Monday, October 11, 2010

California hot dogs

A couple of weeks ago, I was soaking up some rays in California. Sure beats my current activity of sitting on my stoop in Philadelphia, looking at the dirt ring where my only potted plant used to be. Anywhoozle, I couldn't travel to a new state and not check out the hot dog scene. Unfortunately, my trip was full of near misses.

Dogtown Dogs, whose menu boasted a Breakfast hot dog, was not open for breakfast at this street fair in Santa Monica that we discovered at 8:30 in the morning.

Hot Dog Stick on Venice Beach, while intriguing, was not very appealing at 9 in the morning.

I would have gladly tried a Mad Dog in Santa Barbara had it not been for my unfortunate run-in with a chicken teriyaki burrito that tried to pass itself off as the fish burrito I ordered. I was too full and disappointed from lunch to muster the stomach for this posh dog.

Finally, on the last day of the trip, in the happiest place on Earth, I found Pluto's Dog House at Cartoon Town in Disney Land! Yes, this hot dog was made at some time earlier that day and placed in a foil pouch for later serving. No, I did not actually see a kitchen in which this hot dog was prepared. Yes, it was located in a land of fake mountains and store fronts, which were straight out of the stills of Roger Rabbit. No, it did not make me shrink three sizes smaller or grow 10 sizes taller. But I finally fulfilled my hot dog quota for the trip and it was damn worth it. Not many other people can say that they've seen a cartoon dog run out of a court house while they were eating lunch, can they?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bacon hot dogs

I kind of consider bacon to be the hot dog's second cousin through marriage, so when the opportunity comes along to get these crazy kids together again, I take it. Mikey just began eating meat again this year, but bacon has understandably climbed very high on his food pyramid. The other night for dinner he made Nathan's hot dogs with bacon and Nathan's mustard on a grilled hoagie roll. Throw in a few tater tots for good measure and you've got yourself a plate full of heaven. I love a man who can cook!

"Aaaaaaaaaaaah." The sound of angels singing.

Last hot dogs of the summer

Even though I'm welcoming the 70 degree temperatures, I'm still mourning the loss of summer. This was the last official barbeque of the summer that I attended. Good people, several different kinds of macaroni salad, potato sack races, and hot dogs on the grill. I wasn't even hungry, but barbeques bring out the champion eater in me. I will stuff my face until there are only crumbs and a few stray macaronis left on the table. And stuff, I did.

The largest grill ever

For the power of hot dogs

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Le hot dog

I had been toying with the idea for a while of combining two loves in my life: hot dogs and France. Last night, I finally lived the dream.

-hot dogs
-a baguette
-shredded gruyere cheese
-chopped cornichons
-chopped raw onions
-extra strong dijon mustard

Slice baguette and place it on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the gruyere liberally over the baguette. Stick the tray in the oven on the top rack and let the cheese melt. Cook hot dogs to your liking. Once the dogs are cooked and the cheese has melted, combine all ingredients on baguette. Mangez!

The hot dogs were a crowd pleaser (and by crowd I mean Mikey and me). Not to toot my own horn, but they made me feel like I was in Paris again and Mikey thought the flavors blended perfectly. Delicieux!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer Dogs at Citizens Bank Park


My brother scored extra tickets to Friday night's Phillies v. Mets game and invited Mikey and me to go along. Since he's a big fan of the blog (as family is required to be), he suggested we do some hot dog recon while there. He heard from a friend that the Hatfield Summer Dog was the place to be. He also heard that if you just ask any Hatfield stand at the park about the Summer Dog, they would let you know which stand it was at as they are only sold at one stand. So we said the secret password and found out they were being sold at Section 125 (now you know).

