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15 of the Craziest Hot Dog Toppings Entered in Philadelphia Contest

This year for National Hot Dog Month, Philadelphia's South Street / Headhouse Square district held its very first annual week-long Dog Days Of Summer celebration, which included a hot dog topping contest where 15 contestants, chosen from a pool of more than 30, presented their wild creations. A Shakshuka Dog, an Elvis Dog, an Icelandic-inspired one with fried onions, and many more.

The Sabrett's dogs and Liscio's rolls were pouring out of the kitchen of Hot Diggity then topped on a prep table set up next to the judges.

Elvis Dog

Each dog was judged on the below parameters by a panel of Philadelphia hot dog aficionados including O.G. Philly hot dog guru Holly Moore, South Philly Taproom / Scott Dogs chef Scott Schroeder, Hot Diggity chef-owwner Keith Garebedian (running inside between tastings to throw more dogs on the grill for the 40-deep line also inside the restaurant, possibly the busiest Diggity's ever been) and yours truly, SE hot dog columnist Hawk Krall.

Overall the dogs were much better than we expected, half of which I'd happily order from Hot Diggity's menu (the first place winner goes on as a special for the month of August). There were some wild cards like the Ambrosia Salad dog, beautiful but really strange, and a few that sounded crazy but actually worked, like the harissa-braised-lentil-chili winner that surprised all of us.

The Winners

First Place: The Marrakech by Jason Bartlett. Ham hock and harissa braised lentil chili, red cabbage and crispy onion rings.

Second Place: Kimchi dog by Hahri Shin. Young radish Kimchi and paper thin cucumber pickles.

Third Place: Un Chien Andalou by Nancy Lowell. Hot dog topped with Andalusian Gazpacho Salad.

See all 15 entries in the Hot Dog Toppings Contest >>

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