Guess what food Lady Gaga chose to showcase at a recent Vanity Fair photo shoot? Not a grilled version of her infamous raw meat dress. Not a lobster hat made with different shellfish.
She selected a mustard-slathered hot dog. That was to eat, not to wear.
That inspired us to ask Kate Krader, Food & Wine's restaurant editor, for her top dogs:
HD1 in Atlanta: At his just-opened spot, "Top Chef All-Stars" winner Richard Blais turns his attention from avant garde burgers to inspired hot dogs. Believe it or not, he has a classic hot dog with sauerkraut (the mustard is house-made). The chicken-apple sausage comes with herbed creme fraiche and sour grape relish; and for vegetarians, there's this note on the menu: "Sous vide carrot may be substituted for any dog."
Senate in Cincinnati: Krader is happy just reading the names of the dogs on the menu at this gastropub: the Trailer Park (bacon-wrapped dog, American cheese, coleslaw, crushed Grippo's chips) and the Hello Kitty (with wasabi mayo and ponzu coleslaw). senatepub.com
Crif Dogs in New York City: Who doesn't want a bacon-wrapped deep-fried hot dog after a long night of drinking artisanal cocktails at a speak-easy? The Crif Dogs menu pays homage to everything from natural disasters — the Tsunami is a bacon-wrapped dog with teriyaki sauce, pineapple and green onions — to other iconic sandwiches (the Philly tubesteak is "casually attired in cheese and sauteed onions"). crifdogs.com
Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace in Columbus, Ohio: Whoever created the menu at Dirty Frank's must have a doctorate in hot dogs. There are at least seven types of dogs, three bun options, almost three dozen toppings (from fire kraut to Fritos) and innumerable specialty combinations. Among the options: The Slappy Pappy's Super Sloppy comes with bacon, Coney sauce, cheddar, sour cream and french fries; the Picnic Table is topped with baked beans, sweet-hot cabbage and carrot slaw, relish and chip crumbs. dirtyfrankshotdogs.com
7-Eleven Hot Dog Potato Chips: If you've ever eaten a potato chip, you probably know there are no visible signs of hot dogs in the newest flavor of potato chip from 7-Eleven. What's more, there's apparently not even any meat in these chips. What there is, however, is the solid flavor of mustard, relish and — however it's done — 7-Eleven's own Big Bite hot dogs.