If you don't know where you are in the U.S., buying a local hot dog might help you find out. Cities from Chicago to New York each put their own stamp on the uniquely American food. Fortunately, you don’t need to get lost on a hitchhiking tour of the country to experience them all. For their menu of signature dogs, the grill masters at Mad Dogs Hot Dogs assembled more than 20 of their favorites from across the nation. They add an extra kick to the Seattle Splitter with jalapenos and BBQ sauce, while crowning the Arkansas Turkey Dog with mozzarella and balsamic dressing.
Of course, they also customize their franks for those not bound to geographical formulas. To create their own meal, customers begin by selecting a dog from 13 options, including bacon-wrapped dogs and the foot-long, half-pound "Monster." Then, they choose from 20 complementary toppings, such as spicy mustard and neon relish, before getting really adventurous with 21 additional toppings that include roast beef and cream cheese.
The eclectic dishes of Venice's downtown restaurant scene await taste buds on The Taste of Venice, a three-hour tour celebrating the town's considerable gastronomic, musical, and artistic resources. Though billed as a tour, the event takes place in a three-block stretch of downtown Venice, so attendees can maintain a leisurely pace as they sample the epicurean offerings of the area's finest gourmands. Each locally owned venue offers two portions of their menu, and chefs make themselves available to share their cooking methods so guests don't waste time tearing apart ravioli in search of hidden secrets. As they treat their palates, spectators also take in music, art, and the area's Italian Renaissance-style architecture.
Behind their teppanyaki grilling stations, chefs at Kumo Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi flip lobster tails, filet mignon, and shrimp through the air as diners look on. A short distance away from the hibachi flames, chefs at the sushi bar craft fresh hand rolls based on local catches, such as the cape coral maki with salmon, tuna, and avocado, and the Top of the World roll with yellowtail, scallion, and cucumber. Staffers pour hot and cold sake and imported beer for patrons to quaff when not digging into a noodle bowl. The dining area?s decor teems with Asian accents such as bamboo shoots, a zen-garden-inspired rock wall, and a zen-garden-inspired ball pit.