Behold the mighty Summer Dog. It is a Hatfield frank served on a pretzel roll with a sort of pico de gallo, a thin sliver of cucumber, and an ancho chili sauce. The hot dog really did feel like summer. I liked the sweetness of the tomatoes and pretzel. I know some are not a fan of the idea of a pretzel roll, but don't knock it until you try it. At first bite, my brother remarked on the kick from the ancho sauce. It was enough heat to add a little extra dimension to the hot dog without leaving your mouth ablaze. Mikey commented that the cucumber added a slight sophistication to the hot dog. Yo, we take our job of eating hot dogs very seriously.

Phillies and Summer Dog pride!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The family weighs in on Nationals Park

My sissy
My family loves me so much that they text me hot dog photos while they're on vacation. In true America-lovin' style, they enjoyed hot dogs while watching some baseball -- the Nationals v. Phillies game at Nationals Park in Washington, DC on Saturday night, to be exact.

My sister had this to share:
"Hey! My hot dog had yellow mustard and relish. It was burning hot and wrapped in foil - so hot that I had to wrap a napkin around the foil. Then my bun fell apart b/c it was soggy. The dog itself was quite good, as it was an all beef hebrew national (my personal fav). I think if it wasn't the last hot dog at the bottom of the heated drawer, it wouldn't have been so messy. I also think that if I wasn't a little tipsy and ravenous I might not have enjoyed it so much. I was regretting my choice when Rob returned to our seats with a brat topped w peppers, in a lovely paper tray lined with parchment paper. He let me snag a bite (actually I just went in for the kill when he was looking the other way). "

My dad

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Texas Wieners, South Philly

Last Thursday, Cathy and I played hooky from work for the specific purpose of going to Texas Wieners, near the intersection on Broad and Snyder in South Philly. The hours are terrible but the food is magical (hence the need for time off work). It doesn't look like much, but what it lacks in presentation it makes up for in taste and ambiance. These will most likely be the only hot dogs you will ever eat that are endorsed by the actor Mark Wahlberg. You see Texas Wieners has a signed "Invincible" poster, complete with inspirational quote "Hold Fast To Your Dreams." As always, Marky Mark is right, holding fast to our dreams is exactly what we're doing here at Don't Buy All The Hot Dogs, dreams of writing about hot dogs like it's our job.

On to the deliciousness, I had two hot dogs, The Texan (see Cathy's PS) and a Texas Tommy. Both were out of my mind good. The Texan was my favorite (hash brown patty!) but the Texas Tommy held it's own. They didn't scrimp on the bacon and it was dripping in delicious orange cheese. Adam was also along for the ride, bringing with him the shocking revelation that he used to eat at Texas Wieners several times a week when he lived in the neighborhood. Tempting yes, but it's seriously amazing he didn't develop a chronic health problem as a result. On a related note, there's a special deal for a box of 21 hot dogs, called a Blackjack. I'm glad that exists.

Everything was super cheap too, we got 6 loaded up hot dogs, two sodas and a strawberry milkshake for just over 20 bucks!

The inherent problem with hot dog photography... So as some of you may know, I have a degree in photography. Those of you that didn't know prior are, I'm sure, very surprised. Here's the deal (i.e. why my photos always suck), I get hungry. After researching, planning, coordinating schedules, time and travel, I am really looking forward to eating. There is not a single part of me that wants to fuss with angles, arrangement and lighting. I want to quickly snap the damn thing so I can eat it. Once I am full however, I'm filled with the immense regret of not artful styling our photos for the blog. So here are some crappy pictures, next time they'll be better really (well probably not really).
Please note: Adam's subconscious thumbs up.

