Food for Thought

It's a (haute) dog fight!

It's a (haute) dog fight!

There’s a dog fight on!

No, not that kind. It’s not like Stump is about to take down the new Westminster champ Sadie in a canine smackdown.

This is a hot dog throw down, woof, woof.

For some time now the reigning dog in Houston has been Max’s Wine Dive’s The Texas “Haute” Dog, a Kosher all-beef hot dog on an artisan bun, served with Max’s frites in
Texas style with chili, jalapenos and cotija cheese or New York style with beer braised sauerkraut, fried onion strings and pickles.

Oh yeah, that’s some dog.

But wait, Frank’s Chop House now has a dog in the hunt. Frank’s Big Frank is a 12-inch, all-beef, steamed wiener on a specially made bun with caramelized onions and chipotle-ancho-sirloin chili. It’s served with coleslaw, but if you really want to cowboy up just go ahead and order the fries with it. Doubtful you’ll finish it anyway.

“If you do, starting next week, it’s free,” says co-owner and chef Frank Butera. “Plus you get a T-shirt with our logo on the front and on the back it says ‘This ain’t no slider!’”

“We have a Big Dog, too,” says Blanco’s Bar & Grill manager Karin Barnes. “But it’s not that big.” No, it’s only a quarter-pound puppy with chili, cheese and onions. But Blanco’s does offer a dog that’s bigger on calories: The Saddle Dog is a hot dog wrapped in a flour tortilla and deep-fried. Think of it as rodeo midway food you can get all year round.

For a gal who grew up thinking a 15-cent steamed hot dog from the stand outside the base exchange every other Saturday was a real treat, these big dogs and gourmet hounds are almost daunting.

I’ve sampled Max’s Haute Dog and can say it really elevates the lowly wiener. Couldn’t finish it though.

And I did chow down on the Frank’s Big Frank (I’ve heard all the jokes about the name so please stop right there). I won’t be trying to get one for free in the contest. The one I had made a nice lunch, dinner, lunch the next day.

Both are good in their own right but I’ll leave it to you to decide who wins this dog fight. Feel free to weigh in on the comments section.

As for me, next time I’m craving a dog, what with my small appetite, I’ll just grab a 99-cent Sunday special at James Coney Island. I’m a Chihuahua person, not a St. Bernard owner.

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The Texas Haute Dog at Max's Wine Dive Courtesy of Max's Wine Dive
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Frank's Chop House's loaded hot dog Courtesy of Frank's Chop House