How Do You Dress Your Dog?

Categories: Leftovers

Photo by mmmyoso
Beans, beans, bacon, onions, ketchup, mustard--all acceptable toppings.
So often while watching Mad Men I am completely gobsmacked by the way things used to be in the olden times. I mean, wow -- smoking while you're pregnant? Referring to pot as grass? Crazy pants.

I thought had seen it all until season 6, episode four ("The Collaborators") when Don gets stoned and tells Stan Rizzo that "A hot dog cries for mustard," thereby disagreeing with the assertion that (Heinz) ketchup was the more natural complement. Wowser. I didn't realize there was a time in which ketchup played second fiddle to mustard in the world of hot dogs.

But then, reflecting deeper, as I am wont to do after watching three-plus hours of television and eating half a bag of Fritos, I realized that neither ketchup nor mustard is the still the go-to condiment for hot dogs. These days, dawgs are dressed with everything from curry slaw to kimchi to bacon to beans.

Although the rapid diversification of hot dog toppings general excites me, I do wonder who will be first to push the envelope with something balls-to-the-wall insane or just simply revolting. In the world of pizza, we have seen Pizza Hut proffer some transcendent albeit terrible innovations on the traditional pie. God knows the Oreo people are not afraid to vend bizarre varieties, particularly in China.

The people in the mid-Atlantic region seem especially keen on topping their hot dogs in odd fashion. For example, this Pennsylvania tyke pioneered the use of peanut butter as a hot dog topping.

New Jersey's Cool Dog Café not only offers a Filipino Dog crowned with sticky rice, mango, and sweet chili sauce, but also -- get ready -- sells the Gadzooks Dog, loaded with brownie bits, peanut butter, chocolate, caramel, and whipped cream. Because nothing says dessert like a tube of meat dressed with sundae toppings.

Readers, have you spotted any particularly off-the-wall hot dog toppings lately? Or do you dream of a world in which [insert your secret dream topping] exists?

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I am saddened that i have not found a good natural casing hot dog spot in Houston. A good hot dog has SNAP! It seems like the only variety Houston are skinless types. I've tried several spots so far. Ive had some that served Hebrew Nationals, skinless Vienna Beef, some that i cant identify but were also skinless. (I'm not including the wild game dogs in this list as I dont think they belong in the same category.)


kraut, mustard and cheese, my homies


Hi, this is Ira, one of the owners of Cool Dog Cafe in Cherry Hill, NJ.  Thanks for the mention in your blog.  Out here in the NJ/Philly/NY area mustard is used about 20 to 1 over ketchup as a hot dog topping.  In fact, many people find it sacrilegious to put ketchup on a hot dog. We've made our reputation finding new and amazing dog concoctions and find most people really receptive.  Hamburgers have always had outrageous toppings...why not hot dogs?  And we've now passed the 1000 mark in Gadzooks Dessert Dog sales.  Don't knock it till you've tried it.  Maybe you can share it with someone next Valentine's Day.  Our motto here: "Not your father's wiener!"


"I didn't realize there was a time in which ketchup played second fiddle to mustard in the world of hot dogs."  Did you really mean to say this?  Always has and always will.  Ketchup on dogs is gross.

FattyFatBastard topcommenter

Beans on a hot dog?  For the love of Christ, Beans?!?

Let me guess, they probably called it chili.

gossamersixteen topcommenter

I love Chicago dogs, run it through the garden and for further sacrilege put some ketchup on it too.

Bruce_Are topcommenter

"These days, dawgs are dressed with everything from curry slaw to kimchi to bacon to beans."

People have always been putting all kinds of shit on hot dogs.  But I'd wager that for each hot dog that is dressed with kimchi that there are over a million eaten with mustard and onions.

conebaby topcommenter

Ketchup doesn't touch hot dogs in my world. Mustard only.


@CoolDog Hi Ira, Thanks for writing! Someday I need to visit your cafe. Also, that is the best restaurant motto I've ever heard.


@gossamersixteen being from Chicago myself... because of the ketchup we have to have an old fashioned knife fight!!!!   ; )

johnnybench topcommenter

@conebaby Damn right.  Pretty much any topping but ketchup is fine with me. 

conebaby topcommenter

@FattyFatBastard No, I haven't. I'm not opposed to toppings other than mustard, but ketchup on a dog? Blasphemy! 

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