The venerable Lower East Side deli proves it’s about more than just pastrami, with its hot dog being voted No. 1 in the U.S.
“Made especially for the restaurant by Sabrett, these garlicky, natural-casing, jumbo-size all-beef dogs spend such a long time on the flat-top grill that the outside gets a nice char and snaps when you bite into it,” The Daily Meal raves. “A smear of mustard is all that’s needed.”
Rounding out the top five dogs: Pink’s in L.A.; Fat Johnnie’s Famous Red Hots in Chicago; NYC’s Crif Dogs; and Detroit’s Lafayette Coney Island.
Not to rain on Katz’s parade, but back in 2005 food writer Ed Levine revealed that most places get their hot dogs from a single source — Sabrett’s and its parent, Marathon Enterprises. How the dogs are served mattered more than their provenance, he wrote. And “context” — where you’re eating the dog — “means a lot,” Levine wrote.
It’s true — nothing beats eating a Katz’s hot dog in that classic, floodlit room on East Houston Street.
Michael Kaminer is a frequent contributor to the Forward.