Cathy’s P.S.
First, I love how hot dog recon requires me to take a day off of work. Second, I am regretting my shirt choice for this trip and will probably never wear that top again, but that is neither here nor there. As for hot dogs, I got The Works and The Texan. The true standout for me was The Texan (home fries, onions, and peppers). I was expecting the potatoes to be more like sliced fried potatoes, but it was a whole hash brown a la McDonald’s breakfast or a giant, flat tater tot (and you know how I feel about tater tots). I almost wish I had gotten two Texans. Every bite was comforting, like it should have stirred up a fond memory of my childhood, but my childhood was devoid of Texans so instead it just made my brain confused with joy. The Works was ok (mustard, onions, and sauce), but I don’t know how I feel about Greek sauce yet. It did nothing for me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Red Rooster Drive In, Brewster, NY

Mikey ate this meal a few weekends ago after one of his races. I thought the picture was so glorious that it needed to be posted. He emailed it to me from the road to turn my blue eyes green with jealousy, but I still love him.

A brief service announcement

We added a new page to the blog. Please check it out and send us your suggestions.

Rap Music Loves Hot Dogs

In our attempt to cover all things hot dog related, I wanted to share this awesome Kid Sister video.

Dude, how come no one raps in front of hot dog stands I go to? (This is a call to action people)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Thank you Stacy and Cathy for your invitation and for tolerating my delayed posting. This is foreign correspondent Kacie, currently stateside to bring you belated hot dog tales.

Part of this year's Wawa Welcome America celebration, the 2nd of July was the annual Independence Park Picnic, otherwise known as Free Hot Dog Day. It was billed as “great food and history free of charge” and unlike the disappointment that was the giant hoagie, this event delivered.

Though crowded (I went at the peak hour of 1pm) it was well organized-- I waited less than 5 minutes before the perky Dietz and Watson staff gave me my dog. They then directed me to the mustard and toppings bar featuring five mustard varietals, an unexpectedly impressive offering for a free event. As for the dog itself? No surprises: tasty and properly grilled, though its only real defining characteristic was its lack of cost... which is fine by me. My America: consistent and free.

Monday, July 12, 2010

No Libs Hot Dog Cart . . . Part II

On Saturday, I decided to give it another try and track down the dudes of Dapper Dog. Success! Hot dogs abound! Mikey and I both ordered Chicago Dogs (mustard, pickle, relish, onion, tomato, celery salt). While we waited, I checked out the operation: two guys standing back-to-back in a little metal food cart, but they were workin’ it. I hope they make some more money soon and buy a bigger establishment, because I’m sure it’s sweltering in there on a humid Philly night (and I worry about everyone’s hydration levels all the time). After receiving our modestly priced dogs ($3.50 each), we plunked down on the curb to stuff our faces. I was immediately smitten with this hot dog. It was just a perfect dog. Normally, I don’t like the hoagie style roll that this hot dog was served on, but the roll really played a major part in the experience as it held up to the tour de force of toppings. After a “perfect storm” bite where all flavors combined into one lovely mouthful, Mikey declared, “It ruled my world.”

In other news, I continue to be a photo failure and forgot to charge the digital camera. Here are more camera phone pics.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hot Dogs, Veggie Style

Having a BBQ, but don't know what to make for your brother's vegan girlfriend that he met in art school? Try veggie dogs! There aren't a lot of brands to chose from, but I recommend Smart Dogs. They come in regular size or jumbo.

In the spirit of the 4th of July, I recently made some Smart Dogs on the George Forman grill. A regular grill also works great, but for apartment dwellers the George Forman is all we got.

As with most "fake meat" products, it's all about the toppings. The actual veggie dogs don't taste like a whole lot so you have to load them up. I went for chopped onions, dill pickles and mustard. I also recommend BBQ sauce. We used pita bread as buns.

On a diet? The regular sized Smart Dogs only have 45 calories!

Happy Grilling!

