would you do. I live in the Tucson Az. area so a dog with a good spice would be a consideration as an extra product to sell. If I added a sausage to the mix which one or two would you consider? Looking forward to some great suggestions.
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16 Replies Related Threads

    Chumley
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    RE: Best Hot Dog on a cart 2003/09/10 10:36:48 (permalink)
    Hot Dog Carts are a well-worn tradition in NYC. When I was growing up, the standard cart dog was Sabretts, which was boiled and served either with mustard and sauerkraut or onions (or any combination). Nowadays, you see a lot more carts with grills. My current fave is a cart on Water Street, one block north of Broad. He serves a wonderful grilled Hebrew National dog (which you can order well-done if you like) with spicy mustard and sauerkraut. Other toppings are available but I don't usually bother. The HN dog is very much like the dogs you might find in an old-style NY Deli like Katz's -- all beef and very garlicky (although I believe Katz's dogs are made by Sabretts). I'm not a big fan of cart sausages. The quality varies too much and the ratio of Sausage-to-bun is not to my liking. The one exception to that is the Bratwurst Sausages I used to get at the old Halo Berlin cart in midtown, before he opened his restaurant.
    #2
    chicagostyledog
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    RE: Best Hot Dog on a cart 2003/09/10 21:40:38 (permalink)
    I grew up on the west side of Chicago near Maxwell Street. As a child, my grandparents took me shopping there on the weekends where Jimmy's Original served the best Polish in the city. My wife and I own an 8 foot stainless steel cart. Our signature dog is a Vienna Maxwell Street Polish. Dogs are boiled and served on a steamed S.Rosen poppy seed bun. Condiments are supplied by Vienna: neon green relish, sport peppers, and kosher dill pickle spears. Tomatoes and onions are cut fresh daily. You may apply all the mustard and celery salt your heart desires. We prepare the dogs, you dress them. This saves time and keeps our lines short. Most return for a second dog before finishing their Coke.
    #3
    Chumley
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    RE: Best Hot Dog on a cart 2003/09/11 13:33:20 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by AndyNYC1

    Another amazing hot dog cart is in Madison Square Park. Gourmet sausages made in Danny Myers kitchens. Just go to the park and look for the line.


    I never imagined Danny Meyer would open a hot dog cart! Do I need reservations?! I'll have to check it out next time I'm up that way (which, fortunately, might be soon!).
    #4
    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: Best Hot Dog on a cart 2003/09/12 04:10:37 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by chicagostyledog

    Our signature dog is a special jumbo made by Vienna Beef. This is an adult dog with the right blend of spices. The dogs are boiled and served on a steamed S.Rosen/Mary Anne poppy seed bun. The condiments are supplied by Vienna/Chipico(Chicago Pickle Company): neon green relish, sport peppers, and kosher dill pickle spears. The tomatoes and onions are cut fresh daily. You may apply all the mustard and celery salt your heart desires. We prepare the dogs and you get to dress them. It's a simple process and the customer dresses the dog exactly the way they want it.


    Not to take anything away from Chicago's dogs, which are always uniformly fine, the best hot dogs on earth are found in Toronto. They follow the above procedure right down to allowing the customers to dress their own dogs, but with some very important improvements:

    1. The foot-long dogs (beef and pork unless it's a kosher stand, natural casing, well-spiced but not distractingly so, usually from Shopsy's) are boiled and kept warm. When you order a dog, the cartman selects a dog, slices it crosswise four times with a lame (the razor that bakers score loaves of bread with before they're baked) and grills it over charcoal until crispy!

    2. Meanwhile, the steamed roll (which is often poppy-seed-bedecked but ALWAYS a buttery shade of yellow you will not find outside of Toronto) is sliced open and grilled on the inside as well, to give it some structural integrity. The cartman takes your money, hands you your Coke and then, when your dog is ready, hands it to you on several napkins. Then you're on your own, faced with...

    3. The most complete topping bar you have ever seen. This is what you will find on the average Toronto hot dog cart:

    Four kinds of mustard (yellow, brown, Dijon, and either Chinese or honey, but for some reason never both)
    Two kinds of ketchup (one plain, one chunkier version more like chili sauce)
    Celery salt
    Raw onions
    Grilled onions (usually you have to ask for those and he'll hand them to you directly off the grill)
    Regular pickle relish
    Chicago-style neon pickle relish
    Sweet pepper relish
    Hot pickled red peppers
    Pickled jalapeno slices
    Pepperoncini
    Kraut
    Sliced green olives
    This weird corn relish with pimentos that I've never had the courage to try
    Pickle chips
    Pickle spears
    Chopped tomatoes
    Bacon bits (I don't know why either, but they all have them)

    Personally, I usually dress the dog the way I would at home: pickle relish, sweet pepper relish, raw onions, yellow mustard, light sprinkle of celery salt, maybe some pickled red peppers if I'm in the mood. But I appreciate the options!

