Dogs Awaiting More Prep
Yummy, yummy hot dogs.
The Nick Mangold Over the Line Dog
This hotdog was certainly over the line. Rich, beefy chili and bacon-onion jam (yes, that is a thing) topped a deep fried hotdog nestled in a fresh-baked potato bun. To finish it off, cooks Joseph and Sal added three balls of deep fried cheese. Excessive? Definitely, but also delicious.
This was the only hotdog I tried twice. Not sure what was so anarchical about it, but the duck chili was out of the world tasty. Several duck parts, including a hefty dose of fat, rendered down into a burger topping for the gods. Potato bun was toasted well, too. My arteries have taken a major hit, but it was worth it.
Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 Century
A hot dog over what is essentially onion candy—the sweetest caramelized goodness at the festival. Sharp cheese, a duck bacon crumble and spicy mustard round out the bite, which was served atop a flat piece of bun.
You Had Me At Swine
Dogs are grilled and served with a longstanding chili relish that packs a slight punch. More impressive than the hotdog here was the delicious shell mac n' cheese, served over a sweet potato (or was it squash?) purée.
Father and Son
Ashley and Erika wanted you to love their hotdog, and what's a better way into someone's heart than Campari shots? A bone-marrow butter toasted bun received a scoop of veal ragu, fresh herb gremolata, a bit of chili, aged provolone and funyons. Oh, and there was a hotdog in their somewhere...
A fusion dog, mixing Mexican and French flavors. Served on a cracker, the dog is adorned with cucumber apple slaw, roasted corn and a healthy dose of fresh cilantro. One of the more herbaceous dogs, it was also one of the most fresh-tasting.
A fan favorite that didn't receive as much love as it should have. Fresh jalapeños make the dish, slightly sweet and plenty spicy. Smoked cheddar and an onion crunch top the frank, while a homemade onion roll holds everything in place.
The 99% Dog
This was the first dog I tried, and one of the most balanced, too. A grilled frank was topped with chili mac n' cheese (a favorite topping for several cooks), frito crunch and bird pepper relish (verdant and somewhat hot). I assume Basil and Kevin were shooting for a taco-like flavor, and they definitely succeeded.
I had high hopes for this riff on Italian beef. The bread wasn't very good, but the peppers and shaved steak were juicy and flavorful. A dip of beef jus made this one of the more messy hotdogs of the day.
The Detox Dog
Kombucha slaw is apparently probiotic, but it didn't taste very good paired with hot dog strips and nori. Still, chefs Eric and Alexei deserve some major bonus points for their presentation, which really looked like a mini maki roll.
Constructing the Detox Dog
Belly's Mexican Dog-Popper
Before it exploded.
Belly's Mexican Dog-Popper
My Belly's Mexican Dog Popper: Winning in the creativity category, Shawn and Jim's dog was placed inside a cheesy arepa along with black bean spread. The insides were incredibly hot due to insulation, but it didn't bother me much, because black beans are good on pretty much anything.
The Reuben Dog
On this one, the toppings took over, as the standard slaw, pastrami, Russian dressing and swiss completely enveloped the hot dog. The rye bun was a bit tough, but the dressing took care of that.
The Hot Dogiflette
Perhaps the most elaborate presentation. The caramelized onions and mashed potato were great, with a significant hit of rosemary.
The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
A darker hot dog (not sure what meat exactly) was hidden by a mess of vegetation. Not a spectacular hot dog, but not a bad one either.
Taste Seoul Good!
Korean barbecue has been blowing up in the food truck fusion scene, so this one wasn't too surprising. It was well executed, for the most part, although I would have preferred some more spice from the kimchi. The Korean pork, on the other hand, was spicy and moist.
Reinstated Wall Street Executive Dog
Featuring tasty bleu cheese and a mushroom-onion-wine sauce.
The wrapper was a little tough, but we couldn't stay mad at this guy. The insides were funky and fishy, so much so that the hotdog did not factor heavily in the flavor profile. Bonus points for delicious mustard, ginger and spicy ketchup sauces.
Fresh fruit and hot dogs, who woulda thunk it? The english muffin gets a helping of strawberry with fresh mint and basil, along with a little bit of soft cheese to tie it all together. Not sure how well the combination worked, but the strawberry-herb relish was on point.
War and Peace Dog
It didn't look like much on its skewer, but the combination of sriracha and grilled pineapple was pretty tasty.
Constructing the 99% Dog
A taco dog that should definitely find its way to a fast food menu now.
The jalapeño cornbread was very good, but the bits of hotdog proved spongy after a bath in BBQ sauce and baked beans. Crunchy bacon was well-done, and therefore we were happy.
Coleslaw is a typical dog accompaniment, and these guys made it well, with plenty of dill and fresh vegetables.
Pa Pa Ya Summer Roll
A dog approximating the Vietnamese Summer Rolls that often come filled with shrimp, pickled veggies and vermicelli.
General Tso's Hot Dog
Bundle of Joy
In a fried-to-order wonton.
Prepping Some Dogs
600+ hungry mouths were ready for dogs.
George Duran and DJ
Chatting before the cookoff.