Hank's Haute Dogs
324 Coral St. / 532-4265
Americans have a love-hate relationship with hot dogs. We're worried about childhood-based fears of sausages made with pig snouts and tails, plus adult fears of nitrates, yet most of us are willing to shove those fears aside for the time it takes to devour the juicy, spiced wonders, whatever they're made of.
According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans consume about 20 billion hot dogs a year, which amounts to about 70 hot dogs per person, per year.
Are you eating your share? At least one person, Henry Adaniya, the "Hank" behind Hank's Haute Dogs, hopes so. And to make the dogs palatable to finicky eaters, the restaurateur who founded the acclaimed Chicago restaurant Trio brings the humble and gourmet together starting with premium Vienna all-beef ($4.75) hot dogs ("no funny parts, no fillers," he said), plus more upscale offerings of Kobe beef ($8.50) and a duck-and-foie gras ($9.50) dog, and exotics like alligator ($8.30) and rabbit ($7.50).
The exotic dogs are offered as one-a-day specials: gator Tuesdays, rabbit Wednesdays, buffalo Thursdays, lobster Fridays, duck and foie gras Saturdays and Kobe beef Sundays. (It's an Italian beef sandwich on Mondays.)
Those who shy from exotic fare need not worry. In their casings, and spiced and seasoned with ingredients like coriander, cumin, pepper, rye, mustard seed, garlic, salt and sugar, that gator and rabbit might as well be chicken. You'd also have difficulty differentiating the buffalo bratwurst ($7.50) from the beef version ($6.25). The bratwursts also happen to pack the most flavor, along with the spicier Portuguese sausage, chorizo and andouille. Recently, Adaniya launched dinner 5 to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with the Italian beef sandwich and creamy truffled mac 'n' cheese.
Mark Tuesday on your calendar. That's when he plans to unveil one of the products he's been working on: a Spam dog.
Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.