If you are from Maryland chances are you've heard of Ann's Dari-Creme. It's a "lovely" little place in Glen Burnie right off of route 2 south of Baltimore. My parents used to take me to Ann's when we lived an hour away in my youth! One day my friends at Ball Park asked me to come up with a new Ball Park hotdog recipe. Seemed like a fun idea but I decided to take it one step further. Rather than come up with something new why not recreate a classic? A local classic, that is. Here's how to make a grilled version of the Ann's foot long double dog.
There is one thing you need to know if you go to Ann's. You don't get ketchup on your hotdog. There is a sign on the wall that says that a loaded hotdog consists of chili, mustard and onions. That's it. I would never have the nerve to ask for anything more, or less. Ann's uses a type of sub roll rather than a classic hotdog roll. Any type of soft sub roll with cornmeal or flour still on the bottom is ideal. Dice some white onions, get some hotdog chili, and some mustard.
We all know how to grill hotdogs, right? Simple medium heat is all you need. Grill those dogs directly over the coals. I use a small aluminum tin to hold and heat the cooked hotdog chili sauce.
You have to keep your roll warm, so I wrapped it in foil and tossed it on the grill.
For the assembly take two hotdogs and put them on the sub roll, drizzle some mustard and add the onions. Load the doubledog with chili sauce and there you have it. This was really tasty and was one of the best chili dogs I've ever had. This has tailgate potential for sure. Most people do simple hotdogs but doing a "doubledog" is a wonderful tailgate idea.
Now what good is a copycat recipe if you don't go and compare it to the real thing!?? No one ever said blogging is easy! I got myself in the car and drove 10 min down the street to Ann's. The place looks identical to what I remember when I had my first hotdog there about 25 years ago.
Every time I see Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on the Food Network I wonder why they haven't been to Ann's yet. Ann's is classic and would fit perfectly on that show.
In "Soup Nazi" like style I walk to the counter and carefully order, "Full Doubledog with everything... and fries." Then I move to the right. The lady behind the counter glared at me for about 2 seconds and then started taking orders from all the people behind me. This lady must have one heck of a memory because she took about 6 orders after me, turned around and started working and within 10 minutes a small bag with my double dog and fries magically appeared. I paid, tipped and left.
The whole car ride home was a magical experience with the inside of my car taking in all the odors of the Ann's foot long hotdog. My wife will be thrilled I'm sure.
The moment of truth: Ann's kicked my hotdog's ass. Wow! What an amazing hotdog. Their chili sauce was better than mine, their roll was better than mine and the overall experience was better with Ann's. One crucial thing that Ann's does differently is that they fry their hotdogs. I wasn't about to set up my fryer and toss my Ball Parks in. I figured I'd grill them. Let's just say that frying a hotdog is pretty amazing!
I was very hard on my copycat Ann's footlong recipe in this post but the truth is that Ann's is just unique and nothing can compare. The taste and smell are ingrained into my head and not even Bobby Flay could beat them. Hmm, I'd like to see that actually. Anyway, I'm fully aware that 99% of Grilling24x7 readers will never even be 100 miles away from Ann's. If you don't think you'll ever make it to Ann's give this copycat double dog recipe a try! Just make sure you follow the rules: two hot dogs, chili sauce, onions and mustard only! Nothing more!