The Hippo


May 25, 2020








NH dogs

Here are a few local places that are all about hot dogs.
Dube Dogs N More (259 Commercial St., Manchester. Find them on Facebook) is open Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Double D Dogs (340 Gibbons Highway, Wilton, 464-9853. Find them on Facebook) is open Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Puppy Love Hot Dogs (50 N. Main St., Concord,, is open Monday through Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
D.H.’s Dog House (1451 Front St., Manchester. Find them on Facebook) is open Wednesday through Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Dog House (766 Elm St., Milford). There is no phone number or website for this hot dog stand, so hours are unknown.

Toasty and topped
There’s great debate over how to dress a dog

By Ryan Lessard

 Beyond the iconic image of a hot dog lined with yellow mustard and ketchup lies a world of toppings that are just as popular, and whether that dog and its toppings belong on a steamed or toasted bun is a matter of some contention.

Beyond ketchup
New Hampshire hot dog stand owners rarely cite ketchup as their most popular topping. 
“A lot of people think it’s sacrilegious to put ketchup on a hot dog, but kids love it and I don’t judge. People should have whatever they want on a hot dog,” said Gretchen Peters, the owner of Puppy Love Hot Dogs in Concord.
That’s not to say ketchup isn’t popular as a topping. It is, especially among younger generations, according to Peters. But at least at Puppy Love, Peters said, the most popular topping arrangement is a combination of mustard, relish and onions.
In fact, that is what she finds most people mean when they ask for “the works.” 
Her second most popular topping combo is chili and cheese. 
“I couldn’t show up to work without my chili or I’d be in big trouble with all my regulars,” Peters said.
Her chili doesn’t have any beans and it isn’t spicy, she said. And she uses a mild cheese sauce. 
Shawn Bouchard, the owner of Double D Dogs in Wilton, said chili and cheese is his top seller and probably the most traditional arrangement for New England.
“That is definitely the biggest seller. Then, I would have to probably say sauerkraut is also a very big seller,” Bouchard said. “Certainly, chili and cheese is a New England thing.”
He uses all kinds of cheeses for toppings, such as Velveeta, Swiss, American and mozzarella. One particular hot dog on his menu is the Reuben Rottweiler, which includes sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and a line of Thousand Island dressing.
Another popular topping Bouchard likes to add to hot dogs is bacon. A menu item called the Scooby Dog is made with a fresh strip of bacon, chili and cheese. 
“People love bacon on their hot dogs,” Bouchard said.
For New England customers, Bouchard said, celery salt is also a popular seasoning. 
Occasionally, Peters has customers who ask for mayonnaise or coleslaw, but those items spoil easily in the heat so she doesn’t carry them in her cart. 
Coleslaw with hot dogs appears to be more popular in the South, Peters thinks, but it could be growing in popularity.
For the most part, her New Hampshire customers like to go easy on the toppings.
“They like it straight up and … they want to taste the hot dog and not have it swimming in condiments,” Peters said.
Best buns
Peters and Bouchard represent the varying opinions about how best to prepare a bun. 
“I think, by far, steamed is best,” Peters said.
“In my opinion grilled is better and I sell more grilled than I do steamed,” Bouchard said.
Bouchard offers the choice, and the dogs themselves can be steamed or grilled. Generally the dog and bun are both prepared the same way, but Bouchard has a few rare customers who ask for a grilled dog in a steamed bun.
The benefit of a steamed bun is the softness of the bread. But with softer bread comes less structural integrity. 
If the bread is toasted on a griddle, it gets hard and crunchy and can hold more toppings as a result, Bouchard said.
There’s also a slight flavor that’s conveyed to the bread when it’s grilled.
“When you season a griddle, you tend to have more flavors in a griddle, … so when you grill a hot dog [bun] you tend to pick up more of those flavors,” Bouchard said.
But ultimately, they agree, it’s a matter of personal preference.
“I think it depends on what you grow up with too,” Peters said. 

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