I like pairing wines and there’s no better match than hot dogs with cabernet.
Never underestimate a tasty grilled hot dog as a full and delicious meal. However, you must go to your butcher for a substantial hot dog — not those little dogs sold at the supermarket, which just aren’t worth it. The taste and texture of the pre-packaged hot dogs cannot carry a meal.
Years ago, a colleague of mine, Martin, who was once my intern on Capitol Hill, and I were in New York City working on a deal. It was an exhausting project and we wrapped up morning meetings and were about to catch the train back to D.C.
We decided to grab a table in the famed Pool Room of the Four Seasons Restaurant. We were being seated by Julian, who was the restaurant’s co-owner and a bit of celebrity in his own right. Martin would always have a joke ready for someone, often the same joke, so he looked at Julian and said, “How are your hot dogs?” It was responded to with a polite smile as we sat down in the same room President Kennedy held his 45th birthday.
We ordered our lunch. Since it was Friday, we may have had a glass of wine or two. As we were waiting, Julian returned with a large tray carried by a waiter. On it were eight hot dogs, all topped with different items from truffles to just plain ketchup. In other words, don’t play cute with Julian. He charged us for the dogs and not at a discount.
Where to get proper hot dogs:
Washington DC: Wagshall’s
Charleston, SC: Ted’s Butcher Block
- Turn the grill on high and roast the dogs for 8-10 minutes, depending on their thickness
- Butter the rolls and sear them on a pan over medium heat or just grill them
Serve some or all of the following with the dogs.
- Sliced pickles
- Pan roasted bacon, sliced thick
- Grated sharp cheddar cheese
- Cole slaw
- Special sauce
I also like to serve a salad and Mac ‘n Cheese with this 5 star meal.