Colleen, Veggie Dog Correspondent

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Best Interoffice Mail EVER

Surprise, surprise. Apparently, news of my love of hot dogs is catching on. Today, I received a very special interoffice envelope from a very special friend of mine who knows of my very special culinary obsession. It made my day. Please note that this hot dog also has the ability to stash stash-ables (change, lip balm, cocktail weenies) and act as a key chain. Multi-purpose, plush, vinyl hot dog of my dreams! Thanks, Liz!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

No Libs Hot Dog Cart... Part 1

The hot dog cart floating around Northern Liberties has become my own personal Moby Dick. I've tried to go and it constantly eludes me (Cathy too). So of course I was surly when Adam appeared one Saturday night, half eaten hot dog in hand from the No Libs hot dog cart. How could he so casually live out my dream (and not even bother to pick me up one? I mean seriously dude, come on). He was working his way through a Mac and Cheese Dog and was raving about it, something about the bun to hot dog placement (a good thing). I took a bite. It tasted like vomit. Adam maintains I just don't like lots of Parmesan cheese (kind of true), but I don't remember Parmesan cheese straight up tasting like puke. But that's just me. I'll totally go and give it a legitimate try if I can ever find the damn thing. But for now, I will post this unappealing hot dog cell phone photo.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stewart's, Ocean City, NJ

Stacy and I ditched work (with permission) on Monday and headed to the Jersey Shore. Our shore experiences are almost always based entirely around boardwalk food. We start planning what we want to eat before we even get there. It's kind of gross. Of course, we wanted to do some hot dog research and chose Stewart's after scoping out the scene. For some reason, I keep being drawn to chili dogs even though I'm almost always disappointed. Maybe I'm hoping I'll find one that will help me reach hot dog nirvana? I don't know, but this time was no exception. They actually gave me two chili dogs because of some kitchen miscommunication and I think the teenaged girl behind the counter was too afraid to tell the cooks of the mistake. What am I going to do with two sizable chili dogs, though? This is when I realized that the boardwalk is devoid of homeless people. This is also when I realized that it is weird to offer complete strangers a free chili dog. The hot dog and chili were too salty for me to finish, but the Stewart's root beer was sweet and refreshing and made it easier to deal with the dehydrating effects of all that salt. Sitting on the boardwalk, eating that chili dog, I'd wished I'd kept it simple.

Stacy's PS: Oh hai. The hot dog blog took a trip to Grey Gardens? Nah, I just got a crazy old lady sun hat. I also got a corndog. As far as corndogs go, it was standard: scalding hot, foil cape, wooden stick. I liked it, but I think most of its allure was that I WAS AT THE BEACH AND NOT AT WORK. That said, I always enjoy any location of Stewart's and had a great root beer float. Please note that we are again relying on cell phone pictures. I was trying to kick it old school and bring a film camera, but after a day of blog worthy beach photography (I can only assume since it can't be proved otherwise) the damn camera broke. Sure, it was a toy camera but I didn't expect it to literally fall apart in my hands and expose all my film to daylight. Blurgh. The world will now never see Cathy posing with an Elvis statue or something that looks exactly like a Medieval Times but was not. Stay tuned for an artist rendering (or maybe not since I tend to be lazy).

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sans Nitrates

I'm a lady that eats a lot of hot dogs so obviously I constantly fear dying a hot dog related death... how so you say? specifically from nitrates and some strange awful hot dog related cancer. Luckily my constantly worried state was inherited from my mother, who found these Oscar Meyer nitrate free hot dogs! They're good too. They taste a little of kielbasa, which is kind of a great thing in itself. Also, don't you love my grandparents' awesome kitchen floor? (It's so awesome, one could do a whole photo thesis on it...)

Accidental Hot Dog II: North Bowl

Mikey and I went to cheer on our friend Brian last night at North Bowl. He's in a bowling league there, but it was really an excuse to hang out close to home and eat tater tots (at least it was for me). They have a "Hot Dog of the Day" on their regular menu and last night's hot dog was topped with caramelized fennel and apple slaw. I also had a choice of either a veggie dog or Hebrew National. I chose the Hebrew National (natch). When our hot dogs arrived, Mikey's looked burned and mangled, and though mine wasn't burnt, it didn't look all that special. Something about it smelled like a foot (maybe the bun) and we couldn't taste the fennel even though there was plenty of it. I did like the apples, but the "slaw" was not a slaw, nor was it caramelized. The mixture felt and tasted like it was sauteed to oblivion and then left to sit until serving time. By that point, I didn't care because (a) I was drunk, and (b) I HAD TATER TOTS.

