In New York City, the natural-casing all-beef hot dogs served at Katz’s Delicatessen, Gray’s Papaya, Papaya King, Papaya Dog and any Sabrett cart are all made by Sabrett’s parent company, Marathon Enterprises, Inc. of East Rutherford, New Jersey. Nathan’s hot dogs, which are all-beef and come in both natural-casing and skinless, were also made by Marathon until several years ago. Local kosher brands—which are not permitted natural casings—include Hebrew National, Empire National. The usual condiments are mustard and sauerkraut, with optional sweet onions in a tomato based sauce invented by Alan Geisler, usually made by Sabrett. Hot dogs are available on street corners as well as at delicatessens. New York street vendors generally store their unsold dogs in warm-water baths, giving rise to the semi-affectionate moniker “dirty water dog.” Bagel dogs are also sold in Manhattan.
The white hot or “porker” is a variation on the hot dog found in the upstate area. It is composed of some combination of uncured and unsmoked pork, beef, and veal; it is believed that the lack of smoking or curing allows the meat to retain a naturally white colour. White hots are almost exclusively eaten with mustard, specifically spicy brown, and other spices, and often include a dairy component such as nonfat dry milk.
In the Capital District surrounding Albany, smaller-than-usual wieners are served with a spicy meat sauce; the Capital District style is quite similar to the New York System or Hot Wieners of Rhode Island. Prominent Capital District hot dog restaurants include Famous Lunch in Troy and Gus’s in Watervliet. In the mid-twentieth century, hot dog purveyors reportedly would carry the dogs to the table lined up on their bare forearms, giving rise to the term “the Hairy Arm”; today, health codes prohibit this practice.
Buffalo, Rochester and Western New York state are known for charcoal-broiled hot dogs, cooked over real hardwood charcoal. Prominent purveyors include Ted’s and Louie’s. The popular regional brands are Zweigle’s, Sahlen’s and Wardynski’s.