Continuing the debate of whether a hot dog is a sandwich or a category all its own, I offer up the pic below. It is, as you can see with your own eyes, a hot dog stand on Alaska Way, along the shoreline of Puget Sound in downtown Seattle.
The menu items that you can see listed, although probably can’t read through the open service window, are all hot dogs or ethnic sausages. Lots of toppings. Drinks — including hot cider in winter. Nothing that I would remotely call “a sandwich”.
My own informal poll of blog readers suggests to me that this is a coastal v. middle of the country thing. Readers on either coast seemed to think that a hot dog is a category all its own. Readers in places like Minneapolis think a hot dog is a subcategory of sandwich. 🙂
Regionalisms matter. They determine whether you ask for “a pop” or a “soda”. They determine whether you go to the “cellar” or “the basement”. They determine whether you’ve had a pie milk shake [Iowa} or poutine [Seattle, but originally Canada].
All of this is, of course, tongue-in-cheek. Whether you call a hot dog a hot dog or a sandwich hardly matters, in the total scheme of things. But if you visit me in Seattle and ask if we can have lunch at a great sandwich place, I have a number of places in mind. If you ask for a great hot dog, I’ll take you here. 🙂