Best Hot Dogs
Posted November 16, 2011
Updated November 18, 2011
Hot dogs aren’t just for the ballpark, although the Durham Bulls do serve up a nice one. There are so many variables to consider when picking a good hot dog -- flavor, juiciness, toppings, etc.
So after much deliberation, here are Our Five Favorite hot dogs (in no particular order):
The Roast Grill (Raleigh) – Hot dogs are the main feature at this family operated business, but if you are looking for tons of toppings this place isn’t for you. The Roast Grill sticks to the basics and does them well -- homemade chili (from a recipe more than 70 years old), yellow mustard, hand-chopped onions and slaw marinated without mayonnaise. This place only takes cash, so hit the ATM first. Fun fact: In 2009, the Travel Channel’s “Man V. Food” host Adam Richman downed 17 hot dogs and buns, a half pint of mustard and one pint of chili sauce at The Roast Grill in 30 minutes to win the Hot Dogger Eating Challenge.
Penalty Box Dogs (Raleigh) – This cart, located at the corner of West Hargett and Fayetteville streets, serves up a Chicago-style dog with great flavor. For those who might not be familiar, the Chicago-style is topped with yellow mustard, onions, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickles spear, diced tomatoes, pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt. The cart offers premium beef hot dogs and polish sausages with more than 18 toppings, including coleslaw, hot sauce and jalapenos. Try out the Hurricane Dog – topped with mustard, onions, chili and coleslaw.
Snoopy's (Raleigh, Garner) – This place has become an institution in Raleigh. Even “American Idol” winner and Garner native Scotty McCreery eats here. Snoop’s menu continues to evolve, now including homemade vegetable soup and chicken salad, but it will always be known for its famous hot dogs served with mustard, onions and chili.
Cloos' Coney Island (Raleigh) – Tucked away in the small Mission Valley shopping center near N.C. State’s campus, Cloos' offers freshly grilled sandwiches and some of the best cheese fries around. However, it is primarily known for its beef hot dogs that have a crisp pop when you eat them. That’s the sign of a good dog!
Jones Lunch (Clayton) – When WRAL’s Tar Heel Traveler highlighted this famous lunch spot last year, patrons said if you haven’t had a Jones Lunch hot dog then you haven’t had a hot dog. They are right. Known for their red hotdogs and family atmosphere, this nostalgic diner is a local hot spot. And their sweet tea is pretty good too!
So, which dogs do you prefer? We couldn’t squeeze all of our favorite places into the top five, so let us which ones we missed in the comments section below.