From one end of the spectrum to the other, Pittsburgh is home to both Burgatory (sinful burgers) and Franktuary (heavenly hot dogs). I have no idea if these two restaurants conspired to be polar opposites, but they certainly both make an impact with their take on such a simple food.
Franktuary is a hot dog shoppe in Downtown Pittsburgh located in the basement of a church off Oliver Ave. Upon gazing across the menu during my first visit to Franktuary, I found it only fitting to put rival hockey towns of Pittsburgh and Detroit against each other in a gourmet hot dog battle.
In our first corner …
Pittsburgh-style Gourmet Hot Dog – standard frank topped with a smooshed pierogi and cole slaw ($3.90)
In the other corner …
Detroit-style Classic Hot Dog – standard frank topped with chili, yellow mustard and chopped onion ($3.40)
Coming out of the gate, the Pittsburgh dog is very colorful thanks to the red cabbage slaw covering the frank. On first bite, it became obvious it was going to be a very messy experience. The slaw had a vinegary-creamy feel to it which resulted in the white moisture running down the side of my bun. Beneath the slaw was a potato pierogi that has been cut/smashed/smooshed the length of the dog.
The Detroit-style dog is almost your traditional chili dog. The chili was extremely delicious and kept the hot dog warm. The mustard added a tartness and the onion was fresh and crisp.
Luckily for our hometown Penguins, hot dogs don’t determine the outcome of the playoffs. Though the Pittsburgh-style Hot Dog pays homage to our hometown. I have mixed feelings about a mashed potato on my hot dog. Detroit wins this battle (this time) as their style was both tastier and more cohesive as a flavor profile.