This week sees National Hot Dog Day hit our calendars and when I used think about hot dogs all they ever did was remind me of playing rugby for Waterhead as a kid.
After every game, whether the sun had been shining or we had been spending 80 minutes in the freezing rain; banging our brittle bones against rock hard soil, you could rely on a cheap Kwik Save bun wrapped around a hot dog straight from a tin – usually thinner than a strand of spaghetti.
Nowadays though Hot Dogs are completely different. Gone are those soggy thin strands of hoof and snout, replaced by gloriously butch oblongs of quality ingredients usually encased in a buttery brioche bun and topped with half the contents of aisle 4 of Lidl. Here’s a run-down of some of our favourites…
A German restaurant without Bratwurst would be like an Italian restaurant without Spaghetti. Or a Chinese one without a group of pissed up English blokes swearing loudly while dropping sweet and sour chicken all over their new JD Sports tops. Albert’s Schloss is bloody brilliant, and their food is one of the main draws of this place. They offer a selection of German sausages, each containing locally sourced meat from WH Frost Butchers. There’s the classic Bratwurst (smoked beef and pork), Kaiserwurst (pork and cheese) or Currywurst (Lamb, Pork and cumin) served either in a bun or with a side salad if you’re on Atkins. Last time I was in I had the Bratwurst served Wiener style – a classic and always best.
Albert’s Schloss, 27 Peter St, Manchester M2 5QR
0161 833 4040
Dogs n Dough
If you’re going to dedicate the name of your business to what you sell, you’d best be bloody good at it. If you fail at selling hot dogs and pizzas it’s going to be pretty annoying to then change your name to Bread n Tap Water. Well Dogs n Dough are alright because they seemingly spent a long time getting hold of the best quality sausages and working out a great menu before they opened. Their 100% Beef Franks are massive – recently proven with their 4 Bite challenge, which is still yet to be beaten. I’d recommend their ‘Enter the Dragon’, a hotdog smothered in Salt & Pepper Chicken, Char Sui Crackers, Spring Onions and Sriracha
Dogs ‘n’ Dough, 17 Bow Ln, Manchester M2 4FW
0161 834 3996
Clearly one of my most favourite places in Manchester, considering it ends up on pretty much everything I write – V Rev provides cracking junk food that is 100% vegan as well as managing not to taste like chalk. They’ve got a choice of three vegan hot dogs, and while you’re eating them you can sit safe in the knowledge that no animals had to suffer for the purpose of you chewing for 15 minutes and putting a few more pounds on your hips. I’m a fan of their Go Ahead, Mac My Day hot dog which comes loaded with, mac & cheese, bacon and chives.
V Rev Vegan Diner, 20-26 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HN
0161 839 3883
Just look at that picture above. No that’s not a hot dog that’s really, really close. It’s one that is moderately far away and fucking massive – 4ft long in fact. I don’t want you to think that this thing is just a load of smaller hotdogs shoved together – oh no – this is an actual 4ft long hotdog, with accompanying 4ft long brioche bun – both specifically made for Bunny Jackson’s by some rather mental local suppliers. The girthy dog is made by Grandad’s Sausages in Bury while the bread is bashed out of some rather big ovens by J.B Richardson’s in Chorlton. This monster is available at Bunny Jackson’s with 36 hours’ notice (and will set you back £60) or if you go in on a Friday – they’ll be serving them up all day for you and your mates.
Bunny Jacksons, 1 Jack Rosenthal Street, Manchester M15 4RA
Probably the perfect food for bowling, Hot Dogs are back on the menu at Dog Bowl and my word are these buggers tasty. Between throwing a big round ball of plastic at some pins you can tuck into an array of dogs each topped with a combination of meat, cheese, vegetables and sauce – sometimes all together. Personal favourite of mine must be the Elvis Classic – the peanut butter and caramelised banana but I understand that this kind of tomfoolery isn’t for everyone. Perhaps just stick to the brilliant Philly Cheese one topped with enough steak, cheese and onion to keep even Will Smith & that other guy happy for days.
Dog Bowl, Whitworth St W, Manchester M1 5WW
0161 228 2888
There’s not a massive choice of Hot Dogs at Solita well, not compared to their burgers, but what they do have is definitely what you would expect from this well-known spot. Solita is a place that unashamedly serves food that will either make you full up, explode, or obese. Their ‘Widowmaker Hotdog’ is truly a mammoth effort which contains a 21 inch hot dog, smoked brisket chilli, fried bacon, slaw, jalapenos, sour cream and cheese. It’s massive and there’s a good chance you will die while eating it. If you do – don’t come crying to me. Personally I’m not be happy with a massive pile of food left uneaten so I would typically just go for the New Yorker – Pepperoni, melted mozzarella and pizza sauce.
Solita NQ, Turner St, Manchester M4 1DW
0161 839 2200
Descend under the arches into Gorilla and you can treat yourself to their extensive menu featuring an eclectic range of dishes and cocktails. It’s obviously a big favourite because whenever I walk past on my way to look in the gutter for discarded chocolate bars – it’s always heaving. They have one hot dog option on here – but it’s a corker so they’ve made the list. It’s a massive bratwurst topped with crispy shallots, onion chutney and cheese. A good alternative to the burgers, which are pretty good too, but nowhere near as good as a hot dog. Everyone knows that.
Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth St W, Manchester M1 5WW
0161 826 2998