Top Dog

All of America loves hot dogs! In fact, Americans consume more hot dogs than any other nation in the world. The question is: how are they fixed in different parts of the country?

The New York Street Cart Dog—The street cart-style hot dog is the Hebrew National All-Beef Kosher Frank, boiled and served with onion sauce and deli mustard—or sauerkraut. Note: If you ever get the chance to visit Nathan’s famous Hotdog Stand in Coney Island, N. Y., it’s worth the trip.

Chicago Red Hot—In the city that loves hot dogs, the Chicago Hot reigns supreme. Featuring a Vienna Beef Frank, it’s served on a poppy seed roll, “dragged through the garden” as they say in the Windy City, with yellow mustard, sweet pickle relish, chopped onion, fresh tomato, pickle spear, sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt.

The Dodger Dog—From Los Angeles comes the pork frankfurter, served on a steamed foot-long bun with mustard and relish.

The Fenway Frank—This dog is boiled and grilled the Fenway style; it is served on a New England-style bun, and covered with mustard and relish.

Milwaukee Brat—Not a hot dog, but a bratwurst, the Milwaukee Brat represents this baseball town’s favorite sausage. The pork and beef brat is grilled and dipped in “Secret Stadium Sauce” and served on a crusty roll topped with sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard.

Cincinnati Cheese Coney—This version is a Vienna Beef frank served with Cincinnati chili, mild cheddar cheese, diced onions, and Ohio’s own Bertman Ball Park mustard considered by many fans to be the finest stadium mustard in America.

What would you spend for a ballpark dog? Do you realize that you would spend three to seven times more for stadium food than you would at your local store? Example: at the Cincinnati Reds ballpark, one hot dog, a 24 oz. soda, and an 8 oz. bag of peanuts will cost $7.50. At Wrigley Field, a stadium dog is $2.75; at the Rockford RiverHawks park, it will cost $1.50, but at the Rockford MetroCentre, a hot dog is $4. At that price, you could buy at least three 8-packs of hot dogs at the local supermarket.

Brad Johnson is a local resident.

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