According to a handy Food Republic info chart, there are indeed plenty of dogs out there: around 40 different ways people around the world chow down, hot dog style. From the Philippines' bright-red dog served bunless with rice, a fried egg, and banana ketchup to Sweden, where they serve their dogs wrapped in a roll of mashed potatoes, shrimp salad, and fried onions, the options are endless. And while those dogs might seem a little extreme, a more Americanized variety can be found right here in South Florida.
July is National Hot Dog Month, and according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans will consume a record number of these infamous tubes of meat before summer comes to an end: about 7 billion between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
So there' s no better time to go out there and try all that doggone goodness Broward and Palm Beach counties have to offer.
10. Los Verdes
4491 N. University Dr., Lauderhill; 954-306-3014; losverdes.com.
If you've heard whispers of a hot dog so enormous — and with such a rainbow of toppings — you might not be able to finish it in one sitting, you're probably thinking of Venezuelan and Colombian-style
9. Frankie Dogs Gourmet (Food Truck)
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Unhappy with the lack of vegetarian and vegan options available at most food truck round-ups, Frankie Dogs Gourmet owner and founder Chris Torlone decided to start a gourmet veggie dog stand himself. Named after his charismatic canine, the cart set up shop in 2012, a simple tabletop setup that eventually upgraded to a traditional cart. Today, Frankie's is best-known for its healthier hot dog options — as well as all-beef hot dogs for traditional meat lovers — served with a number of delectable homemade sides, including Torlone's divine vegetarian chili made with meat-free "meat" crumbles, black beans, and pinto beans. Our favorite dog is the Frankenstein, with hummus, avocado, sriracha, onions, and secret Frankie sauce smothered over a dog of your choice. Find him regularly outside Laser Wolf, Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park, and during Weenie Wednesday at LauderAle Brewery in Fort Lauderdale.
8. Hot Dog Heaven
101 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-523-7100; hotdogheaven.com.
For over 30 years, this hot dog stand has offered some of the most satiating Chicago-style dogs and sausages in the area. Founded by former Chicagoan Barry Star, Hot Dog Heaven serves a classic Windy City-style dog complete with all the fixings, from the all-beef dog seasoned with a secret blend of spices and hickory smoked for extra flavor to the steamed poppy seed bun with yellow mustard,
5021 S. State Rd. 7, Davie; 954-792-8686; howiestopdog.com.
This Chicago-style eatery serves all the classic all-beef hot dogs — seven different types available in singles or double-style, to be exact. There's traditional Chicago fare like the famous Chicago dog and the less
The Chili-N-Cheese and jumbo-size corn dogs aren't too bad, either.
6. Coney Island Joe's
6401 Sheridan St., Hollywood; 954-966-8800.
Coney Island Joe's is owned and operated by a man named Elliot Garber who makes some of the best New York-style Coney Island hot dogs on this side of the country. The place is named after the original Coney Island Joe's that opened in Brooklyn in 1952. Today, Garber is quick to point out that his dogs aren't just New York-style hot dogs. They're authentic New York-style hot dogs that "pop" when you take a bite. Garber has been making and serving each and every dog himself since he opened the place 15 years ago, all 300-400 dogs each day, seven days a week. The menu offers a number of versions, from a plain grilled dog with ketchup and mustard to a true New York pushcart water dog topped with yellow mustard, sauerkraut, and chopped onions. Sure, the giant yellow-and-blue tent isn't really a restaurant — more of a giant hot dog stand exposed to the elements and looking a little ragged. But that's a real New York City pushcart in there, and those are real Sabrett hot dogs he's cooking, shipped straight from New York. What this place lacks in ambiance, it makes up for with plenty of New York pride; customers come as far as Riviera Beach and Homestead for a taste of nostalgic New York. When you get there, just say thank you to Garber. He saved you a 1,400-mile trip.