Here is a camera phone picture for your squinty viewing pleasure.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Accidental Hot Dog: Dos Segundos

While dining out at Dos Segundos Cantina (on N 2nd St.), Adam and a hot dog had a moment. I was totally not prepared to do any hot dog related investigative reporting, but it just happened. The hot dog was just calling to him... a Mexican hot dog, deep fried with bacon and God knows what else. (Please note it comes with mayo, so if you are like Adam and start dry heaving at the thought of it, maybe skip that part like he did). I was allowed the tiniest bite of it, and yes it was a dream, but frankly I had my own steak tacos to contend with. The photos are not up to my desired quality level, but aren't too bad considering the low light/camera phone/several margarita circumstances. I like them anyway, since they effectively capture the magic of this hot dog.
(I was trying to look jealous but instead look like I'm trying out to be in the next Urban Outfitters catalog)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tales of Hot Dogs Past: Nathan's Hot Dogs

Two years ago I went to Coney Island and ate a hot dog from Nathan's. I don't remember a whole lot about the hot dog I ate, but it must have been stellar because I still have a photo of it saved on my phone. Another plus: seeing the ticking clock countdown until the next competitive hot dog eating world championship. Only 17 days to go until the next one!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hot Dog TV

Mikey informed me last night that there was an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay featuring hot dogs on onDemand. In case anyone hasn't seen the show, Bobby Flay travels around the country challenging cooks who've become famous in their respective hometowns for making a particular dish extremely well. I think it's pretty jerky of Flay (I was particularly mad one time when he bested some little old ladies -- respect your elders!). So I watched and drooled as he challenged Brooklyn's Nick Suarez to a hot dog duel. Suarez's recent claim to fame is "Brooklyn's Cheesiest Dog," a hot dog covered in a very special macaroni and cheese that contains bacon and leeks. I am currently dreaming about this hot dog. Luckily, the recipe is up on Food Network.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Guest Blogger: Flag Festival 2010

Hi, my name is Meryl of Love, Meryl Judith and thanks to Stacy and Cathy for welcoming me to the blog today!  On Saturday, my boyfriend Joe and I stumbled upon a street fair on our walk from Center City to Northern Liberties.  The event was the 3rd annual Flag Festival at the Betsy Ross house and Arch Street was closed off between 2nd and 3rd Streets.  I love stumbling across street fairs and/or attending them voluntarily.  This one featured face painting, old time photos, carny games, a mesmerizing puppet show and let's not forget, the traditional fair-food cuisine.  

I'm not going to pretend to be a hardcore hot dog fan.  In fact I normally lose interest after eating one very plain and boring hot dog.  (Don't boo me please).  But I love hot dogs for what they represent.  To me they mean summer and barbecues and friends and good times, and so what could have been a more perfectly impromptu lunch than a hot dog at a street fair on the first weekend of June?  

See said hot dog.  As previously described it's as plain as a hot dog with mustard can be.  They did offer relish which Joe topped his hot dog with.  It hit the spot!  So much so, that we didn't need an ice cream cone from the Franklin Fountain cart, which was staring at us longingly.  Since I can't promote a no-brand stand with a white sign for "hot dogs, hamburgers and fries," I will tell you that if you want a delicious ice cream sundae and authentic atmosphere, stop at Franklin Fountain in Old City.  

Now I will leave you with the Punch and Judy puppet show that left me giggling like a 4 year old.  Ta da!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Puttin' on the Dog, Oaks

Word on the street was that a new hot dog place had opened in Oaks recently. Our friend, Colleen, graciously drove us to Puttin' on the Dog even though she doesn't eat meat. Everyone is just getting into the spirit of the hot dog blog and God bless them for that.

