Best Hot Dog - 2008
Big City Dogs
There are few rules in gastronomy as immutable as this: Everything tastes better wrapped in bacon. It's a fact that has not eluded the fine folks who flip, fry, dunk, and top the huge array of tubular beef under the yellow awning of Big City Dogs. Their signature frank, the ripper, is a testament to the beauty of excess: An all-beef dog dressed with a drape of fatty bacon and tossed in the fryer to cook till crisp. To finish it, Big City loads the puppy onto an airy bun and spoons on an orange blanket of nacho cheese sauce. The dog is actually an intersection of New Jersey's classic deep-fried ripper and a bacon-covered Los Angeles dog that's griddle-fried. The result is a crunchy, juicy, creamy mess — a meal with the prime objective of befriending your inner fatty. If that's not enough to entice you, Big City also makes about a dozen other regional dogs, including authentically topped Chicago dogs and spicy Polish franks split down the middle; Philly and Chicago-style steak sammiches, and some very capable, fresh-ground burgers.