- I ate the fully loaded hot dogs from Dairy Queen, Checkers,Shake Shack, and Five Guys to see whose was best.
- I judged the contestants on a scale of 1 to 5 based on two criteria: their hot dog base and their toppings.
- Five Guys’ cheesy bacon dog impressed me with its exceptionally flavorful hot dog base and its crispy bacon topping, although I wasn’t as much a fan of the cheese.
Hot dogs, like people, sometimes like to dress up.
Relish and mustard are reliable condiments, but sometimes a sausage likes to strut its stuff with a coat of warm chilli or a bandeau of crispy bacon.
But not all frankfurter fashion is created equal, and neither are all hot dogs. Therefore, I decided to shop around Manhattan and find the best fully-loaded hot dog that fast-food chains have to offer.
I ate the fully-loaded hot dogs at Dairy Queen, Checkers, Shake Shack, and Five Guys to see whose dog was best-dressed.
I judged the dogs on a scale of 1 to 5 focusing on two criteria: hot dog base and toppings.
DAIRY QUEEN: CHILLI CHEESE DOG, $US3.99 — Dairy Queen’s chilli cheese dog was reminiscent of carnival food on a hot summer night.
HOT DOG BASE — 2 — The dog was juicy but it tasted only kind of edible. The bun had the taste and texture of cardboard.
TOPPINGS — 3 — This felt like heartburn going down. The chilli and cheese were salty and greasy, and the whole thing was just a hot dog mess.
CHECKERS — CHILLI DOG, $US3.29 — Checkers’ hot dog was topped with chilli and optional cheese and onions. Either way, the chilli dog looked decidedly unappetizing.
HOT DOG BASE — 4 —The sausage was juicy and meaty, but the soft and squishy bun wasn’t quite up to the task of containing all its contents.
TOPPINGS — 2 — It was wet and sloppy, but still managed to disappoint on flavour. There was just too much meat, salt, and sauce, and the onions I got were definitely not very fresh.
SHAKE SHACK — SHACK-CAGO DOG, $US4.99 — Shake Shack’s hot dog was topped with relish, pickles, peppers, tomatoes, and onions. In the spirit of Chicago, I also added mustard.
HOT DOG BASE — 3 — Shake Shack served an oddly stiff, dry, and salty hot dog that was less than appealing. The bun was fluffy, sweet, and bread-y.
TOPPINGS — 5 — The added veg elements really took the kind of “meh” Shake Shack hot dog to “pretty good.”
FIVE GUYS — CHEESY BACON DOG, $US6.19 — Five Guys’ plain hot dog was topped with cheese and bacon. I added relish, although you can also add just about anything from sliced tomatoes to sautéed mushrooms.
HOT DOG BASE — 5 — It was hard to hold together. The bun was twice the size of a normal hot dog bun, probably so it could contain the butterflied hot dog, which was incredibly juicy and bursting with flavour.
TOPPINGS —4 — The crispy bacon added a whole other dimension to the dog. However, I wasn’t a fan of the cheese.
FINAL RANKING: 4. Dairy Queen’s Chilli Cheese Dog. 3. Checkers’ Chilli Dog. 2. Shake Shack’s Shack-Cago Dog.1. Five Guys’ Cheesy Bacon Dog.
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