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Specialty hot dogs now call Highland home

Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 02:08

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Photo By Nathanael Packard | Staff

Iyman Rasoul, owner of Blues City Dogs, hopes that his new restaurant will be the hot dog spot that Memphis needs. Rasoul aims to create an environment where Memphians feel at home.

Blues City Hot Dogs is a well-lit, cozy space run by U of M alum Iyman Rasoul.  The sounds of the blues coming from speakers make the shop’s name rather fitting, as does the memorabilia lining the left wall. Beyond that, it’s just Memphis: the flavors, the style — all wrapped in a bun.

Rasoul graduated in 2005 with a sociology degree and opened up Blues City Hot Dog in June 2013 with his brother Allen, because, according to him, everybody loves hot dogs.

“We all grew up with them,” Rasoul, 32, said. “There are a few places around that serve hot dogs, but most don’t specialize like we do.”

In his black rubber gloves, he looks more like a tattoo artist than a hot dog extraordinaire, but his tasty creations are already making U of M students’ mouths water. Students who purchase a hot dog and show their student ID will get free chips and a drink starting Sept. 1.

The menu consists of about 12 different specialty dogs, catering to all walks of life including vegetarian, and an assortment of build-your-own menu items with prices ranging from four to six dollars.

Cali Thompson, an employee at Blues City Hot Dog, said she’s tried a lot of the dogs and even made her own a couple times.

“I’ve tried the buffalo, the St. Jude, the Backyard, the Elvis,” Thompson said. “I’m surprised I haven’t gained like 20 pounds working here.”

All dogs are made with a quarter pound of Nathan’s beef, a brand that hails from Coney Island.  A trip to the official website, NathansFamous.com, tells all that’s needed about the brand itself, and a trip to Blues City proves the superiority in quality.

Rasoul’s personal favorite is the Southwestern dog topped with guacamole, sour cream, spicy mustard, jalapeños, crushed Fritos and a bit of dry ru

The Blues City dog — a popular menu item — is prepared with Memphis dry rub, barbecue sauce, an option of pulled pork or chicken and cole slaw all served on either a traditional or a pretzel bun.

Rasoul and his brother, in true Tiger fashion, also support St. Jude with their hot dogs.

Tara Lewis, a senior, stopped into the shop for lunch and ordered the St. Jude Dog. One dollar from each St. Jude Dog goes to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

“I really like hot dogs,” Lewis said. “I’m happy, someone else is happy. A good deed is done.”

Right now, the shop is only open until 2 p.m., but, starting Sept. 1, their hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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