Seattle-Styled Hot Dog

Seattle Hot Dog

Hot dogs inspired by Seattle's unique flavor

A Seattle Dog, also known as a Seattle-style hot dog, is a hot dog served in a bun that is generously spread with cream cheese. These hot dogs are commonly found in Seattle, being sold from food carts, particularly outside stadiums during game days and as a late-night snack near the city's music venues.

The historical background of the Seattle-style hot dog can be traced back to its origins.

The creation of the Seattle-style hot dog dates back to 1989 when Hadley Long, a vegetarian food vendor from Ohio, came up with the idea in the Pioneer Square neighborhood. Long operated a bagel cart on the sidewalk between the Central Saloon and J&M Cafe and Cardroom. Initially, Long only served vegetarian bagels and toppings from his cart, but he eventually gave in to the demand for meat and started adding hot dogs to his menu. For the buns, Long sourced bialy-style buns from the Bagel Deli on Capitol Hill. He would spread cream cheese on both sides of the bun before placing the hot dog, and he named this new creation "Hadley's Bagel Dogs".

Seattle Dogs gained popularity in bars and music venues during the grunge movement of the 1990s. In 1999, The Stranger gave a positive review to the hot dog stand outside The Showbox, which appears to be the first time local media mentioned cream cheese hot dogs.

Seattle-style hot dogs are now commonly found being sold at bars and the nearby street vendors at nighttime, they can be found at or near the various sporting venues in the city. According to a vendor interviewed by Seattle Weekly, the popularity of the hot dogs skyrocketed during the Seattle Mariners' impressive 116-46 season in 2001, drawing in large crowds to the stands outside Safeco Field.

A cart started selling Seattle-style hot dogs outside Comcast Arena in Everett, Washington in 2009. The Hit it Here Cafe inside Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners, began serving Seattle Dogs during the 2010 season.

The Deep Dive bar at the Amazon Spheres, overseen by renowned Seattle chef Renee Erickson, offers a specialty hot dog priced at $18. This unique version of the Seattle Dog features a combination of whipped cream cheese, pickled jalapeños, pickled red onions, and pink salmon roe caviar. It has gained recognition and even won a James Beard Award.

Preparing the Seattle-Style Hot Dog

To prepare the iconic Seattle-style hot dog, certain steps need to be followed.

The usual cooking method for the meat is grilling, while the hoagie roll or bun is commonly toasted.

Cream cheese is a defining element of the Seattle-style hot dog, with vendors often opting for pistol-grip sauce dispensers to conveniently add the rich cream cheese. The first person to introduce this practice, according to the owner of Dante's Inferno Dogs, was him.

Grilled onions are a widely popular addition to Seattle-style hot dogs, according to Serious Eats. Other common toppings include jalapeños, various peppers, sauerkraut or grilled cabbage, and scallions. Mustard (American yellow or spicy brown), barbecue sauce, and Sriracha sauce are favored condiments, while ketchup is used less frequently.

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