Friday, December 23, 2011

Puka Dog!

Fact: Buddies will go to great lengths to track down the best dogs out there. I'm no exception and this entry here took me to the Hawaiian Islands with an additional flight to hop from Maui to Oahu to make sure I didn't miss the culinary marvel that is the Puka Dog.

But first before we get to the Puka I had a couple other dog encounters on this island of pork lovers that I'll tell ya about. First was this lonely li'l fella at the Komoda Store & Bakery in Makawao.

This dag had a strange mayo/mustard on it. Not the best dog I ever had but I felt obliged to give it a home. I suggest you stick to the badass pastries like the guava filled doughnuts they make daily.

Next up outside the Whalers Village Museum there was a place selling Hula Maid Pineapple Dogs. Couldn't pass that up. This was a perfectly fine dog. A little sweet and a nice snap. Nothing you have to seek out but if you find yourself in Hawaii and see a place selling them you might as well get into it.

The next thing I stumbled on was how Hawaiian's will stick anything on sticky rice and wrap it with seaweed, even hot dogs. It's called Musubi.

Spam Musubi and Spam in general are also very popular as proven in this beautiful pic.

But my favorite thing was Longanisa Musubi. Even better I ate this sucker on a 10,023 ft volcano called Haleakala

But as mentioned in the first part of this post, the main thing I was looking forward to on this trip was Puka Dog

We spent most of the day at the Pearl Harbor memorial and ended up hitting rush hour to get across town to the Puka spot. While Maui is mainly two lane, slow pace roads, Oahu was like being in fucking Dallas. If you've ever been to Dallas you know that equals S-U-C-K. There was even a moment when we wondered if we could actually make it and get back to the airport to fly back to Maui. Things got tense buddies but I put the pedal to the metal and made it happen.

The Puka spears that toast the inside of the bun.

The multitude of condiments

We both went for the Polish with Yancy picking pineapple relish, mild lemon garlic and lilikoi mustard. I got hot lemon garlic sauce, banana relish and guava mustard.

It was worth the trek hombres. Oh and Maui is super awesome too.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"What The Fuck Kinda Question Is That?"

This story is a stop on my latest travels which took me back to Chicago and then on to San Francisco. Two of my favorite cities where I put down a multitude of pork related items. I'll break this globe trot into a coupla posts.

Let me start by saying "God Bless The Wiener's Circle." It's not because I had a staggeringly great dog, or that it had some kind of glorious dining space. It was because that's how they answered my question.

Back up to 12 in the AM and buddies Farley Bookout, Steve Walters, Jay Ryan and Bobby Dixon and myself are leaving Pitchfork and heading home. I says "we should get a dog." Farley says "Again?" So I whipped out my trusty internet portal and looked up hot dog joints. Lookee there, The Wiener's Circle is on the way. Jay says "Call and see if they are open"

Ring, Ring:

WC: "Yeah"
Me: "Hi, what time do you close?"
WC: "What The Fuck Kinda Question Is That?" "5AM Motherfucker!" "Fuck You Bitch!" *click*
Me: "We're going to The Wiener's Circle."

As soon as I got off the phone it dawned on me where we were heading. The hot dog place most famous for cussin' your ass for anything and nothing. At midnight it was pretty packed but they were moving people through the line quicklike. I stepped up ready to order a red hot and a double char wondering if I'd get cussed. "Which char motherfucker?" I got cussed, again. I got off way easier than the gal behind me who tried to pay with a credit card. "Cash only bitch! Cash only motherfucker!" as they shooed her away from the window flappin' a towel. That's also all the time they needed to toss my order in the window zippity-doo.

A Vienna red hot and a double chardog with the works:

This was on the counter. You bet your sweet ass I put money towards the cause.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

'Merica Dogs.

Let me start this post by saying it's a damn crying shame that my good buddy Josh Kaulius hasn't graced the pages of Buddies & Hotdogs yet. The dude is a prime candidate for the Meat Sweat Hall of Fame. I've seen this guy curl up on a barroom bathroom floor after going into some weird esophagus shock caused by eating too many hot wings. He was escorted out of the place and sent directly to the hospital. Now that's commitment.

On the 4th of July, Josh and I got together for a little lonely, sad dude pity party. We cured our our ills by way of grills. We stuffed our faces and drank the blues away with a hand selected assortment of high-octane IPA's. We laughed. We watched a few episodes of Pawn Stars. We made fun of people. We listened to Outlaw Country. It was a real, real nice day. 'Merican style.

