KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — There is a spot between Knoxville and Oak Ridge where a hot dog isn't just another sausage on a bun. At this restaurant, hungry customers can enjoy scallions, cheese, bacon, chili and fried potatoes — a full three-course meal in a hot dog bun.
For that reason and others, it's getting national recognition as one of the best places to get an All-American favorite meal.
If you're not paying attention, you'll drive right by D&B Hot Dogs and Ice Cream off Oak Ridge Highway in Solway.
But look closely and you'll see a row of yellow hot dog flags waving hard to get your attention.
"It's not just your standard, 'Oh, let's go to a gas station and get a chili hot dog.' We put a lot more into it than that," said manager Kendra Kidd.
Since opening in 2014, D&B's has become the go to lunch spot between Knoxville and Oak Ridge, for those who know where to find it.
"Word of mouth is really the way to go," said Kidd. "You bring people in here, you get them hooked immediately and then you tell them 'hey go out and tell your friends.'"
Kidd started crafting hot dogs four years ago and has been hooked ever since.
"You have to make sure that every time you do it you do it the right way, and you gotta have passion for it," she said. "You can't just slap something together."
It's that passion and a few other things that's giving these dogs national attention.
"The food speaks for itself," said co-owner Daniel Price, the "D" in D&B.
He opened the shop seven years ago with the goal of becoming the place people go to for the perfect hot dog.
"We use a top sliced bun and we grill each side of it. Quality all-beef hot dogs. And the main thing is the homemade chili recipe and the slaw, that's what makes everything come together," said Price.
Their top dog is, in fact, the chili slaw mustard onion dog.
All their dogs come together so well that the restaurant was named the best hot dog restaurant in Tennessee.
They've held this distinction before.
In 2018, Travel and Leisure plucked them as the best hot dog restaurant in Tennessee.
This year, MSN Lifestyle and I Love Food said the same thing.
Yelp even named D&B one of the top 25 best hot dog joints in the USA and Canada.
"We put a lot of love into it," said Kidd.
Whether you like your hot dog with chili, bacon, mustard, pickles, jalapenos, or truly any topping you can dream of, D&B will make it happen.
"I've put peanut butter on a hot dog before. People love it," said Kidd. "Whatever they want, we'll put the kitchen sink on there."
Just know that award winning hot dog was made special just for you.
"It's not just a hot dog, it's more than that," said Kidd.