Did you know that New Yorkers love hot dogs so much that they spend over $100 million a year consuming them? That’s what Padma Lakshmi (above, center) told us while introducing the “quickfire” challenge at the start of the second episode of Top Chef last week. I take it this figure includes store-bought hot dogs as well as hot dogs bought in restaurants, stands, and ballparks. An NPR story from May 2007 cited the $100 million dollar figure, but wasn’t any more specific.

Who has the best hot dogs in the city? According to Top Chef, one of the contenders would be the world-famous Dominicks and D’Angelo’s hot dog stand in Queens,” and they brought out Angelina D’Angelo (above, right) to set the standard against which the fifteen remaining chefs would compete. According to a 2005 New York Times article, D’Angelo “serves a terrific steamed natural-casing Sabrett with saut