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story.lead_photo.caption Wednesday was National Hot Dog Day. This loaded dog is from Reggie's Burgers, Dogs & Fries, with two locations in Texarkana. It is a staple of their menu. But they are not alone in championing this singular staple. The hot dog has a long history as a summertime favorite. Photo by Junius Stone / Texarkana Gazette.

TEXARKANA — National Hot Dog Day has been served once again, with Americans celebrating one of the classic sandwiches and one of the staples of summer grills.

This year, the day was observed Wednesday. It was first introduced in 1991 by the North American Meat Institute. It is a holiday also promoted by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, which estimates Americans spent more than $7.68 billion on supermarket hot dogs and sausages last year alone.

The hot dog, which can be prepared in many different ways, including grilled, steamed, boiled and fried, also can be enhanced with a tremendous range of toppings, from mustard and ketchup, to cheese (nacho, melted and more), onions, peppers, and even more exotic options like kimchi, the Korean fermented cabbage. The possibilities are nearly endless. As a result, this favorite (sandwich or not? The debate continues) remains in high demand.

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Razordogs, one of the new players in Texarkana's food scene, operating a stand at Crossties in downtown Texarkana. Brandon Barnett, owner, says the love is what makes it last.

"Because each Razordog is made with love and it gives us the nostalgia of our childhood," he said. "Hot dogs are so popular because you can make them however you like, you can keep it classic and simple or extravagant and complex. The staying power is the good flavor and it's quick!"

Another eatery that features the hot dog prominently on their menu is Reggie's Burgers, Dogs & Fries.

"Our dogs are Certified Angus Beef, one of the highest quality brands of hot dogs," said John Shane Kennedy, owner of the original location and the Reggie's brand. His brother, Paul, owns the State Line location.

"We deep fry our hot dogs, the only place I know of in Texarkana that does that," he said. "Our huge range of toppings tops things off."

Among the other places in Texarkana that serve hot dogs include Olde Tyme Burger Shoppe and of course, Sonic.

It doesn't take Hot Dog Day to remind us how popular the hot dog is in the country.

It just takes a hot dog.

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