May 20, 2009

Flagstaff's Best Hot Dogs

Hot Diggity Dogs
By Angele Sionna

It’s hot dog season! While it may more commonly be referred to as summer, the beautiful weather that is upon is means it’s time for treating ourselves to those tasty franks that satisfy without breaking the bank. If you don’t have time to grill up a dog on any given work lunch hour, then check out the goods at Flagstaff’s top hot dog stops.

Primo’s Hot Dogs
113 S San Francisco St

Primo’s Hot Dogs, just south of the tracks downtown. Boasting Chicago-style dogs, Primo’s is a true hole in the wall joint. The door boasts seating for 1,000, four at a time, i.e. they have four seats lining the wall on the right. That’s it.
Here their standard dog is known as the Easy Dog. The bright green relish contrasted nicely with the crispy, diced white onion... with a little vivid red and yellow of the ketchup and mustard ever so slightly poking thru. The ingredients were fresh. The dog itself was plump, juicy, and flavorful. The perfect proportion of toppings, bun, and dog. And vegetarians take note, Primo’s doesn’t want you to miss out on its goodness. They serve veggie dogs with any toppings for about the same price. In all, Primo’s has 14 types of hot dogs and sausages plus meat lover’s sandwiches and nachos.

Mountain Top Dogs
113 E. Birch

Mountain Top Dogs is a true hot dog stand at the corner of Birch and San Francisco. Only open when the weather’s good and run by the owner, Mountain Top Dogs is in a great location for tourists and business folks for lunch. At Mountain Top Dogs, the hot dogs are flame grilled right in front of you and it’s the only place on this list where you add your own toppings.
The dog was a little less flavorful and not as thick as the ones at Primo’s, but the smoky flavor that comes from the grilling makes up for it. The condiments were standard, just like the ones you’d have at a back yard cookout at home. But you can taste the personal touch and care of the owner in every bite.
Mountain Top Dog has a handful of dog and sausage choices ranging a standard hot dog up to their claim to fame: a hand-wrapped and grilled bacon quarter pound dog.

Route 66 Dog Haus
1302 E. Route 66

The Route 66 Dog Haus is a Flagstaff classic. Right on Route 66 with cars whizzing by their can’t-miss-it red A-frame building, you can walk up and place your order or drive thru. And I do mean drive thru - cars pull up to the window in the center of the building. A novelty that catches kids eyes. Seating is limited to a few cement tables with umbrellas. Their menu includes sides like fries and is much more expansive than the other hot dog joints.
The Dog Haus dog itself was overloaded with ingredients and oozing as I opened the wrapper. The bun was super-soaked and soggy. It did not have the beauty of the Primo’s dog or the flame-broiled smell of Mountain Top but when I took a bite I was pleasantly surprised. There was too much of the overly sweet onions and relish though, ironically making this drive-thru joint the only place where the dog isn’t driver friendly.

Hot Dog Express
1566 S Riordan Ranch St

Newcomer to the hot dog scene is Hot Dog Express. They’re located in the little red and yellow shack surrounded by cheery picnic tables and umbrellas in the west end of the Bookman’s parking lot on the southwest side of town.
Here the choices are walk up or drive up. You can smell the hot dogs cooking on the grill as you do either. That’s such a great smell! Hot Dog Express offers up everything from standard dogs to more fanciful options like the gianormous Cujo dog or the spicy Jalapeño Express hot dog. The dogs comes served in a fresh and flavorful bright yellow bun and loaded with a fair amount of toppings. They also have combos with a soda and chips to make the most of your lunch money. And if you want a little picnicy feel to lunch, consider adding a side of their cilantro slaw or potato salad. For the kid inside, top it off with one of their slushies for dessert.

(Note: This article was origninally published in Flagstaff Live! - written by me too!)

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