Here's Josh making a mockery of the all-beef frank. He puts ketchup on his. Gross. **Editor's Note: Josh claims this wasn't ketchup, but rather BBQ sauce, sriracha, or some chipotle tabasco type sauce. His credibility has since been restored.

A nice little close-up.

The bountiful harvest includes terriyaki marinated pork loin (personal recipe), steak filets, shrimp and bacon wrapped jalapeno skewers (personal recipe), and some delicious all-beef dogs that didn't make it into this picture. 'Merica. Fuck yeah.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dog in the Park. Seattle's Finest.

I've made the pilgrimage to mecca, and it happens to be smack-dab in the middle of downtown Seattle. Dog in the Park serves the best hot dog in Seattle proper. This my friends, I assure you.

The owner is this Greek dude. I can't remember his name for the life of me, but he was super friendly and talkative. It made the experience of standing in line so much more pleasant. He recognized me as a bona fide Tube Dude in seconds flat.

Dog in the Park is nestled downtown in Westlake Park. It's kind of a weird location. One part stand, one part brick and mortar store front. There's a couple of picnic tables to sit on, but most everybody was grabbing a dog to go while on their lunch break.

The menu consists of pretty standard fare. The magic comes with the preparation. Here are the options:

Kosher All-Beef.
Polish Sausage.
Louisiana Sausage.
Chicken spinach feta Sausage.
Chili cheese dog.
Turkey dog.

I went with the standard All-Beef. For only $3.25, that's a real lunch time bargain for Seattle. I had two and was more than stuffed.

World-class all-beef franks, split down the middle and grilled to perfection. Crispy, toasted buns. Grilled onions and cabbage provide just the right amount of crunch. Cabbage you say? Yep, and I ain't talking slaw. Big leafy pieces of cabbage grilled up on the flat iron. Delicious.

None other than The Schneids getting neck deep on Dog in the Park's famous All-Beef.

The flat iron. Simple and efficient. The perfect tool for a seasoned meat wrangler.

Round 2! The Schneids wouldn't get his meat hooks out of the way for this shot. He was holding on for dear life.

It's been a while since I've had my mug grace a post. I took this one myself because The Schneids' mitts were covered in mustard, onions and cabbage remnants.

Dog in the Park is in my opinion the best dog I've had in Seattle. They've managed to master simplicity, which I find some of the gourmet joints frequently skimp on. You can't beat the price and the great service either.

Just so he doesn't cry about it, I have to give props to my buddy Dru for this find.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Schneids vs. Oki Dog.

On a recent production trip in Los Angeles, good buddy The Schneids and I wanted to stuff our jowls with some world class dogs. We decided to give a place called The Stand a try, after an afternoon trip to Amoeba Records.

There were a few problems with this plan. First, The Stand was a good 45 minutes away from Hollywood. Why is that a problem you ask? Well, The Schneids was driving, and if you've ever sat passenger in a car driven by The Schneids, you know just how excruciating that experience can be. The man slows down for green lights, and never tops 40 miles an hour. He can't park to save his life, and he is slightly directionally challenged. I have very little patience for terrible drivers, and while The Schneids is one of my ace number one pals, that vein on my forehead was doing one armed push-ups.

So after hitting every light in Los Angeles proper, we found ourselves in a strange corporate office park not too far from Beverly Hills. This didn't seem right. We parked the car in an underground ramp and proceeded to take 3 sets of escalators up to an open area with a huge fountain. A security guard looked at us a bit bewildered. We were basically in a office building lobby on a Sunday looking for a hotdog. "We're closed today guys, sorry."

I looked at The Schneids. His lower lip was trembling under his beard. His eyes were filling with blood-red rage. His ears emitted thin wisps of shit-hot steam. His fists clenched in that "Smash! Destroy!" sort of way. This was bad.

Quick, we need a back-up plan STAT! The Schneids went from hungry for hotdogs to having a full on appetite for destruction.

I remembered that buddy Geoff recommended Oki Dog, the legendary punk hangout. It was way back towards Hollywood on Fairfax. Could I stand another 45 minutes in the car with The Schneids behind the wheel? There was no time to think.

Introducing Oki Dog. Bar none the most disgusting restaurant I've ever eaten at. Not only were there geriatric Aryan Brotherhood guys playing arcade games, but the building itself was seemingly held together by chicken wire and cockroach carcasses. There were more washed out prison tats then napkins in this joint.

The Schneids was one step away from having a nervous breakdown upon arrival. We had to walk a block to the cash machine which only ignited his fury.

