I've been to several meat packers or butchers in my local area recently and I thought I'd share my findings with you. Out of the four different meat companies, only one made hot dogs on the premises. All others were distributors for a brand name (Millers in Lodi or Alpine in Stockton usually). Morants Old Fashioned Sausage Kitchen cuts and packs a full assortment of sausages, bacons, hams, turkeys, etc. They pack only one kind of hot dog that they call Old Fashioned Wieners. I took home some of these along with some White Bratwurst.
The wieners and bratwurst I boiled and then grilled (ala John Fox). I also had on hand Nathan's skinless and Bar-S brand hot dogs. We had eight people and I did a blind taste test, not letting anyone know which dog was what. By far the most popular was the Nathan's skinless dog. Next was the bratwurst in a natural hog casing (this sausage, being white, I thought was a give-away). In third was the Old Fashioned Wiener in a natural sheep casing. Dead last (and deserving of the position) was the Bar-S dog.
I can conclude that the favorite hot dog was the Nathan's. In the test I really had three hot dogs (Nathan's, Morants, and Bar-S). I found it interesting that the second place winner was the White Bratwurst, really a stand-out sausage not only for its color but also for its size (hog casing - all the other entries were much smaller). I'd like to find a smaller white bratwurst (pork and veal) maybe 6 or 8/#. Locally of course.