JJ’s Quiets America, Rolls Out a Taco Dog for Cinco De Mayo 2016
While researchers still discuss the plausibility of the Bermuda Triangle and scientists continue to discount the possibility of Bigfoot, a North Carolina-based Hot Dog King has finally settled one of life’s great debates: is a hot dog a sandwich? No, it’s actually a taco, at least for a week.
JJ’s Red Hots, Charlotte’s favorite Hot Dog and Sausage joint, has created a Taco Dog for the week of Cinco de Mayo 2016 as part of its nationally-recognized Dog of the Week program, which features specially designed and priced Hot Dogs beginning each Monday. The Taco Dog, a bacon-wrapped hot dog served in a grilled flour tortilla, topped with borracho beans, shredded cheese, charred tomatillo habanero salsa, house-made guacamole and chipotle cream, is available May 2 – 9 at all JJ’s locations for $4.99.
JJ’s founder Jonathan Luther insists the Hot Dog has been a taco all along: “There have been endless debates as to whether a Hot Dog is or isn’t a sandwich. We don’t even think that’s the right argument. I’ve been doing this a long time and it’s very clear to me that the Hot Dog is a taco. And to prove our point, we’re putting a hot dog in a taco shell.”
Luther has some supporters in high places. Well, kind of.
In late 2015, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council in a press release concluded that the hot dog is not a sandwich, saying, “Our verdict is … a hot dog is an exclamation of joy, a food, a verb describing one ‘showing off” and even an emoji. It is truly a category unto its own.” The NHDSC fell short of calling the hot dog a taco.
“Look at the damn thing,” said JJ’s director of marketing and brand development Brandy Newton while eyeing her new creation. “You have a wiener in a folded concoction topped with stuff. Does that look like a sandwich or anything but a taco to you? Case closed.”
The Taco Dog isn’t JJ’s first foray into the national spotlight. In 2014, when America couldn’t decide between Taco Bell and McDonald’s for breakfast, JJ’s settled it all with its Breakfast Dog, a hot dog topped with bacon, scrambled eggs and grated cheddar cheese. USA Today took notice and featured the brand in the middle of the breakfast war.
JJ’s is used to the attention, having been on an all-out winning streak since its inception nearly 4 years ago. The brand has raised national eyebrows for two years running by being honored by Fast Casual in its annual Top 100 Movers & Shakers list. JJ’s is the smallest chain to make the list and the only Hot Dog/Sausage concept to receive the honor. JJ’s also swept all of Charlotte’s Best Hot Dog awards in 2015 including the Charlotte Observer’s Readers’ Choice Best of Charlotte 2015 award for Best Hot Dog, And JJ’s ‘Char Heel’ dog won Charlotte Magazine’s BOB award for Best Southern Hot Dog. In addition to its world-class hot dogs, JJ’s is also famous for its hand-crafted artisanal sausages and house-made sides and toppings.
JJ’s Red Hots is the premier purveyor of “hand-crafted” char-grilled hot dogs and sausages with two locations and several portable vehicles in the Charlotte metropolitan area. The restaurant concept is built on solid, hardworking values and is modeled after venerable establishments like Ted’s in Buffalo, NY, Gene and Jude’s in Chicago, and many others. Still, JJ’s is a true American original featuring house-made, scratch prepared sides and toppings served alongside time tested, revered American brands like Weber’s Mustard, Martin’s Rolls, and Coca-Cola. Perhaps most proudly, JJ’s Red Hots serves smokehouse hot dogs from Sahlen’s Meat Packing Company in Buffalo, NY. Sahlen’s is a 146 year-old company that remains family owned and operated, and makes, in our opinion, the best hot dogs in the world.