According to the National Hotdog and Sausage Council, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans consume 7 billion hot dogs. That’s approximately 818 hot dogs every second. Since next Thursday is National Hot Dog day, we thought you might appreciate some suggestions on where to do up the day in style.
309 W. Fourth St., 704-332-1786.
Green’s is an institution, dating back to 1926. Sure, you can get your dog plain, but to pass up Green’s signature dog (chili, mustard, ketchup, slaw and onion) is virtually sacrilege. All the toppings kind of melt into the soft bun, making for one cohesive, savory bite. If chili on a hot dog just isn’t your thing, try the sauerkraut dog with relish. Whichever you chose, the fries are the perfect accompaniment.
Pinky’s Westside Grill
1600 Morehead St., 704-332-0402; 9818 Gilead Road, Huntersville, 704-727-0142.
Yes, this is the restaurant with the red, white and blue Volkswagen Beetle on top. It alone is a conversation piece, but so is Pinky’s vegetarian dog, which can be had with veggie chili as well as in corn dog form. Be sure not to miss the Pinky dog, which sports pimento cheese. It doesn’t get much more Southern than that.
Matt’s Chicago Dog
435 S. Tryon St., 704-333-3650; 19732 One Norman Blvd., Suite 330, Cornelius, 704-892-5005.
Matt Sielsky, the restaurant’s namesake, has moved on, and the restaurant’s menu has grown way beyond the hot dog concept. But the beef dogs and Polish sausage are still the heartbeat of this two-store outfit. A visit wouldn’t be complete without ordering a Chicago-style hot dog, which in this case means green relish, a sport pepper (spicy with a little crunch), onion and tomato. It’s a mouthful. For the seriously hungry, Matt’s also serves the double dog, which combines two dogs in a single bun.
JJ’s Red Hots
1514 East Blvd., 980-225-8880; 15105 John J. Delaney Drive, 980-335-0601.
JJ’s runs a dog of the week special (the BLT and Hawaii Fried O with onion ring and pineapple were past specials). You can also build your own dog or go with one of the restaurant’s signature dogs. The Southwest style Sonoran with beans, salsa, red onion, cilantro and shredded cheese will certainly open the sinuses. If that seems too spicy, the Whistle Pig with bacon, cheese, mustard and onions might be a better pick. To go with the dogs, JJ’s has some killer onion rings. I’d wax on about those, but since National Onion Ring Day has already passed (June 22), I’ll wait for another time.