I chose the Sloppy Dog -- mustard, cole slaw, and "sloppy" sauce. I did not ask about the sloppy sauce. I just went for it. Turns out that it's just sloppy joe mix. Straight up Manwich. I ate the whole thing, as is my style, but it's definitely low on the list and I don't think I'll go back. The flavors never came together and, like I said, it was just sloppy joe on a hot dog.
On our way back to Colleen's house, we passed a Nathan's hot dog stand, which I hope to visit on our next trip to that area. Did I mention that Colleen's apartment complex has a pool??? Yes, we will be back.

Stacy's PS: One thing Cathy forgot to mention was the abundance of surly teenage boys, which is not something I look for when dining out, especially when they will be preparing my food. After walking in and being greeted by the blank cow eyed stares of five dudes just standing around, I started to rethink our hot dog jaunt. There were four hot dogs to choose from (which is pretty weak for an all hot dog restaurant when you think about it), and I settled on the Mighty Dog, mainly because I like the name. Essentially it was as if someone took the components of a Chicago style dog, minced them, subtracted 50% of the taste and then stuck it on a hoagie roll. It was the equivalent of what I make myself for lunch when I run out of everything else. So yeah, this is our first official thumbs down across the board. For shame, Puttin' on the Dog, for shame!

At least enjoy the pictures courtesy of Colleen, our soon to be veggie dog correspondent.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

White Dog Café, 3420 Sansom Street

Let me start off by saying that we didn’t intend to go to White Dog Café this past Friday, but we’ve been having some hot dog issues. We make plans to go on a hot dog adventure and our plans are quickly foiled by the total absence of hot dogs when we arrive at our destination. Needless to say, we were all very sad and cranky to have to come up with a Plan B.

Stacy and I were accompanied by her boyfriend, Adam, on this trip and none of us had ever been to the White Dog before. We were worried they might not even have any hot dogs given our bad luck. We were given two choices of menus by the hostess. Hot dogs are on the bar menu and the bar menu is not served in all areas of the restaurant, so be sure to specify what you’re there to accomplish if you are in search of dogs. There were six different hot dog options, all named after canines and all made with natural beef hot dogs. I chose the Schnauzer, aptly named with its sauerkraut, spicy mustard, and sweet pickle relish. While not the fanciest choice, it was made just the way I like ‘em. All dogs were served on a bakery roll. I thoroughly enjoyed all components of this hot dog, except for the price ($7.25), but I suppose you pay for the quality of the ingredients and can feel good about that. I would also like to note that even though I am bringing up the price of the hot dogs, Adam was lovely enough to pick up the tab. Thanks again, Adam!
Stacy's PS... I was kind of lukewarm about these hot dogs. My hot dog of choice was the The Chihuahua, featuring salsa, nacho cheese sauce, pickled jalapenos, guacamole, and fried tortilla strips (there was also lime sour cream which I passed on). So it was a flavor explosion right? Not so much. Somehow the spicy hot dog flavor overpowered everything else, which was rather disappointing. Only the occasional jalapeno would slip in to break up the hot dog redundancy. As a plus these hot dogs were all nitrate free, but apparently I am so used to my beloved nitrates that I couldn't get on board with the taste.

Our handsome benefactor Adam knocked back two hot dogs, The Mastiff, a Texas Tommy with bacon, cheese and jalapeno corn relish, and The Bloodhound, a chili dog replete with chopped scallions and cheese. Adam was a big fan of the added scallions.

Summation: While I didn't love my dog, I still might want to go back? Everyone else seemed so taken with their dogs, maybe I just ordered the wrong one. The dog themed decor also won a place in my heart. That combined with the too tall tables gave it the feel a restaurant your parents take you to as a little kid, which is something that warmed my cold hot dog addled heart.

Hot dog excursion officially sponsored by Redcap's Corner.