Best Hot Dog

St. Louis BBQ Bacon Dog

It may seem like a cheat to award Best Hot Dog to a vendor at Busch Stadium, a veritable clearinghouse of cased meats. But understand that the St. Louis BBQ Bacon Dog is no ordinary frankfurter: It is nothing short of a perfect marriage between culinary fusion and American gustatory excess. As can be gleaned from its name, the BBQ Bacon Dog begins as a hot dog wrapped in bacon, cooked until the bacon yields with a satisfying crunch. But that's only the start. One side of the bun is lined with baked beans, the other, with lengthwise slices of dill pickle. The dog itself is topped with sweet barbecue sauce, spicy brown mustard, tangy pico de gallo and crunchy fried onions. Excessive? Yes. A knife-and-fork operation? Almost certainly. An unforgettable taste explosion? Youbetcha!

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