Steve's Snappin' Dogs makes a to-die-for green chili veggie dog

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There are times when nothing hits the spot -- nothing will do -- but a hot dog. As we contended when we researched the best veggie hot dog you'll ever put in your mouth, nobody does a veggie hot dog like LightLife's Smart Dogs brand. And that's exactly what you'll find at Steve's Snappin' Dogs, 3525 East Colfax Avenue.

Steve's set-up is reminiscent of a small-town hot-dog/burger stand, with a counter below the giant menu on the wall, a bar and stools and a couple of small tables in the main room; there's also an enclosed patio outside with plenty of big tables for larger parties with kids.

The Vegetarian Dog, $3.85 (pictured) was the obvious first choice -- a Smart Dog with vegetarian green chili and cheddar jack cheese, served up in a plastic green basket. Other options include raw or grilled onions and spicy or yellow mustard.

Smart Dogs aren't gluten-free, but they are vegan, and Steve's really does manage to cook them so they snap in the mouth. They're split down the middle and grilled, then topped with whatever you want; sauerkraut, relish, tomato, peppers, coleslaw and jalapenos are just a few of the fixings. Any of Steve's specialty dogs can be replaced with a Smart Dog, and Steve's also offers a grilled cheese and veggie burger if you're not feeling the dogs one day.

Sides include fries, onion rings, Frito pie (which you can get made with veggie green chili), green beans, carrot sticks and coleslaw. And you can even wash down your dog with beer or wine -- all for less than $10.

See a full menu at www.stevessnappindogs.com.

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