Friday, November 27, 2009

Oh Heavenly Dog

No this isn't a post about Chevy Chase and Benji teaming up for big laughs in a tail of murder, mystery and puppy love circa 1980. Although you know that little bitch Benji, and for sure Chevy on a bender, would dig some of the grub going on at this California joint.

On yet another grueling trip to Sacramento I made my usual stop at Capitol Dawg (chowing on a Deftones dawg, River Cats dawg and some sweet potato fries) but since I've already yapped about that action plenty I didn't think I'd have anything worthy to post about from these travels.

Lo and behold Elk Grove, the only town I've been to in CA more boring than Sacramento, has a new dog getting place. Heavenly Dog is the spot and they have pretty tasty dogs.

I decided to pretend I was from Hollywood and modify everything I ordered like a jackass. I picked the Skippy Dog but for no good reason left the grilled onions off and onion rings on. They have a nice selection of relish and mustards and since the Skippy dog came with peanut butter I chose cranberry mustard. Topped with Jack cheese that shit was right on time.

I also made up my own dog which was basically the Chihuahua dog (nacho cheese, jalapeno relish) with tri tip chili and wrapped in bacon. Over at the relish bar I loaded that sucker up with sauerkraut relish (seemed like sauerkraut with green food colouring), jalapeno relish and dill relish. Plus a squirt of "bistro sauce" for good measure. That fucker was a super mess but tasty.

The only thing I did wrong was the order of which I chowed. I should have saved the Skippy dog for dessert.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Masa in Tacoma.

I got suckered into driving a couple of gals to Tacoma with the promise of an unbelievable hot dog. I was a bit suspicious as there was little mention of the actual restaurant, and the legend of the particular dog was seemingly untraceable to an original source. Fair thee well. I decided to go anyway. It was a rainy Sunday, and the promise of seeing some of Tacoma's local flavor was intriguing.

Of course these chicks were late, and I don't make a habit of Driving Miss Daisies unless I'm getting my passport stamped to Bonetown. I had second thoughts about this adventure from the get.

Tacoma is a pretty much a dump. My friend Peezy once said that he wanted to shit in every dryer in Schaumburg, Illinois because it was such a terrible place. I had similar feelings about Tacoma. There were a ton of foreclosed houses, and I saw at least 40 inches of butt crack while cruising the strip.

A fancy shmancy new school fusion sports bar called Masa? You must be joking. This can't be the place where I've heard rumors of an unbelievable hot dog.

I'm very rarely ever wrong. In fact, I can't recall a time I've ever second guessed my inherent ability to sniff out amazing food in the past.

It happened in Tacoma. Behold! the Tijuana Dog. An all beef frank, wrapped in bacon, swimming in a molten hot queso sauce, and topped with pico de gallo.

Crushing bacon wrapped all beef isn't just a hobby, it's a fucking religion. I pray to the altar of Intestinal Fortitude. In the house of God, I'm the High Priest of Meat.

Alice and Manny felt bad for dragging me all the way to Tacoma, so they bought my Tijuana Dog. I also got to snap this keep sake of some girl-on-girl gobbling that is officially a permanent feature in my Spank Bank. Thanks ladies!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Po Dog

The diabolical beast phone was ringing off the hook, because my buddy Robert "The Schneids" Schneider had a hot tip about a new hot dog joint opening on Capital Hill in Seattle. I pulled out my clipboard. Took some notes. Looked up some shit on the internet, and sanitized my hands. Turns out the Schneids was on to something. Something delicious.

Po Dog Hot Dogs.

We pulled up on a Saturday afternoon. It was the Grand Opening. The place was brand spankin' new. I'm always hesitant of a hot dog shop that that isn't a dive, but I was really hungry and anxious to try Seattle's take on an American legend.

Once inside, the place was very well designed with easy access to the counter, and ample seating for fat hot dog eating asses, like mine. Pop art pugs covered the walls, along with wallpaper that featured six shooters. Nice touch.

The help was friendly as I alerted them immediately that we were correspondents with the world famous Buddies and Hot Dogs global franchise. The nice gal behind the counter offered me a menu to peruse the the many varieties of encased meat. Engage salivation.

It's always tough to write a review about a Hot Dog haberdashery on opening day, but I have faith that this place is going to something special. They have everything working in their favor.

