You'll find them all at East Coast Dog in Hartford: Mucke's Hummel, Little Rhody, Boston Pearl Original, Martin Rosol and Hebrew National.
But you might not recognize these dogs at the city's newest frankfurter joint at the corner of Asylum and Ann Uccello streets. The chef has gotten a little carried away, in a good way.
For those looking for a plain dog or something a bit more creative, partners Mike Brown and Mike Walker have created a weiner mecca with a bonus.
Not only can you nosh on a Burger Dog or a Federal Hill during lunch or dinner or before or after an XL Center concert or UConn game, you can dance and socialize at its after-dark companion space: The Hartford Room.
The partners agree that it's the best of both worlds.
"We saw this explosion of burger chains around the area and saw a potential for a hot dog place along the same idea," said Brown, who once worked at the former Bar With No Name in Hartford and more recently owned the Vegas Boulevard Bar in Hartford's West End. "Especially in this economy, people are looking for a good food at a good price and what's better than hot dogs," said Brown, who teamed up with Walker, a manager at the build-your-own-burger Counter Burger in West Hartford.
The former Tapas space in downtown Hartford was perfect when it came to size and location, but then the two added something more, a nightclub featuring live music.
"What we are doing is different," said Brown about the club side that faces Asylum and the dog shop that faces the Ann Uccello Street side. While East Coast Dog is open daily and into the wee hours of the morning for those looking for food after the downtown nightspots close, The Hartford Club is open, featuring live music and a bar.
"We wanted to create a place for the music scene to perform," said Walker. "A place for all kinds of music, fun, improvisational rock and roll, jazz, a place for bands to jam."
But back to the main event, those hot dogs.
The place is already a hit with the XL crowd looking for a quick, economical way to get something to eat before and after events, as well as the lunchtime crowd trying to grab a quick lunch or bring back take-out to the crew at the office.
And though you can get a plain dog with the standard mustard, relish and/or ketchup, that is so ho-hum in this place where the sky is the limit when it comes to enhancing this all-American food.
There is the Ruben Dog, topped with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing; and the New Yorker, a kosher dog topped with NYC Sabrett onion sauce , kraut and mustard. The Johnny Walker is a fried dog with bacon, sauerkraut and pickled jalapenos; and the "Hawaii 5-0" is a Mucke's frankfurter wrapped in bacon and topped with teriyaki glaze, pineapple and diced onions. To make it all perfect, there are the fresh hot dog rolls from Manchester's Stranos Bakery.
The choices get really creative when it comes to some of the specialty options including the W.T.F., a hot dog wrapped in fresh ground beef, cheddar cheese and bacon and then deep-fried. The Dank Frank is a 22-inch Mucke or 1/2 pound Pearl dog, deep fried and topped with bacon, chile, cheddar cheese, Grandpa Norman's sauerkraut, Sabrett onion, horse radish and mustard.
Then there is the Burger Dog, a 1/4 pound of fresh ground beef rolled and grilled and served in a hot dog with toppings.
"We see this as a crest of a wave. We think it is part of a new trend," he says, noting the proliferation of burger places that are now on the wane. "We won't be surprised to see other people jump on the idea."
Decor in the restaurant dining room is simple and sparse but more than enough for those who want to grab a quick bite. The club side includes a couple of tables, a sitting area, a platform for the performing bands and the bar. Music offered Wednedays to Sundays and the restaurant stays open beyond closing hours for hungry patrons.
Besides hot dogs, East Coast dog also serves menu items including grilled cheese, chicken tenders, seasoned fries, Boston baked beans and onion rings. For vegans, there is the Smart Dog, a soy protein link.
Hot dog prices range from $3 for a plain dog to $14 for the Dank Frank. Prices for most of the other hot dog choices average from $4 to $5.
>>East Coast Dog is open Monday to Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 a.m.; and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. The place does open earlier on Saturday and Sundays if there is an event at the XL Center. Information: 855-486-5399 or eastcoastdog.net.