Traditional or trendy?
Do you prefer a hot dog with little or no toppings? Or do you like one of the trendy new "haute dogs"? I fall into the traditional camp preferring just mustard about 90% of the time. I do enjoy an Italian Hot Dog (which is really more of a sandwich) and a Texas Weiner from time to time. And I did have a few Chicago dogs when there was a place near me serving an authentic one. These styles despite the toppings, are considered traditional since they've been around a long time and are regional specialties. In my opinion the focus should be on the actual frank, it's casing, flavor, size, and method of preparation. Everything else is secondary. A hot dog was meant to be a simple unpretentious food, not a casserole on a bun. When I hear the term "haute dog" the hair on the back of my neck stands up. I feel that most toppings take away from, rather than enhance the hot dog. A great dog like the Syd's dog served at Jimmy Buff's, Bubba's, and the Garage in N.J. needs nothing more than mustard. Maybe kraut. Anything else lessens this unique dog.
But that's just my opinion. Many disagree. There are many different styles of dogs mentioned and discussed on Serious Eats as well as on this site. Two posts discussing this topic are here: http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/06/the-best-new-nyc-hot-dogs-crifi-dogs-dbgb-fatty-crab-shake-shack-corn-dogs.html http://www.seriouseats.com/talk/2009/12/when-hip-has-ruined-your-food.html
I started the second discussion. The toppings and combinations offerred today are so numerous that I can't mention them all. Reputable chefs are even getting in on it. Do you like any of these creations? Do you think this trend will last or fade away? I don't know, but I feel the old places serving a traditional, quality dog will be around forever. What do you think?