The dog house I find myself thinking about most is from Haute Dogs & Fries. Owners Pamela Swanson and Lionel Holmes don’t steam their dogs; they griddle them, which makes a big difference—the heat intensifies the taste of the meat and makes the pop of the casing more pronounced. Another big difference: They swab their split buns with butter, then lay them on the griddle to toast.
I’ve tried eight of the dogs there, and there isn’t one I didn’t like; most I loved. The simple ones, such as the Coney dog with house-made, long-simmered wiener sauce (a sort of soupy chili), are perfect, and the more complicated constructions never come off as contrived. There are even locally made sausages that double as dogs, including an excellent version made with Loudoun County’s Fields of Athenry lamb.
This is an excerpt from an April 2011 story called Out of the Ballpark. To see the rest of the article and a photo slideshow of hot dogs, click here.