If you had asked me a few months back which Chicago chef should start a line of hot dogs, I would have said Dominique Leach. As the co-owner of Lexington Betty Smokehouse, she has the meat-cooking chops and brings a refined sensibility from her time at places like Spiaggia. So when Leach launched wagyu steak dogs with Michigan’s Vander Farmers in February, I scooped them up. I can confirm that the smoky sausages are tasty grilled and dressed with mustard and onions, but Leach doesn’t stop there. “I’ve made jambalaya and breakfast sandwiches and mixed them with scrambled eggs,” she says. At her Pullman restaurant, she serves them three ways: dragged through the garden; with pico de gallo, avocado crema, and pickled jalapeño; and with spicy barbecue sauce. “People in Chicago love hot dogs,” she says, “and I’m excited to give them something elevated.” $15.99 at Mariano’s or lexingtonbetty.square.site