Hot Diggity Dog… by JoAnn

Three hot dogs with toppings on a grill.

I have always loved hot dogs. I come from a long line of hot dog lovers. I can eat a hot dog with any kind of topping you want to give me. Any type of bun too. Heck, I like a hot dog wrapped up in a slice of cheap white bread. I will never turn down a hot dog.

I know all about the science behind the hot dog wiener and why it’s an unhealthy food choice. But people have been eating hot dogs for hundreds of years and love them. I know I should be more careful with my diet and cut out many “bad” foods. I no longer eat pizza regularly. Since I live alone, ordering pizza, or even making a frozen one, ends up with me eating far too much. So I wait and enjoy it with my grandchildren when they have Pizza Night. That way, I only eat a couple of pieces and go home feeling fine.

Although, I have not cut the all-American dog out of my life. I have no plans to do so since I enjoy it so much. I can usually control myself to only 1 or 2 wieners for a meal. My usual toppings are chili sauce, sweet onion, mustard, and ketchup. I enjoy a serving of hot french fries with a chili dog, but I have also cut those out of my diet.

Hot dogs are a very economical meal for someone who lives alone. A single package of 8 wieners is 4 to 8 meals. Chili is cheap, and it is quite nourishing if you buy the right kind. I found my favorite sliced bread to be the perfect wrap for my hot dog. So I save money not buying specific buns. I always add a fresh onion which is also healthy. My point here is that the hot dog can be an economical and healthy meal. Have I won you over yet?

When I was growing up, the whole family made the trek to the grocery store. Once a week, we would pile into my dad’s 57 Chevy and ride to the local Giant’s or Farm Fresh. After Mama had finished shopping, we headed home to enjoy our lot. It never failed that grocery day was also hot dog day. Mama wouldn’t do her usual home-cooked meal on grocery day. It was her time for a well-earned break, and something quick and easy was in order. Everyone loved hot dogs, especially my daddy. So chili dogs and potato chips or french fries were on the menu.

When I lived in Tidewater, Virginia, in the 70’s & 80’s, there was this place called Hot Dog King. Just a little place, nothing fancy. We loved their hot dogs. The chili, the steamed dog, and the bun were absolutely perfect. You could also order your dog grilled. I believe that Hot Dog King is now in a much bigger location and may have a couple more open in the area. I was happy to learn that their business hung on and even grew over the years. There was also a place called Monty’s. Monty’s was first and foremost famous for its ice cream. But they had the best Foot Long Chili Dogs you could find anywhere! When I was pregnant with my second child, I craved Monty’s foot-long chili dog with extra onions weekly! Followed by a banana split! Yes, I had heartburn for 24 hours after, but it was worth it. Monty’s never disappointed in soothing my craving.

I just can’t see giving up something so beloved for so many years. The hot dog has been a proven winner for too long in my book, and I refuse to let it go. So that leaves me with my final question… How do you like your hotdog?