I was a bit skeptical of Hot Diggity's February special, as I am of many reimagined, fancied-up regional hot dogs. Messing with something like the New Jersey Italian Hot Dog or "NJIHD" —a north Jersey thing, land of the most hard-core hot dog purists in the country—is dangerous. Jersey-style pizza bread made by an organic artisan pizza place in Philadelphia? But guess what? It works.
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Two years ago when we first featured Thanksgiving hot dogs they were few and far between. But with the new wave of modern hot dog restaurants—often run by former fine-dining chefs eager to experiment—Thanksgiving has become a serious hot dog holiday. Check out this slideshow for Thanksgiving-themed hot dogs ranging from elegant and creative to straight up ridiculous.
Yet another addition to the growing roster of Philadelphia hot dog joints, this one features a menu illustrated by yours truly. Chef Keith Garabedian, who lives in South Jersey and has worked in New York including a stint at Tom Colicchio's Craftbar, contacted me a year ago about his plans to open Hot Diggity in Philadelphia. Just last weekend, they opened with a menu of 10 different regional hot dogs.