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Restaurant Review - Mike's Hot Dog Haus

Haus of dog: Mike's Hot Dog Haus piles it on Hot dogs are at the top of the list (along with hamburgers) in the minds of Americans as the most patriotic food. That is, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. Yes, that's right, there is an official mouthpiece for the wiener. Less surprising is that the processed meat product is synonymous with the red, white and blue. And people all over the land zealously love their particular take on the meat in a bun.Mike's Chicago Hot Dog Haus proclaims superiority in the realm of the famed Chicago dog. The original Atlanta location is in Sandy Springs, but Mike's recently added to its line with a small, bustling location in Emory Village. The cramped space has a couple of tabletops, and a bar with stools. It's not a whiling-away-the-time but a get-your-food-and-go kinda place. The long and short: Unfamiliar with the Chicago-style dog, I wasn't sure if I could stomach the toppings piled on the plump Vienna Beef brand wiener: nearly fluorescent green pickle relish, mustard, sliced tomatoes, hot peppers, a pickle spear and a bit of celery salt ($1.99). I know, it sounds like a recipe for indigestion, but it turned out to be a good eat. Just watch out for those peppers, they creep up on you and make the freshly made lemonade a needed extinguisher. If you're really hungry, you can upsize the dog for an extra buck; it's not any longer, but it's a quarter pound of beef.Fried or fried: If you like your meat on a stick, corndogs are available ($1.79). They're juicy without being too greasy. Oddities like the pizza puff ($2.56) show up as well. Folded dough is stuffed with pizza toppings and fried. Oh, is it fried. As my friend bit into the piece, she was nearly scorched and then looked dismayed as the grease slowly drained out the bottom. Guess you should always stick to what a hot dog place does best. And it's not pizza. The onion rings ($1.79) are a different story. They're sweet but not too greasy and plenty crunchy.Knife and fork: Other than the Chicago-style, you can take a basic dog and pile on a whole slew of toppings: slaw, kraut, chili and Brunswick stew (each additional topping 50 cents). A chili-cheese dog is laden with lots of gooey fun at just $2.45. But if you're looking for an even messier treat and want to break out the fork, go for the Works ($3.69) with chili, cheese, kraut and that ultra-bright relish.Service: There's not much room to order here. The counter is tucked behind a couple of tables, so jostle your way to the guy taking the orders. Then take a seat or stand around and wait for someone to come out with your made-to-order meal.Hot dog history: Recently, the original Mike's location was officially proclaimed "the first national historic Vienna hot dog stand in the state of Georgia." Now try to swallow that one whole.