Steve's Hot Dogs, St. Louis: The Urge frontman Steve Ewing originally started Steve's Hot Dogs as a food cart in St. Louis to feed fans after the band's shows, and it has now expanded to two brick-and-mortar shops and a stand within International Tap House in the Central West End. Since the beginning, Ewing's dogs have dazzled for their extravagant toppings and creative combinations, including the Back Yard BBQ Dog (with baked beans, potato salad, bacon and barbecue sauce), The Molotov Dog (habanero-chipotle spread, Sriracha, pickle relish, chipotle onions and jalapeos) and The Storm Trooper Dog (salsiccia dog with rotini noodles, alfredo, bacon, French's fried onions and Parmesan).
multiple locations, steveshotdogsstl.com
Instant Karma Gourmet Hot Dogs, Joplin: You think you've seen it all, and then you visit Instant Karma Gourmet Hot Dogs in Joplin, with a menu of bacon-wrapped gourmet dogs and local sausages including the Okonomiyaki dog with okonomiyaki slaw, pickled ginger, Japanese mayo, scallions and nori; The Prudhomme andouille sausage dog smothered in crawfish gravy; the Devil Dog stuffed with deviled-egg filling and topped with smoked paprika and scallions; and even a veggie dog made from carrots topped with a vegetarian sloppy Joe mix and smoked Gouda.
Dogs N Frys, Florissant: Dogs N Frys in Florissant offers a bit more than just what the name implies. The dogs, sandwiched within branded buns, are loaded with inventive flavors that often mix sweet with savory. For example, the Early Bird tops a hot dog with beef bacon, a fried egg, chopped potatoes and maple syrup, and the Peanut Butter Jelly Bacon Dog features all those ingredients plus caramelized onions. More into spicy than sweet? The favorite Hot n Spicy heats things up with hot sauce, Sriracha, seared jalapeos, crushed red peppers and Flamin' Hot Cheetos.
Up Dog, Independence: You're going to need two hands for the monster dogs served at Up Dog in Independence. The retro-inspired, vibrant diner in historic Independence Square grills each dog to order. Try the Breakfast Dog, an all-beef hot dog topped with bacon, egg and Cheddar cheese, or the BLT Chicken Dog with chicken tenders, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, mozzarella and avocado.
Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City: The Tours and Recreation Center at Boulevard Brewing Co. in Kansas City opened in July 2016 just a stone's throw from the historic brewery. Aside from tours and a gift shop, the new space features a beer hall, with a menu that includes dogs wrapped in pretzel dough and baked to a golden brown, such as a chicken andouille sausage with cheese dip or the Bully! Porter Banger made with the roasty, malty beer, paired with pale ale mustard (and any one of the 24 Boulevard beers on tap).
Written by Bethany Christo. Photo of Steve's Hot Dogs by J. Pollack Photography, photo of Instant Karma Gourmet Hot Dogs by Mark Neuenschwander, photo of Dogs N Frys by Mabel Suen, photo of Up Dog courtesy Up Dog and photo of Boulevard Brewing Co.by Pete Dulin. This article appears courtesy of Feast Magazine. Feast Magazine is dedicated to broadening the conversation about food and engaging a large, hungry audience of food lovers.