Hot Dogs, Get Yer Hot Dogs!

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Trail's End hot dog
Trail's End hot dog

Steamboat’s hottest new dogs

Dog fans rejoice! Steamboat’s been graced with a handful of hot dog aficionados who have elevated the simple backyard snack into something bigger and better. While a small mountain town isn’t the first place that comes to mind when imagining a hot dog hall of fame (ahem, Chicago, anyone?), that doesn’t stop local chefs from creating dogs that keep people howling. Here’s a look at two new dog spots that have popped up in town, each bringing new flavors to the scene while still honoring the scrumptiousness of the original frank.

Trail’s End Bar-N-Bites 

Midwesterners can find a bit of home in a cozy little spot at 1124 Yampa St., where the classic Chicago dog still rules the menu. “I love the Chicago-style hot dog because it’s got so many ingredients on it,” says Trail’s End owner Jake Hardin, who hails from the suburbs of the Windy City. “It kind of has the sweet, the spicy and the savory, so it’s got a little bit of everything in it.” For those not in the know, the Chicago dog starts with a poppy seed bun, then is topped with mustard, raw onion, sport peppers, sweet green relish and celery salt. These ingredients may sound simple, but they’re of extreme importance to those who adhere to the way of the top dog. Down to the steamed buns, true fans notice if one of the essential elements is missing, Hardin says.

The Dawg House

Dawg house hot dog
Dawg house hot dog

With toppings ranging from mac and cheese to Fritos, The Dawg House is serving up sausages with a classy, home-cooked twist. “Everything’s cooked to order, cut to order, gourmet veggies, gourmet everything,” says owner Ronnie Hewins. In addition to the classic hot dog, the stand boasts a popular veggie dog, elk sausage and rotating game sausage. This summer, it will offer ice cream as well (though not between two buns). The stand, located on Lincoln Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets, is open at lunch time through early evenings, and on weekends for the munchie crowd it has a graveyard shift from 10 p.m.-2 a.m., offering a late-night option for hungry patrons. “I’m almost like the ambassador to Steamboat in a way,” Hewins says. “About 2,000 people walk by this stand and they’re not only seeing this kitchen but the guy that’s front and center in the sidewalk.”

—Abby Van der Graaff