PLATTSBURGH — Whether you bury your onions, take it with or without mustard, believe it migrated from the Midwest or elsewhere, Plattsburgh Town Supervisor Michael Cashman says there is no denying the Michigan's place in regional culture. 

"Michigans have been popular as a local staple here in Plattsburgh for well over 90 years. No matter where it started, the Michigan is buried in the culture of Plattsburgh, pun intended." 


The Plattsburgh Town Board will tonight vote to declare July as Michigan Month. 

The resolution proclaims the Town of Plattsburgh "home of the Michigan," saying the municipality has the highest concentration of the regional delicacy, and likens the dog, served in its split-top bun with specially seasoned meat sauce, to Rochester's (Garbage) plates, Coney Island's Coney dog and Buffalo's wings.

That, coupled with National Hot Dog Day on July 22 and more than 150 million dogs consumed across the nation on Independence Day, the resolution states, "we thought that this would be very fitting." 

Noting the dog's mysterious origin and the North Country's myriad of family recipes, the town supervisor, who takes his Michigan buried and with mustard, admitted he didn't have a favorite origin story. 

"I think that's the fun of it. We really like to tell stories and we really like to embrace our culture here. That's part of it, sharing the stories, sharing the recipes — even though some people become very guarded with their recipes, too. People might give you about 80% of the recipe and then that last 20%, they'll be like, 'Well, Grandma will kill me if I give you that last 20%.'"  

Cashman hoped this initiative, and future ones, would shine a light on the region and give outsiders one more reason to visit. 


To kick off the celebration, which the town hopes will grow annually, the municipality created the "2021 Michigan Passport." 

The town partnered with four, town-based Michigan stops: Gus' Red Hots, Ronnie's Michigans, Clare & Carl's Hot Dog Stand and McSweeney's Red Hots (all locations).

Carrying their brochure-like passport, locals and visitors alike can visit each dog stop, order the regional treat and ask the servers to stamp their pamphlet. 

The first 25 to return their passport to the Town Hall on Banker Road with stamps from all four eateries will receive a t-shirt. All participants will receive a free Michigan sticker. 

Passports are available at the Town Hall, the North Country Chamber of Commerce and at participating restaurants

Asked why eateries located outside Town of Plattsburgh bounds were not included, Cashman said, "We wanted to work with restaurants that were within our municipality that we knew we could get in contact with very simply and put one foot in front of the other. The other part of that was, our Town Board is identifying the town as the 'Home of the Michigan.' We have four primary locations right here. We didn't want to speak for another community." 


For those who haven't tried the dog or who already have their favorite spot, the town supervisor believed the Michigan Passport would be reason enough to give the delicacy and the various places to get them a try. 

"I always tell people, 'Try it.' They're so different that I never want to get into the position where we're trying to compare say Clare and Carl's to McSweeneys to Gus' to Ronnie's," Cashman said. "The recipes are different and people build, almost, that cult following for their favorite locations. 

"I guarantee that if people lean in and try it — and if they are meat lovers — they'll fall in love with one of the stands and they'll become a regular." 

Email McKenzie Delisle:

Twitter: @McKenzieDelisle

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