Best Hot Dog
"D.C. style" half-smoke at Lake & Irving
When we spotted the "D.C. style" half-smoke on the menu at Lake & Irving, starkly contrasted against shoyu braised short ribs and goat cheese carpaccio, we assumed it would be some fancy-schmancy sausage incapable of satisfying our deep-seated need for regular ol' tube steak. Those doubts were silenced after one terrifically messy bite. Inspired by the signature dish at Ben's Chili Bowl, a long-running Washington, D.C., institution, the Ikeda brothers, owners of Lake & Irving, paired up with Husnik Meat Company in St. Paul to make a custom 50/50 duroc pork and beef blend hot dog with great snap, mild spice, and subtle salt. They tuck it into a soft split-top bun, the kind usually reserved for Maine lobster rolls, and top it with a thick house-made molasses-brown chuck chili sauce. As a gesture of customer appreciation in its purest form, the kitchen serves these dogs two to an order so prepare to share or be seriously stuffed. You know, like a sausage.