Okay, so I know this is tricky. Some in the faux-meat camp like their substitutions to taste as close to the "real thing" as possible, while others are happy to use a totally dissimilar food as a stand-in. I am a born and raised Chicagoan, and hot dogs are a huge part of the culture! Since I haven't quite warmed up to the idea of using carrot sticks as hot dogs, this post is about my favorite "Not-dog", Lightlife!
I first tried these over Independence Day last year. Everyone was enjoying the typical fare of potato salad, beer, chips, and salad, accompanied by a gigantic burger or hot dog fresh off the grill. For those of us who aren't big fans of meat, we usually have to cobble together a dinner of potato chips and wilted iceberg. This clearly won't do!
I had originally been hunting for a different brand of dog, coming up unsuccessfully, when the really nice guy at Fry's steered me towards these, saying they were their top seller.
And oh my, am I glad he did!
These come in two varieties, a regular dog and a "jumbo" dog. They are super easy to prepare in the microwave, with a little bowl of water to steam them. I made mine with a steamed bun, vegan potato salad, and some chips. The dog has a little bit of a "fake meat" texture, but looks and smells like its pork/beef counterpart. The big question of course, is taste. It has been quite some time since I've enjoyed a regular hot dog (really, check out the ingredients!) but with a little ketchup, mustard, and dill relish, I was in heaven. Just don't tell my friends back home in the Chi ;)