On Trend Specialty Hot Dogs

These aren't your typical ballpark franks.

Restaurants and hot dog joints are introducing specialty hot dogs made with fun and creative ingredients.

Dogs ‘n Frys

Classic hot dogs aren’t the only options you’ll find at Dogs ‘n Frys in Florissant, Missouri. The restaurant also has a sweeter side, with hot dogs in flavors such as s’mores – a special request hot dog topped with marshmallow cream, crumbled graham crackers and chocolate sauce – or a fried bun with a trio of ice cream scoops and PB&J sauce. “We have our regular hot dog menu, but we also have a fusion menu,” says owner Mo Mangal. “It’s a fusion of flavors – hot, cold, sweet and savory – that is what we really try to do.” Dessert hot dogs began as an accident when a bun fell into the fryer and came out tasting similar to a waffle cone. Since then, they have become a signature treat at Dogs ‘n Frys. Along with 27 hot dog combinations – including Hot ‘N’ Spicy, which tops an all-beef hot dog with spicy queso blanco, Sriracha, crushed Crunchy Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and seared jalapeños drizzled in Buffalo hot sauce – nearly all the combinations (including the sweet) can be served over hand-cut fries.

Dogs ‘n Frys, 503 Paul Ave., Florissant, Missouri, 314.274.2000, facebook.com/dogsnfrys

New York Dawg Pound

With hot dog names like Bulldog and Dalmatian, the menu at New York Dawg Pound in Overland Park, Kansas, might sound familiar. Owner Will Brown begins the process of creating a new hot dog combination by picking a specific name or breed of dog for inspiration. “For our Boston Terrier you think of Boston, so we put baked beans on there, and The Chihuahua dog is Mexican-style with pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole and jalapeños on a tortilla,” he says. “There is no limit to what you can do with hot dogs.” The Goofy Dawg, for example, named for Disney’s Goofy character, is made with peanut butter and bacon. Brown explains that as a child, he would combine those flavors into a sandwich, and they worked just as well on a hot dog. Buns are baked fresh daily at Bagel Works Bread Co. in Kansas City. New York Dawg Pound also has a vegetarian option: A roasted carrot is cooked in olive oil with a house seasoning blend and can be ordered with your choice of toppings.

New York Dawg Pound, 7702 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Overland Park, Kansas, 913.432.6937, newyorkdawgpound.com

Instant Karma Gourmet Hot Dogs

Jason Miller describes his Joplin, Missouri, restaurant, Instant Karma Gourmet Hot Dogs, as a hot dog stand inside a French bistro. “Hot dogs on china, with full service… people would have told me I was crazy if I told them what I was planning,” he says. Miller’s creative approach to hot dogs includes using bison, elk, lamb, lobster, rattlesnake and kangaroo meats. With an unpredictable menu that varies based on what ingredients are available, Miller says there’s always a line out the door. Besides the initial laughs when scanning the menu, Miller says customers have been open to trying his unusual flavor combinations. When he first introduced rattlesnake dogs – specifically, a rattlesnake and breadcrumb sausage with bell peppers and garlic – it sold out in a matter of days. Other dogs are inspired by global fare, such as the Mediterranean, which tops an all-beef hot dog with curry-seasoned chickpeas and mango chutney served on grilled pita bread. In addition to its creative flavors, Instant Karma also serves classic and vegetarian hot dogs.

Instant Karma Gourmet Hot Dogs, 527 S. Main St., Joplin, Missouri, 417.206.3647