Hot dogs

Summer ends, financial systems collapse: Is there a better time to eat hot dogs? Here are five fine ones:

1. The Chili Man's, uptown. A big side of attitude accompanies a grilled dog with Vic Werany's own-recipe chili and condiments. He's only there – at South Tryon and East Fourth streets – Wednesdays and Fridays, though.

2. Mooresville's Big League and Poppa's. Two fine spots within a few miles of each other. Do not miss the terrific sweet potato fries or the “Two Dog Nights” at Big League (Monday and Tuesday, 4 to 8 p.m., you can get two-for-one dogs). Poppa's has more of a rock 'n' roll vibe and quick service that rocks, too. Big League: 235 Medical Park Road, Mooresville. Poppa's: 510 River Highway.

3. Matt's Chicago Dog in Cornelius and uptown. These have a nice pop, and although you don't have to get them Chicago-style – that's with relish, onions, tomatoes, yellow mustard, kosher pickle, sport peppers and celery salt – you owe it to yourself to try. 19732 One Norman Blvd., Cornelius; and 435 S. Tryon St.

4. Green's Lunch uptown. Call me a sucker for history, but you can't beat grabbing a dog at the counter amid a courthouse-savvy crowd and photos of the city as it was. 309 W. 4th St.

5. Katz New York at the Arboretum Office Park (across Providence from the shopping center). This deli offers my favorite dog of all, simple and beautiful, with a bursting quality and great slaw on the side. 8045 Providence Road.