As we continue to look at Buffalo’s definitive foods, we look at the hot dog.
Just like pizza, they have hot dogs everywhere, but we all know there’s something special and different about a Buffalo hot dog.
And recently, a national food blogger wrote “forget wings, Buffalo is a hot dog town.”
So what does all that mean?
Longtime Buffalo butcher Mark Redlinksi tells me the biggest difference between a Buffalo hot dog and one of the national brands is the casing. He says it’s difficult to find a natural casing if you’re not buying a Buffalo dog.
It’s also what’s inside– or not inside– a Buffalo dog. All meat, no fillers in a Sahlen’s or any other local brand. It’s also a unique beef to pork ratio we’ve become used to here.
And of course, like everything else in Buffalo– our hot dogs are much bigger than what the national brands sell.
As far as how we eat ’em, there are two equally definitive Buffalo styles.
The charcoal broiled dog highlights that natural casing and gives a great bite… and maybe a great crunch if you like yours well done. Ted’s charbroiled dog, on a toasted roll, with special spicy sauce, mustard, relish, onions, and a pickle spear is a WNY Classic.
Another WNY classic is the Texas Hot, also known as the “slime dog,” the “scum dog,” and if you’re from South Buffalo, the “shit canoe.” (I think I grew up thinking that last one is what they were officially called. )
The hot dogs are usually a slightly different formulation… usually without the natural casing, which would get rubbery when fried on the griddle.
On that griddled dog, add mustard, slivered onions, and that spicy meat sauce.
Whether you like ’em off the grill or drowning in that Texas Hot gravy, the Buffalo hot dog is like no other.