The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Frankly Delicious: Extra Ingredients Elevate Hot Dogs From Ho-Hum Stadium Eats to Bona Fide Treats

Jackie’s Sidebar
“We don’t eat a lot of vegetables in Chicago,” jokes Jackie’s Sidebar chef Diana Davila-Boldin. “That’s why we load [them on] our hot dogs.” The Second City native doesn’t deviate much from the city’s familiar veggie-friendly formula with her Chi Dog ($6). The boiled all-beef Vienna frank in a steamed poppy seed bun is topped with pickles, tomatoes, onions, sports peppers, yellow mustard, relish and cucumber. One thing you won’t find on the hot dog is ketchup, which aficionados consider sacrilegious. “There might be some guests who put it on,” Davila-Boldin says. “But I don’t want to know about it.”

» 8081 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring; 301-565-9700,

This popular spot on Barracks Row is a mecca for frankfurter fans because it offers 17 signature dogs inspired by a variety of cuisines. Express your nationalistic pride by ordering the Southwestern-inspired Tucson Sonoran ($6.99), which stars a bacon-wrapped all-beef dog smothered with chopped tomatoes, pinto beans and diced onions, then spiked with jalapeño relish, spicy brown mustard and fiery, pepper-infused mayonnaise. Or be a globalist by enjoying the Korean-style Q’s Seoul, which consists of an Angus beef frank piled with pickled kimchi and bulgogi (barbecued rib-eye steak).

» 423 8th St. NW; 202-546-1935,

Written by Express contributor Nevin Martell
» 4321 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-966-1999,

Bob Hisaoka was born in Chicago and grew up eating Windy City-style hot dogs before Cubs games. Several decades later, he’s reliving childhood memories at his eatery, ChiDogO’s, which specializes in his hometown’s iconic wieners. The six-inch ($3.49) and foot-long versions, left ($6.75) come in a steamed poppy seed bun and are dressed with mustard, relish, tomato slices, sport peppers, celery salt and a pickle spear. When the purist in line behind you isn’t looking, shake up tradition and add a shower of grated cheddar cheese. “They don’t do that in Chicago,” Hisaoka says. “But cheese makes everything taste better.”

» 1934C 14th St. NW; 202-332-3647,

Written by Express contributor Nevin Martell