Answer Man John Boyle tries to get to the bottom of the great debate rending the nation apart: Is the hot dog a sandwich?
Mustard or ketchup?
Let’s be frank, there are few debates that hot dog fans take as seriously as what’s the best way to top a dog.
In time for National Hot Dog Day Wednesday, fast-food restaurants and other eateries are offering discounts and freebies on what some have called the “tube steak.”
JJ’s Red Hots has released its list of the most popular hot dog toppings. For the fifth year in a row, mustard tops the list.
The Charlotte-based hot dog restaurant based its survey on more than 1 million hot dogs served during the company’s first six years.
Ketchup, the popular tomato condiment, is at the bottom of the list.
“I think the reason ketchup is so low on our list is because of the glare I give guests when they order it,” said Jonathan Luther, founder of the three-unit brand. “I’m with Dirty Harry on that particular topping. But for real, it is not as popular as it once was with so many other choices available.”
In the 1971 hit movie “Dirty Harry,” Clint Eastwood as Harry Callahan spoke of what should never go on a hot dog.
“Nobody, I mean nobody, puts ketchup on a hot dog,” Eastwood said.
Wednesday also is National Sour Candy Day, National Caviar Day and at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, it’s Free Pizookie Day. At BJ’s, with a minimum $9.95 food purchase, get a free Pizookie at participating locations.
Lines have been drawn.
Hot dog deals
Offers and participation can vary by location and unless otherwise noted these deals are only available July 18. To be on the safe side, contact your closest location.
7-Eleven: Big Bite hot dogs are $1 Wednesday at the convenience store chain.
Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries: From 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, hot dogs are 99 cents each, limit two and dine-in only, for members of the My Hwy 55 Rewards Program. To get the deal, the company says you have to download the app before Wednesday and you also will get a coupon for a free milkshake for downloading.
Kwik Trip: Through Thursday, corn dogs are $1.
Philly Pretzel Factory: Pretzel dogs are $1 Wednesday and the first 100 people at each location get a card for a $1 pretzel dog each day in August.
Portillo’s: Through Sunday, get two Portillo’s hot dogs for $5. Not valid on jumbo hot dogs, polish sausages or Italian sausages. While supplies last.
Your hot dog deserves more than just a pedestrian squirt of mustard.
According to JJ’s Red Hots, which has featured more than 350 toppings on its hot dogs since 2012, these are the top toppings in order of preference:
Kelly Tyko is a consumer columnist and retail reporter for Treasure Coast Newspapers and TCPalm.com, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK. Read her Bargainista tips at TCPalm.com/Bargainista, follow her on Twitter @KellyTyko and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for her weekly newsletter at www.tcpalm.com/featured-newsletter/bargainistabest.
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