Sniffing out the Valley’s most rarified wieners.
Boondocks Patio & Grill
4341 N. 75th St., Scottsdale, 480-949-8454, boondocksaz.com
Let’s get real: No way the humble hot dog will ever replace the beloved burger in the hearts of food lovers, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t always on the prowl for the perfect snap and bite of a quality wiener. The Valley is replete with routine hot dogs, so we tracked down a few rare breeds worth sniffing out. A good place to start is Boondocks Patio & Grill, a lively watering hole where the Boon-Dog ($8, pictured) rules. It could be the jumbo all-beef frank that makes this a top dog. Or it could be the shaved bolillo roll from a local Mexican baker that’s brushed with butter and griddled. Or maybe it’s the sweet and spicy pickled vegetables – cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, onions and garlic – tossed with a zippy cilantro-avocado aioli. Topped with a dusting of cotija, this two-fisted dog is worth the hunt.
The Main Ingredient
2337 N. Seventh St.,
Phoenix, 602-843-6246, tmialehouse.com
Alehouse owner Matt Diamond didn’t set out to create a gourmet dog, just a darn good one. Even though Diamond’s fabulous frank is called the Coronado Coney ($7.50), there’s no chili. He starts with an all-beef jumbo frank from Schreiner’s with plenty of fat and snap, adds diced red onion and – here’s where it gets fancy – a spoonful of house-made mustard flavored with a rotating malty beer on tap. All served on a griddled sourdough roll. Eh, not so fancy after all, but it’s on-point with a frosty pint.
Lobster on a hot dog. Crazy, right? Not as crazy as lobster and mac and cheese. But it works. The Maine Squeeze ($7) starts with a Schreiner’s frank and a grilled bun from local Jonathan Robins Bakery, topped with buttered panko crumbs, lemon zest gremolata and the aforementioned scalloped crustacean. This year-old urban hot dog food truck has some other nonconformist combos, or you can build your own, swapping out all-beef for smoked Polish sausage, chicken apple sausage or even a vegetarian “dog.”
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