As the 2019 season kicks off, it’s time to start thinking about hot dogs again. But which kind should you get at the new Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee? What kinds of toppings should you put on that particular dog? Does the shape make a difference? And what’s the deal with those weird-looking sausages at the drive-thru? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a handy guide to the various kinds of hot dogs that Speedway restaurants around the country use.
Let’s start by talking about the classic. This is what most people think of when they think of a hot dog, right? Generally, they’re smaller and thinner than other types, with a thick, knobby casing and an inedible, usually string-less, blend of ground beef and pork. Sometimes they’re smoked and sometimes they’re fresh. The classic hot dog is usually cooked in beer or wine, which gives it that slight tang that makes it so appealing.
The downside is that classic hot dogs are pretty bland. The best way to improve their taste is by adding other types of ingredients. Some of the more common ones include sausages, mustard, relish, and sometimes even chopped white onions or garlic. You can also get creative and make your own ketchup. Most places will have a specialty hot dog: try the Reuben or the Chili Burger. Those are worth a try!
The Sausage Dog
Next, we’ve got the sausage dog. These aren’t for the faint of heart, especially if you’re a fan of sausages. A sausage dog is essentially a classic hot dog wrapped around a sausage. It’s the ultimate combination of savory and sweet. You’ve probably seen them in meat shops and grocery stores around the country. You might wonder why they’re called a sausage dog, since the casing isn’t made of sausage but, instead, beef, pork, or chicken. In some cases, a duck dog has also been spotted. Regardless of the type of casing used, the essential elements include a ground meat filling and a thick, knobby crust. Sometimes a tomato or pickle is placed in the center of the dog for visual appeal.
Again, the great thing about a sausage dog is its savory flavor. If you want to cut out some of the fat, you can always choose lower-fat or no-fat options. The same goes for the buns. Also, look for meat that’s less greasy and more on the dry side. In some cases, a patty will even be placed on a lettuce leaf or two will be tucked inside. When ordering, make sure to ask about alternative buns. You might also like to try some of the local artisanal buns that are available. They’re softer and more pliable than your typical, cheap grocery-store bun and they have that unique, artisanal taste that you really can’t put into words.
The Vegan Dog
Now, onto the vegan dog. This type of hot dog replaces the ground meat with soy products. The most common one used is black bean, though you’ll sometimes see red beans or chickpeas used instead. In some cases, a veggie burger or a falafels are substituted for the traditional ground meat. These types of dogs are usually served in a bun with some type of accompaniment (sautéed onions, etc). If you’re a vegan and you’re in a restaurant, ask for no pickles, no tomatoes, and whatever else you’re not supposed to have.
The downside to a vegan dog is that, for the most part, they tend to be rather bland. The texture can be a little off-putting, too. It doesn’t tend to sit well in your mouth given the way it feels. While you can improve the taste by using different toppings, it’s not going to be the same as what you get with a regular old hot dog.
All About The Brats!
Moving right along, we’ve got the brats! These are pretty self-explanatory. They’re hot dogs that are fried to a crisp and have various types of sausages inside. You’ll find them at amusement parks, sporting events, and truck stops around the country. They’re often served in a roll with some ketchup and mustard and, in some cases, other types of garnish. You might wonder why they’re called brats. Maybe it’s because many of the places that serve them are located in Germany? Anyway, the great thing about brats is that they’re easy to make and, as a result, cheap. If you’re looking for an inexpensive and easy way to fill your tummy, you could always get some brats!
What About All Those Variations?
Last but not least, we have the variations. These are simply different types of dogs with a themed appearance. For example, there’s a jalapeno popper hot dog and a lobster tail dog. Typically, these types of dogs are not made with all-natural meats but, instead, contain processed meats or pet food. It’s the same with the buns. Some places will use white or brown soda bread while others go for a thick, potato-based dough. Keep in mind that the taste will be better if you use higher-quality ingredients and make your own buns.
The great thing about variations is that they give you a little variety in your hot dog eating experience. You might get a different look, a different texture, or a different flavor, depending on which type you get. For example, the jalapeno popper has some spice in it, while the lobster tail has a milder taste. The downsides are that variations are usually rather expensive to make and they don’t always contain the best quality ingredients.
Hopefully, this article gave you a good idea of what kinds of hot dogs exist and what makes them unique. Of course, the best thing about dogs is that they’re extremely versatile. You can put anything you want on them! As long as you keep that in mind, you should have no trouble choosing the right hot dog for your needs. If you don’t mind a little more work, you can even make your own. That way, you’ll have the control over what goes into it. You might consider this your year of hot dogs (or other types of food, for that matter)!