I like pairing wines with food and there’s no better match than a top quality hot dog from matched with a glass of full bodied cabernet.
Never underestimate a tasty grilled hot dog as a full and delicious meal. However, be sure to go to your butcher for a hot dog of significance — 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 do the trick. You know we always say ingredients matter especially for the main attraction.
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 treat ourselves and rolled in HOT to the famed Four Seasons Restaurant in midtown. As we were being seated in the Pool Room by Julian, who was the restaurant’s co-owner and a bit of celebrity in his own right, Martin quipped, “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 shut the lid for 10 minutes
- Put the hot dog on the cutting board and with a sharp knife, slice the hot dog 1 centimeter in, making a one inch spiral down and then the way back making a criss-cross, then grill the dogs for 6-8 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.