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Sources for Well-Made Hot Dogs Near Washington, D.C.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Here are some of my favorite sources for well-made hot dogs for your next cookout.

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Eastern Market, South Hall
$6.99/pound (six dogs)

These salty, juicy hot dogs appeal to the classicists because they closely resemble a larger version of Nathan's. Owner Jose Canales has them shipped in regularly from a kosher facility in the Bronx. Canales also carries the District's ever-popular half-smoke.

Planet Wine & Gourmet
2004 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria
703-549-3444; http://www.redapronbutchery.com
$8/pound (four dogs)

Nathan Anda makes each batch of Red Apron dogs by hand. Nitrite free, they get their color from a healthy dose of natural spices and smoke. Though modeled after a traditional dog, they're packed to the hilt with fat and flavor. If you don't have a grill, these cook up wonderfully in a lightly oiled saute pan. Also sold at Penn Quarter Farmers Market, 3-7 p.m. Thursdays through December; and Ballston Farmers Market, 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Fridays through October

4845 Massachusetts Ave. NW
202-363-0777; http://www.wagshals.com
$8.99/pound (five dogs)

This larger, skinless hot dog isn't advertised, or in the case. Ask and you'll experience the results of a custom recipe that has been used to make the Wagshal's dog for the past 15 years. The store also carries a German-style frankfurter brought in from New York state.

German Gourmet
7185 Lee Hwy., Falls Church
703-534-1908; http://www.german-gourmet.com
5838 Columbia Pike, Falls Church
$7.85/pound (six dogs)

German-style beef and pork frankfurters are stuffed into a natural casing that takes well to a nice char on the grill. Smaller gauged, they're lightly spiced, perfect with sauerkraut and sweet German mustard.

Let's Meat on the Avenue
2403 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria
703-836-6328; http://www.letsmeatontheavenue.com
$9.95/pound (four dogs)

"Kobe" hot dogs all the way from Australia pack a beefy punch. Just watch them like a hawk on the grill. With no casing and a lean mix, they will dry out in a hurry.

-- Scott Reitz

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