It's National Hot Dog Day, and We're All About H-Town's H-Dogs

2014 Update: Good Dog Hot Dog's brick and mortar is now open, James Coney Island is now JCI Grill (something we still find puzzling) and Houston Chefs and Show Dog Series is not happening this year.

Here at Signet, we're as American as it gets when it comes to hot dogs. And when we learned that July 23 is National Hot Dog Day, we started preparing for the big day almost immediately - and this was back in May! Every couple of weeks, the creative team paid a visit to a favorite local hot dog spot. And today, Internet, we sit on the other side of the computer screen, 10 lbs. heavier and sharing our top picks from Houston's best hot dog joints. You're welcome.

Good Dog Hot Dog

Bad news first. Good Dog is closed at the moment. Good news: they're closed to focus on their brand new brick and mortar location! So, be on the lookout for that.

Not only is this one spectacular food truck, but Daniel and Amalia are probably the nicest people EVER. Good Dog is always ready and willing to give back to our community (they're official sponsors of Houston Tweet Drive). My favorite is the Guac-a-Dog - because HOLY GUACAMOLE - avocados and hot dogs, what more can I say? (The answer is garlic aioli, because it is the perfect complement to the dog.)

Julie had the Ol' Zapata with a veggie dog, and she said the veggie dog tasted very similar to a savory, succulent real dog. Veggie dog aside, she also got it with bacon bits and said it was nice to eat real bacon instead of that weird, stale stuff you get at salad bars.

Good Dog is REALLY good, y'all

Chicago Italian Beef

I'm passing the mic over to Meredith, because her family is from Chicago, so this is as real as it gets, y'all.

Meredith: The Chicago Style hot dog tasted exactly like the ones in Chicago do, which is a good thing.

The place does look sketchy from the outside, but don't let that fool you. CIB is absolutely delicious, and the staff was incredibly nice. In fact, Julie's dog was discounted because she got it sans meat, and any non-meat eater can tell you that this isn't the norm. Kudos, Chicago Italian Beef.

Chicago Italian Beef: sparkling clean inside

Happy Fatz

Happy Fatz is the kind of place that has SO MANY good options, you just don't know what to go for. I blacked out a little bit while eating The Clucker, but from the parts I do remember, it was absolutely delicious. With toppings that included all of my favorite things: Over-easy eggs (!!!), bacon, hash browns and of course, a hot dog, I knew I wouldn't be disappointed.

This is the Happy Fatz Clucker

In between bites, I signaled to Justin for his thoughts. "It was like breakfast on a bun, I had never had a hot dog that had an egg on it. Or hash browns. Or bacon. All that on top of the hot dog being really good! Plus, the story they told us about the old man that comes in and knits is just too cute to handle." It's true, check out the work of this Happy Fatz fan!

And these are Happy Fatz fan coasters

Moon Tower Inn

Moon Tower Inn is a bit different than the rest of the restaurants on here. Now, I'm no foodie (I mean, I consider avocados on hot dogs art), but I'm pretty sure that MTI's hot dogs are more like sausages - or that's what they taste like, at least. I usually have the duck sausage and trust the staff with my toppings, and they never, ever disappoint. Meredith is a rabbit fan, and recommends it with feta cheese and a light beer pairing.

Pro tip: Moon Tower Inn bartenders will always recommend a great pairing. Just ask!

Sammy's Wild Game Grill

This is another place you just can't go wrong with. Signeteers have tried almost all dogs, and none have failed us. The most popular choice is buffalo, but that's also probably the least adventurous of all. Chef's favorite is the Pheasant Dog, and I would have gone for it had I not decided to go healthy with a chicken breast that particular day. However, not on the online menu (perhaps seasonal), are Meredith's recommendations, the duck or rabbit. She also mentioned to not be afraid to take some food home. She saved her hot dog for the next day, and it held up very well. None of that soggy bread business!

All of that and a toasty bun to boot

There are other places with hot dogs worth trying out. Happy Endings is one, and you can find them parked at Liberty Station most nights. There is also the Houston Chefs and Show Dog Series happening at James Coney Island for another 5 months, and this month, they're servin' up Kata Robata's dog. When you do give these h-dogs a try, give us a shout at @signet_int and let us know what you think.

Happy National Hot Dog Day, 'Merica!

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