A monthly roundup of ethnic eats, counter service chow and other tasty bargains. In this month’s edition, we check out some of the area’s top hot dog spots.
Bull City Burger
107 E. Parrish St., Durham
In a nutshell: Don’t let the name fool you. Hot dogs featuring wieners made in house from naturally raised North Carolina beef on a house-baked bun are a prime attraction, too.
Cloos Coney Island
2233-102 Avent Ferry Road, Raleigh
In a nutshell: Owner Daniel Cloos is from Detroit, where the Detroit-style Coney dog is said to have originated a century ago. The natural casing dogs he serves at his Mission Valley eatery, topped with the traditional chili, onions and mustard, can hold their own with Motown’s best.
See website for multiple locations in Raleigh and Cary
In a nutshell: This small Cary-based chain specializes in sausages made by an Old World-style sausage maker in Chicago. Quarter-pound hot dogs, spiral-cut and flame-grilled, are served on house-baked buns with a wide variety of topping combinations.
2100 Angier Ave., Durham
In a nutshell: Owned by former professional bodyguard Joe Bushfan, this friendly little hole-in-the-wall eatery’s claim to fame is a full one-pound hot dog. For most of us, the all-beef natural casing quarter-pounder (or, if you insist, the half-pounder) ought to suffice. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can always get it wrapped in bacon or topped with pastrami.
The Roast Grill
7 S. West St., Raleigh
In a nutshell: This tiny hot dog joint, a local institution founded in 1940, counts governors and plumbers among its loyal clientele. You can choose how dark you’d like your dog grilled (some people even like ’em “burned”), but don’t ask for ketchup. They don’t have it because, as they’re happy to tell you, ketchup doesn’t belong on a hot dog.
107 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
In a nutshell: This Chapel Hill newcomer is quickly showing the Triangle why the original Sup Dogs in Greenville had long been a local favorite among ECU students and others in town. How could it miss, with a menu that offers every variation on a hot dog you can think of, from all-beef to veggie to deep-fried Southern style “red” dog? If you’re feeling daring, try the Firehouse dog, topped with Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, housemade 16-ingredient chili, jalapeños and hot sauce.