    And the cost for this culinary extravaganza, which I usually eat at least 10 of in the course of the Toronto International Film Festival? Two bucks. Two bucks Canadian, which is about $1.40 in US dollars.
    #5
    chicagostyledog
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    RE: Best Hot Dog on a cart 2003/09/25 15:01:13 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Chumley

    quote:
    Originally posted by AndyNYC1

    Another amazing hot dog cart is in Madison Square Park. Gourmet sausages made in Danny Myers kitchens. Just go to the park and look for the line.


    I never imagined Danny Meyer would open a hot dog cart! Do I need reservations?! I'll have to check it out next time I'm up that way (which, fortunately, might be soon!).


    FYI: The New York Daily News published an article entitled "Top Dog," ranking the top 10 hot dogs in New York. The #2 dog was from Danny Meyer's cart which serves a Chicago Style hot dog made by Vienna Beef in Chicago.
    #6
    Cointroller
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Best Hot Dog on a cart 2003/09/27 13:16:56 (permalink)
    For Chicagostyle will you E mail me you addy have a couple of questions that are off topic.
    #7
    pennypincher
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    RE: Best Hot Dog on a cart 2003/09/27 14:29:41 (permalink)
    Here's the link to NY Daily News "Top Dog" article mentioned by chicagostyledog.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/87688p-79833c.html
    #8
    marberthenad
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    RE: Best Hot Dog on a cart 2004/03/18 20:57:49 (permalink)
    The German sausage cart Hallo Berlin in the east 50s had the best hot dogs when I lived in New York. Is it still there?
    #9
    Rhodes
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    RE: Best Hot Dog on a cart 2004/03/19 06:55:50 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Lucky Bishop

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<div style="border: 1px #999999 solid; background-color: #DCDCDC; padding: 4px;">Originally posted by chicagostyledog

    Our signature dog is a special jumbo made by Vienna Beef. This is an adult dog with the right blend of spices. The dogs are boiled and served on a steamed S.Rosen/Mary Anne poppy seed bun. The condiments are supplied by Vienna/Chipico(Chicago Pickle Company): neon green relish, sport peppers, and kosher dill pickle spears. The tomatoes and onions are cut fresh daily. You may apply all the mustard and celery salt your heart desires. We prepare the dogs and you get to dress them. It's a simple process and the customer dresses the dog exactly the way they want it.


    Not to take anything away from Chicago's dogs, which are always uniformly fine, the best hot dogs on earth are found in Toronto. They follow the above procedure right down to allowing the customers to dress their own dogs, but with some very important improvements:

    1. The foot-long dogs (beef and pork unless it's a kosher stand, natural casing, well-spiced but not distractingly so, usually from Shopsy's) are boiled and kept warm. When you order a dog, the cartman selects a dog, slices it crosswise four times with a lame (the razor that bakers score loaves of bread with before they're baked) and grills it over charcoal until crispy!

    2. Meanwhile, the steamed roll (which is often poppy-seed-bedecked but ALWAYS a buttery shade of yellow you will not find outside of Toronto) is sliced open and grilled on the inside as well, to give it some structural integrity. The cartman takes your money, hands you your Coke and then, when your dog is ready, hands it to you on several napkins. Then you're on your own, faced with...

    3. The most complete topping bar you have ever seen. This is what you will find on the average Toronto hot dog cart:

    Four kinds of mustard (yellow, brown, Dijon, and either Chinese or honey, but for some reason never both)
    Two kinds of ketchup (one plain, one chunkier version more like chili sauce)
    Celery salt
    Raw onions
    Grilled onions (usually you have to ask for those and he'll hand them to you directly off the grill)
    Regular pickle relish
    Chicago-style neon pickle relish
    Sweet pepper relish
    Hot pickled red peppers
    Pickled jalapeno slices
    Pepperoncini
    Kraut
    Sliced green olives
    This weird corn relish with pimentos that I've never had the courage to try
    Pickle chips
    Pickle spears
    Chopped tomatoes
    Bacon bits (I don't know why either, but they all have them)

    Personally, I usually dress the dog the way I would at home: pickle relish, sweet pepper relish, raw onions, yellow mustard, light sprinkle of celery salt, maybe some pickled red peppers if I'm in the mood. But I appreciate the options!

