Monday, August 07, 2006

Food Of The Gods... Hot dogs!

Since there's no game tonight I figured that i'd discuss one of my other true passions. Yup, i'm talking about those nitrate-laden intestine-wrapped bunch of ground-up unmentionables, the glorious Hot Dog. Amen.
My trip to Maine this weekend (my real home regardless of where i've lived since I actually resided there) yielded a revelatory revisiting of an incomparable Maine red. On our way out of town, my lovely wife Meg and I stopped in at the Houston-Brooks auction house to bid some folks adieu. The Megster felt a bit peckish and decided to snag a grilled-to-order aforementioned weenie. She offered me a bite as we were pulling away... and I nearly went off the road. That was some good, boys, let me tell you. I'm pissed now that I didn't turn around and go back in to ask what brand they were between mouthfuls of two or three more. I'd forgotten how fantastic they are! (I know there are several brands - Jordan's and Kirschner come to mind but i'm sure there are others - so one of you bastards has to fill me in as to what my ass is gonna grab the next chance I get.) Since i'm one of those guys who routinely goes 20 miles out of his way solely to grab a good dog, this was one of the more pleasantly unexpected hot dog experiences i've had lately.
Anyway, it got me to thinking about the best dogs i've had...
The late, lamented Barney's of Waterville has to be very near the top, what with their onions lightly grilled in bacon fat... drool, drool. (The currently operating "Bolley's" just down the street fills in as a fine substitute, however.)
"Coney Island Hot Dogs" in Worcester, Ma. - complete with a huge neon sign that has been around for nearly the 70+ years the place has - pretty much noursished me the 4 years I went to school there. While it's about the only reason I'd willingly cross the city line now, i've done so countless times.
"Caswell's Seafood" in Weymouth, Ma. makes my current local favorite, a foot-long gem with a perfectly toasted buttery bun. Throw some cheese on there, i'm nearly aroused.
"AA's Kitchen" (I've been known to make some killer dogs myself so I had to throw that in.)
Last but not least... A Fenway Frank at it's namesake. Sure it's rather pedestrian and ridiculously expensive but could there possibly be a more satisfying hot dog experience than that? The green of the wall contrasted with that of the grass, the noise, the smells, the cold lite beer... and a Fenway Frank as you settle in to watch the first pitch. Nearly perfect.

And you?


LittleCuz said...

Not that big a hot dog fan to tell you the truth. I like the dog, but find it less than a religious experience. For me it has to be the natural casing though, like the iconic "red dog" you talk so euphorically about AA. I must say the all time fav is the "Red Hot", it may technically be a sausage, but with it being the same color and consistancy of the Maine Red I think of it as a spicy red dog rather than sausage.

The bun grilled with butter makes the dog experience all that much more enjoyable.

Zebster said...

These days I rarely eat a dog outside the house but there are some very good portable vendors all over as well, especially in Portland. I suspect what you had were Jordans. Kayams makes reds too but they're a little mushier, so you can tell the difference.
I know this goes against being a Mainer but in the last several years up here you can get Nathan's in the grocery store. Incredible. It's very different from the wonderful red. It's kind of like how sausage has different types and both are great.
Also now up here you can get Johnsonville Brats, which I would rather eat than any hotdog...fried with onions or on the grill. They're that good.

Finally, even though they suck the bottom of the hotdog food chain, when you grow up very poor in Maine, you grew up eating TastyBite.

AA said...

I've gotten on the outside of many Nathan's dogs, primarily when I lived in New York for a spell a few years back. I've never been a huge fan, actually. I think it's the all-beef thing - frankly (sorry) I tend to prefer the beef/pork combo.
The Red Hots, brats, and other sausages constitute a whole other topic, albeit equally worthy.
I do concur with your assessment of the toasted buttered roll, Aaron. You could stuff one with a sweat sock and i'd probably consider taking a second bite.

Karen said...

Justin lives on hot dogs in any shape but likes the red ones best. Jack loves Red hots and eat close to 10 bls since the the Spring lol. Jared hates them but will eat a well mustard-dressed bun......