By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Aug 17, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Considering Milwaukee's German and Polish and Italian heritage – among others, of course – I've always been surprised at how little the hot dog seemed to rule in Brew City.

When I arrived here in the 1980s, I left New York, where I was raised on the "dirty water dog" from street vendors, the hot dog knish (which probably isn't even really a knish at all) and Nathan's in Coney Island. Mustard and sauerkraut was all I needed – and all I need now – to make it perfect.

The all-beef Kosher dogs you get in New York have a great snap and a premium flavor, for the most part.

Things have changed and now there are hot dog carts Downtown and on the East Side and more places like The Dogg Haus to satisfy this yen.

The other day I finally checked out Dr. Dawg in the Glendale Market, 6969 N. Port Washington Rd., and an hour later spied a billboard for another location in Manitowoc.

Though the sparkling place boasts its Chicago dogs – an overblown concoction for which I've never gained a taste (why even bother with the dog beneath all that stuff?) – Dr. Dawg is co-owned by a New Jersey family.

I tried my perfect dog – repeat after me: mustard and sauerkraut, mustard and sauerkraut – and it was yummy (with a side of fries that could have come out of the oil a little sooner). I'd stop short of calling it a frankfurter revelation, but that's OK because those are rare.

I got the standard $2.99 version of the 100 percent beef dawg ($4.49 with fries), though one can also go long and get a foot-long for $5.49.

The regular, however, was long on taste and had a bit of skin snap and a nice poppy seed bun.

Though Dr. Dawg also has Italian beef, chili dogs, Chicago dogs and sausages made of duck and of veggies – among other menu options – there is no knish ... yet. I'm hoping that Jersey influence will head down that road, though.

In the meantime, I'll take a frank with, well, you know what ...

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.