    And the cost for this culinary extravaganza, which I usually eat at least 10 of in the course of the Toronto International Film Festival? Two bucks. Two bucks Canadian, which is about $1.40 in US dollars.


    Normally I would cheer happily at any mention of Roadfood in my hometown of Toronto, but having eaten many a Toronto dog I need to comment here. There truly are many many hot dog carts that fit Lucky Bishop's description, but you must have found an especially good one because most of them are not that great IMO. The dogs (and they usually offer fairly unimpressive dogs along with a selection of sausages that can be good depending on the vendor and now usually veggie dogs as well) are often pre-grilled and left to warm and then re-grilled when you order, which makes for a dry/overcooked dog - most of them don't grill them to order for you, but those that do are worth searching out. The condiment selection is as Lucky Bishop said, but often they are not replenished frequently enough and/or served in open-air containers - some good carts pride themselves in the selection of condiments and can have whole side tables covered with them. The buns can often be stale or otherwise dry at poorer carts. Having said all that you can get some really good dogs in Toronto, just look first and see if they have a pile of already-grilled dogs and avoid those ones - look for the line-ups and you usually won't go wrong. Toronto dogs tend to be especially tasty after the bars close
    #10
    Michael Stern
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    RE: Best Hot Dog on a cart 2004/03/19 09:14:11 (permalink)
    Hallo Berlin is still there! (Subject of our March, '04 Roadfood column in Gourmet's New York issue)

    Here are a few of Hallo's wursts, ready to be bunned:

    #11
    i95
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    RE: Best Hot Dog on a cart 2004/03/19 09:43:15 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Stern

    Hallo Berlin is still there! (Subject of our March, '04 Roadfood column in Gourmet's New York issue)

    Here are a few of Hallo's wursts, ready to be bunned:




    Michael, I know I speak for many of us (currently salivating right now) when I say that your photos are amazing !!
    #12
    varelas
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    RE: Best Hot Dog on a cart 2004/03/19 11:27:29 (permalink)
    My husband had a hot dog cart some years ago, durning the day he was in the bussiness area and at night he was in front of a night club. When the bars closed the kids sure did eat. He would tell me some guys ate 4-5 dogs at a time. I guess that they figured the rolls would soak up the beer. He had the cate out all year, even in the winter. He sold the cart beacuse the hours and the weather became to much.
    Now we get our dogs off the grill at home.
    #13
    Michael Stern
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    RE: Best Hot Dog on a cart 2004/03/19 11:37:06 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by i95
    Michael, I know I speak for many of us (currently salivating right now) when I say that your photos are amazing !!


    Thanks, I-95. Just for that, here's lunch. Below the onions and red cabbage is a Hallo Berlin charred bratwurst ready to burst at first bite. I'm going out for one right now!

    #14
    Grampy
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    RE: Best Hot Dog on a cart 2004/03/19 12:06:52 (permalink)
    Michael, this is pure torture! And to think I was staying in NYC last week just a few blocks away. I did get to Totonno's uptown, though.
    #15
    marberthenad
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    RE: Best Hot Dog on a cart 2004/03/19 20:13:49 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Grampy

    Michael, this is pure torture! And to think I was staying in NYC last week just a few blocks away. I did get to Totonno's uptown, though.


    Seeing those photos of Hallo Berlin is almost worth a trip to New York. The ninth street restaurant location was our favorite lunch spot. What a cart -- glad it is still there. (Anyone been to the Hallo Berlin location in upstate New York -- Binghampton, I think ...)
    #16
    GigaShadow
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    RE: Best Hot Dog on a cart 2004/03/26 15:45:48 (permalink)
    I really miss the hot dog carts in Philadelphia. The Deitz & Watson boiled (or steamed - not sure) are delicious. I think what really adds to the flavor is the mustard that the vendors use. Whenever we would travel up to see my grandmother (Alabama to Philadelphia) I would stop at the closest street vendor and devour 4 to 5 hotdogs. My wife thinks I am crazy. I also like the bratwurst on the rolls that they serve along with a pretzel.

    A couple of years ago I was getting so desperate for a vendor hotdog from Philly I had my sister (who up visting my grandmother) bring back 2 gallons of the mustard so I could make my own dogs at home. Alas - the flavor just wasn't there. What I wouldn't give for some of that mustartd, a pack of Deitz & Watson hotdogs and instructions on how to steam/boil them to perfection.
    #17
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