First up, the BLTA Dog. That stands for Bacon, lettuce Tomato and Avocado on a soft brioche bun with a side of dippin' sauce. I added a little lemon aioli per the recommendation of the girl at the counter.

The franks here at Po Dog have some girth, so the freshly made brioche bun is a nice buttery touch. The fixings were more than adequate and the avocado was ripened to perfection. My one qualm here is that the construction of the dog made for complicated and messy eating. I took one bite of the dog and it teeter tottered and slapped me right in the face, dumping all the goodies into my basket. No worries. This could be resolved with a simple exploration in foundation engineering and construction. I also would have wrapped the dog in bacon, instead of simply adding chunks of bacon atop the fixings. Still delicious.

Next up we have the South of the Border Dog. Guacamole, house-made pico de gallo salsa, and sour cream.

Again, the bun really helped manage a tricky dog here. This one was a little easier to wrangle because of the delicious guacamole held everything together. Definitely a winner.

One of the finest palates in the hot dog eatin' game right there, kicking the tires.

The Schneids rolled deep with this deadly duo. The Deep Fried Danger Dog features a deep fried pepper bacon wrapped dog, with sauteed onions and chili sauce. And the Texas Dog had mesquite BBQ sauce, Tillimook cheddar cheese and homemade crispy onion straws.

The Schneids doesn't fuck around. His hunger monster had a one track mind. His review? 5 stars.

That's yours truly and Laura the owner. We would like to thank her for the hospitality and the fine franks. We will be back to try the Wasabi Egg Roll Dog and their take on the Chicago Dog for sure.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mike's Chili Parlor.

My old pal Jake meandered his broke ass all the way out to the Pacific Northwest to visit yours truly. I talked a big game about the various Seattle delicacies that we had to try, but unfortunately we spent the entire weekend getting shit can drunk and meeting new buddies.

The one place we managed to drag our polluted, beer soaked asses to was Mike's Chili Parlor. This place was recommended to me from a few locals, so I figured we should give it the old college try. It was amazing, and this is our story.

Mike's has been owned and operated for 4 generations of the Semandris family. A friendly bunch, with a distinct family secret chili recipe. Located right off the locks in the Ballard community, Mike's has been feeding cold and rained on fishermen for eons. They received some recognition when they were featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives a while back, but don't worry, it hasn't turned them into Hollywood pussies.

The owner, Mike (the 4th generation one), was nice enough to introduce himself. Maybe one of the coolest guys I've met, and he still makes all the chili everyday.

Mike's is your classic dive bar, complete with characters like Red, a wispy white haired jokester that finds his-rear end glued to a stool at this joint everyday. The bartender was a younger gal with a gift of gab. We alerted her early that we were the men behind the "world famous" Buddies and Hotdogs blog. She gave us her delicious recommends: a chili dog with all the fixings, and a small bowl of chili and a couple of ice cold PBR's. Game on buddies!

This is the famous Mike's Chili Dog, an all beef frank split down the center and grilled on a flat top. This monster features grated cheddar cheese, a heaping mound of bean chili, jalapenos, and fresh diced onions. The fixings are additional, but they're only like 50 cents each. The white bread bun is there simply to soak up the cheesy chili goodness. The chili is spicy enough to tickle your tonsils, but the onions and jalapenos do well to bring the zing.

Here's an overhead view of Jake's chili dog, and a bowl of Mike's finest. The chili is ground beef based with no beans. It has a nice kick and smooth and light consistency. It's greasy enough to keep out the wimps, and delicious enough send this buddy back for more. It's just a really good bowl of chili. Nothing fancy, but perfect for a rainy hungover day in Seattle.

Here's a cross section of the chili dog. Witness the layers of bowel crushing goodness. Boom!

Jake is a big fan of Mike's Chili, he also wore that silly ass Steve Zissou shit all weekend. He fit in nicely in this fishing community. A real swashbuckler, a regular ship hand.

Thumbs up from this Superbeast. I look pretty handsome considering we were up until 5 am the night before pounding Rainier (cool fuckers and the French pronounce it "RonYay").

The chili and the damage done.

This just might be the best hangover cure in Seattle. I walked into this place burping up acid, and I walked out feeling like a million bucks.

*Jake and I writing this one together. It's like a long distance relationship, with an enduring interest in hot dogs.