Santa's Little Helper from Frank (Austin, TX)
Kicking it off is this beauty from Frank in Austin, a hot dog and craft beer bar that also features live music. We've got a smoked venison sausage topped with grilled asparagus, cherry compote, roasted chestnuts, and an awesome-sounding cayenne eggnog aioli.
The Yule Log from Senate (Cincinnati, OH)
Definitely a contender for the craziest Christmas Dog, plus it actually sounds like these sweet vs. savory flavors really work. Chef Dan Wright's "Yule Log" starts off with a wood-grilled lamb sausage on brioche topped with cranberry chutney, mint aioli, and fig pudding fritters. Nice.
Christmas Goose from The Wurst Bar (Ypsilanti, Michigan)
Forget what I said about that last dog being the craziest. Chef Dan Klenotic at the Wurst Bar, a craft beer and sausage bar in Michigan that makes every single one of their sausages in-house, has come up with this epic creation loosely based on the legendary Chinese restaurant scene from A Christmas Story. The base is a fig-compote glazed housemade goose sausage on a brioche bun, topped with candied kumquats, duck-fat fried goose cracklings, and roasted apple fritters rolled in sugar and five spice, dollops of creme fraiche, and a few sprigs of arugula and frisee. Some serious next-level hot dog Christmas cheer.
Alaskan Reindeer Dog at Hot Diggity (Philadelphia, PA)
Next up is Hot Diggity's December hot dog special: an Alaskan reindeer dog topped with rum-butter roasted pears (which I could definitely order a side of), bacon and rosemary infused sauerkraut, roasted red pepper chutney, beet sticks and finished off with a dusting of grated almond "snow". Also on the menu this month is Diggity's delicious poutine.
Alaskan Reindeer Dog from M.A.'s Gourmet Dogs (Anchorage, AL)
M.A.'s in Anchorage is the original reindeer hot dog stand, around for something like 20 years at this point, and featured in PBS's 1999 A Hot Dog Program. Mike has all sorts of toppings available, but is famously the originator of the Coca-Cola carmelized onions and cream cheese combo also served by old buddy, Biker Jim in Denver, another great spot for a reindeer dog.
Indian Valley Reindeer Hot Dogs (Alaska)
These are the famous reindeer hot dogs from Alaska that I believe most of these folks are using. Hot Diggity in Philadelphia had these flown in from Alaska and had to drive down to the airport and pull them off a plane. As you can see they are mostly beef and pork with some reindeer meat mixed in, but you can definitely taste the gaminess of the reindeer, resulting in an interesting and really good dog.
Order from indianvalleymeats.com
The Partridge In A Pear Tree from The Red Hot (Tacoma, WA)
Next up is a smoked chicken and apple sausage from the Red Hot in Tacoma, Washington. Topped with spicy pear cider mustard, cranberry pear relish and egg nog cream cheese. Definitely feeling this egg nog thing, especially paired with something with some serious smoke and/or gaminess to it.
The Ho-Ho-Ho Dog from Hot Dog Mike (Little Rock, AR)
Everyone's favorite Little Rock Arkansas hot dog vendor, local celebrity Hot Dog Mike is rolling out his annual all-beef Christmas dog topped with black forest ham, garlic mashed potatoes (take a look at this guy's menu, I have no idea how he keeps this many ingredients on a cart??) and horseradish mustard.
Little Rock, Arkansas; check @hotdog_mike for location info.
Partridge in a Pear Tree from Good Dog (Chatanooga, TN)
Holiday Specials from Short Leash Hot Dogs (Phoenix, AZ)
Another really fancy one coming from a small cart, Short Leash starts off with a local pork and beef grilled dog wrapped in fresh naan bread and topped with fig jam, goat cheese, and roasted pecans. They're also the home of possibly the world's only Chanukah Dog: a hot dog topped with apricot, dates, and pistachio haroseth.
Short Leash Hot Dogs: Phoenix, AZ; shortleashhotdogs.com