Previewing the new Hot Dog Hall of Fame at Universal Orlando's CityWalk

June 18, 2014, 12:51 PM

Yesterday, Universal Orlando offers invited reporters a chance to sample what CityWalk visitors will find at the new Hot Dog Hall of Fame when it opens later this summer, next to Emeril's and in front of Antojito's.

Hot Dog Hall of Fame

This walk-up, counter-service restaurant will offer a variety of hot dogs hailing from or inspired by cities across America. Diners can eat their dogs in stadium-style seats overlooking the restaurant.

Stadium seating

Here are the selections Universal made available to sample Tuesday night:

Chicago dog

Chicago — Vienna Beef hot dog on a poppy bun with neon relish, sport peppers, diced onions, tomatoes, celery salt and a pickle

Coney dog

Coney — Koegel dog with chili and chopped onions

Kansas City dog

Kansas City — Vienna Beef hot dog with pulled pork, coleslaw, pickles and barbeque sauce

Rocky dog

Rocky — Nathan's hot dog with sauerkraut, grilled peppers and onions

Sonoran dog

Sonoran — Vienna Beef hot dog with smoked bacon, pinto beans, grilled onions and peppers, and cheese

Brian preferred the Coney for its classic chili dog formula (or also because it was closest to the classic Pink's chili dog from his native L.A.), while I (being a good Northwestern grad) opted for the Chicago. Maybe be we just gravitate toward the familiar with a comfort food such as hot dogs.

Hot Dog Hall of Fame promises a variety of mustards to go along with your choices when it opens later this summer. (Construction workers appeared relatively close to having the exterior, at least, done.) No word on prices yet.

What's your favorite hot dog?

Replies (7)

June 18, 2014, 1:30 PM

I just finished lunch and yet, am salivating over those pictures. I'm most familiar with the Chicago variety, but I'd like to move out of that comfort zone. Maybe Coney and Rocky are up my alley.

Robert, were your wife and daughter not with you and Brian, if you don't mind my asking?

June 18, 2014, 1:51 PM

Brian is working as our Theme Park Insider videographer this summer, freeing me to focus on writing, Tweeting and a little bit of still photography.

June 20, 2014, 6:44 PM

You can be deported from Chicago if you put ketchup on a hot dog... I live here, they are crazy about that sort of thing.

June 20, 2014, 8:54 PM

Maybe that's the reason the Cubs haven't won the World Series in 106 years? (I hate ketchup on hot dogs too, but the curse has to be broken somehow)

Edited: June 21, 2014, 1:57 PM

We have an excellent local joint call the NY Dawg Pound. They use Nathan's all beef hot dogs and cover them with just about anything you want (bacon, egg, and cheese are my favorite toppings). They charge anywhere from $3.75 - $4.25 per dawg. Great stuff.

Schussler Creative is well known for building nicely themed restaurants that serve lousy food at a high cost (places like Rainforest Cafe, T-Rex, Backfire BBQ, and even Yak and Yeti to a certain extent - though Y&Y's counter service options are okay).

Robert and Brian, are the hot dogs at HDHOF any good? Are they worth the $6.50 - $7.50 cost (the menu is online now if you want to check prices)? You mentioned you had favorites, but were they so yummy you can't wait to get back and get another one? Also, will Schussler and CO. be a suitable replacement for the sorely missed Midway Grill that used to serve Nathan's Dogs in the Amity area of USO?

I gotta say, this new restaurant is the most intriguing to me (I really do love good hot dogs - though one can not eat them often - they're HORRIBLE for you), but I am very skeptical.

June 21, 2014, 8:37 PM

I'm just not enough of a hot dog fan to consider this among my top options at CityWalk. Brian liked the coney, but he said he'd prefer a Pink's chili dog if there'd been that option available. (Pink's is at Universal Studios Hollywood, BTW.)

Edited: June 22, 2014, 9:14 PM

Deep down inside I think I figured HDHOF was not gonna be a stand out. Thanks, Robert and Brian.

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