Thursday, April 7, 2011

Best Hot Dogs in Utah

Best Hot Dogs in Utah

- Revised 16 June 2013 -


Check out "Best Burgers in Utah," "Best Sandwiches in Utah," "Best Cheesesteaks in Utah," "Best Fish and Chips in Utah," and our OTHER FOOD REVIEWS at TasterTestersClub.BlogSpot.com 


First, BEST HOT DOG PLACES in Utah:

We've tried close to two dozen places that sell hot dogs, including gas stations, and these were the top ones by far, with the top 3 even eclipsing J Dogs. (J dogs has wonderful sauce and buns, but . . . well . .. read the review below.)

1.  ONLY $4: The Joe Dog at Joe's Gourmet Burgers, Provo, 500 N. Freedom Blvd. Comes with bacon, high quality cheese, and their secret caramel apple mustard sauce with all-beef frank. (Don't bother with their Hawaii Dog.) Their Chicago Dog looks promising - we'll try it later. (Check out their "Stoneman Burger" while you're at it - the best fast-food burger in the state!) Their dog would rate an A+ if they used Nathan's commercial size dogs, the best of 60 brands we've tested.

2. Coney's, in Orem and American Fork and maybe other places. (In Orem it's west of Barnes and Noble.) Get it with no sauce. Their secret is - they butter and toast the bun! Try it simply prepared - like that - the butter makes it sing! Don't mess it up with condiments. No kidding!

3. Salt Lake Bee's baseball park, SLC.  don't get the house dogs, get the ones from the privately owned stands.  They were there in 2009, and the Chicago Dog was amazing. 

4. J Dogs, at 9th North and 7th East, Provo; in Orem across from Barnes & Noble, and other locations, likely in SLC by now.  It's an institution that got its birth at a small hut a few yards north of its new Provo location, with lines winding outside. (See the Review for Best Chessesteaks in Utah for a fascinating story on the guy behind the original cafe at the current J Dogs location in Provo.) The quality of the meat doesn't hold up (they really should use Nathans to have an A+ dog in our opinion), but the sauce is amazing, and it's becoming an iconic hot dog place because of it. Their buns are tops also, specially made by a local bakery just to their specifications.

5. Rocco's, at Gandolphos at Center and University in Provo. The sauce rivals J Dogs. The home-made buns were much better the first time we tested it in the spring of 2012.

6. Sonic Drive-In. C+. Not bad.

Noteworthies:

a. Der Wienershnitzel, national chain. Only the polish dog sandwich is good, ranking up there with the Nathan's polish at Kranky Franks. However, in regards to regular hot dogs, this national chain doesn't cut the hot dog mustard.

(Historical note about Der Wienerschnitzel: It was first on 1230 North (now called Bulldog Blvd) in Provo, across from the old Fox Theatre way back in the 60's, for old-timers who would remember it.

b. None of the gas stations we tried had great dogs; a couple were OK, a couple were horrible. We tried all we could find.

Second: THE BEST STORE-BOUGHT HOT DOGS nationwide

We've tested all 60 brands and varieties we've found in Utah stores since our dog tests began in 1995.  We've had parties of up to 18 people testing them, and these are the winners:

1.  Nathans.  The word has spread - so they're now everywhere.  Very pricey.  Retails for 6 bucks a pack but sometimes on sale for far less.  They also have hot dog stands nationwide - the closest perhaps being Sky Harbor Airport, Vegas.

2. Oscar Mayer Classic. all beef. Unfortunately, as with Nathans, it has nitrates (which are carcinogenic).

3. Oscar Mayer Select PREMIUM (free of nitrates!). Taste-wise, #3 easily.

4. Oscar Mayer Select. New York Recipe. (free of nitrates) (the other two selects (free of nitrates) are Chicago Recipe and Angus; which are OK. 

5.  Ball Park Kosher Premium All Beef.  Rarely do you see this in stores - once every few years.  Same expensive price as Nathans but worth every penny.

6.  Oscar Mayer Premium XXX All Beef.  Ditto - hard to find, but we saw some in 2010, at the same high prices.
Third, BEST STORE-BOUGHT POLISH SAUSAGES, SMOKED SAUSAGES, BRATS, etc. nationwide

1. Hillshire Farms Polska Kielbasa
2. Hillshire Farms Knockworst
The two above were the top two in the mid-90's when we first tested. But Nathans, Hebrew National, and certain Johnsonville's are great now too.

We've tried EVERY BRAND and EVERY TYPE we've ever seen sold in Utah grocery stores - about 45 in all, counting polish, knockworst, brats, and smoked sausages.



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