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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. By day, she is an online content producer for mainetoday.com and the Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod@mainetoday.com On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: August 14, 2013

Hot dogs go hog wild at Portland eateries

Written by: Susan Axelrod - staff writer - saxelrod@mainetoday.com

At The Thirsty Pig, hot dogs are served on wooden boards. Photo: Ted Axelrod/Axelrod Photography

Did you know that hot dogs were once called dachshund sausages? Food historians do not agree on the exact origin of the now ubiquitous sandwich/snack, but according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, “it is likely that Germans introduced the practice of eating the dachshund sausages, which we today know as the hot dog, nestled in a bun.”

Hawked from street carts and in sports stadiums nationwide, the basic hot dog is a blank canvas for regional customization. In New York City, where more hot dogs are consumed than anywhere else, your “dirty water dog” will come with steamed onions and yellow mustard, while in Chicago, the signature dog is dressed with bright green relish, raw onion, peppers, tomato and celery salt in a poppy seed bun. In New Jersey, the misnamed Texas wiener is the hot dog of choice. It’s deep fried, slathered in a spicy meat sauce and topped with brown mustard and chopped onion (Tums not included). Here in Maine, we like our grilled “red snapper” dogs on a toasted, top split roll, with maybe a squiggle of mustard.

Maine has some venerable, nationally famous hot dog stands — Flo’s in Cape Neddick, Wasses in Rockland and Simone’s in Lewiston — where the dogs are served with traditional toppings. In and around Portland, you’ll find inventive riffs on the humble dog, from institutions like Mark’s Hot Dogs, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in June, to newcomers like the El Corazon truck and Blue Rooster Food Co.

Read about how to switch up your hot dog routine at home: “Toppings take hot dogs beyond traditional” on pressherald.com.

Here are a few “different” dogs from the Portland area. Feel free to let us know about your favorites: saxelrod@mainetoday.com or on the Maine Today Facebook page.

Blue Rooster Food Co.

5 Dana St., Portland
207-747-4157
blueroosterfoodcompany.com

Seoul Dog: Housemade spicy kimchi, toasted peanuts, roasted garlic mayonnaise: $3.75 (Ted Axelrod/Axelrod Photography)

 

Mark’s Hot Dog Stand

Middle Street at Tommy’s Park, Portland
207-232-4620
Facebook/MarksHotDogs

Old Porker: Sour cream, bacon and sauteed onions $3 (Press Herald file photo)

 

Chicago Dogs of Maine

285 US Rte 1 Ste 3, Scarborough
207-510-6363
chicagodogsofmaine.com

Chicago Dog: Tomatoes, pickles, onion, mustard, homemade green relish, sport peppers, and celery salt: $2.89 (Ted Axelrod/Axelrod Photography)

 

The Thirsty Pig

37 Exchange St., Portland
207-773-2469
thethirstypigportland.com

The New Englander: Slaw and beans with choice of side: $5 (Ted Axelrod/Axelrod Photography)

 

El Corazon food truck

Parked at various Portland locations
207-200-4801
elcorazonfoodtruck.com

Sonoran Hot Dog: Bacon-wrapped dog topped with pinto beans, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, guacamole, mustard and aioli: $3.50 (Ted Axelrod/Axelrod Photography)

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