The menu board. Complete with boogers, smeared blood, sun-dried chili cheese, and anaerobic flagellated protozoan parasites.

I'll have one Oki Dog please!

Here's The Schneids wondering what he could craft into a shank if the shit got ugly. Still shaking with rage.

I ordered the Oki Dog and the lady boy working behind the counter was nice enough to give us a huge basket of fries. The guts of the Oki Dog are infamous:

1 tortilla.
2 hot dogs.
Copious piles of pastrami.

Like a baby with a bottle, The Schneids quelled his blood lust for a bite of this harbinger of bowel havoc. His thoughts? "It's good." 'Nuff said.

Behold, the innards of the most intestinally compromising food stuffs known to man. It took me 4 days to sweat the salts out of my body after eating this petri dish of nitrates and fly shit.

The Schneids had to jump on a plane immediately after we ate. I said a little prayer for the passengers of that fateful flight. There is no vacuum toilet sturdy enough for that type of industrial level gastrointestinal emission. Godspeed.

All in all, the actual Oki Dog was pretty damn good. That said, I wouldn't step foot into this restaurant after dark, with a girl, or without packing some serious weapons grade giardia meds.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Li'l Local Flavor

This is gonna sound like I'm a total dick. When people ask me why I opened Frank the true story is buddy Northcutt and I were bitching about Austin's lack of a good dog. The year we first said "we should open a fucking hot dog joint" Sonic tied for best hot dog in town. No...Shit...Chet. So as much as we wanted Austin to have a really awesome dog like we got in Chicago or NYC no place really delivered besides a cart called Chris' Little Chicago (Sadly closed down right now)

Most places simply sucked. So we opened a joint and it's pretty dang good. But it's also been a year and a half now, pushing into two. So I thought I'd venture about town and see if anyone kicked it up.

First stop was Mighty Fine. It's a burger spot run by the Rudy's BBQ folks. Rudy's is one of the better BBQ gettin places inside the city limits so I was hoping for good things. They offer a "chopped dog," ok, I'm intrigued. But alas that intrigue only lasted until the dog hit the table.

I can't bitch that it was false advertising because it is as advertised, a regular ol' wiener, chopped up, loaded in a bun and covered in chili. Considering how tasty Rudy's is I would have hoped for chili with a little more kick in the ass and they shoulda used 6 to 1 dogs instead of 8 to 1 to fill that bun hon. If they had offered beanie weenie in a bun, that woulda excited me.

Speaking of Chili with a kick in the ass. The day before South by Southwest geared up buddies Andy Vastagh from Boss Construction and Clay Hayes from hit the Texas Chili Parlor with the li'l missus and myself. You celluloid buffs may have seen parts of the Parlor in the Death Proof part of Grindhouse.

We've been going here for 15 years or so and I've never looked past the burgers and chili. Mainly because the chili is made with hunks of meat not ground beef and it's badass. They serve Fritos as sides so I rock a Frito chili pie burger always. Well this time I decided to see if they had a dog on the menu. Fuckin' A they did. And they also had a pork loin, green chili and white bean chili on that thing too. I mixed that shit up. Half XX red and half white pork covered in Fritos, sour cream, cheese and relish. Even though we were a few coldies in at this point and this is a shit pic, that was a deelish dog right there fellas.

I decided to bookend this exceptional Parlor dog with another average dag. This trip was essentially the same as being a block away from Taco Bell at 2:45 AM and making the call to hit the drive through. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Ladies and Gents Der Wienerschnitzel...

I honestly didn't know we had one in Austin. Seems they belong somewhere else. Kinda like In and Out Burger should only be in California, Der Wienerschnitzel feels like that too. Don't get me wrong, I ain't baggin' on the Schnitzel being in town it just surprised me. One of my favorite bands, The Descendants, sing about it so it's historical relevance in pop and tubed meat culture makes it gold in my book.

Hit this place with buddy Lenny and the dogs were as expected, fast food dogs, fast food taste. They are trying to hip it up a bit with the "limited time only bacon wrapped street dog." I'm no dummy, I bought one. And a chili cheese with a side of chili cheese fries. Like I said when it was over I had that same feeling as the morning after the Taco Bell drive by after a night of Wizard Party. Not so hot.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Diggity Dog Hot Dog and Sausage Co. Seattle.

Real hot dog connoisseurs don't just simply survey the scene from afar. Nope, certified tube dudes like me need to get their sweaty jowls within sniffin' distance of encased all-beef. Spies like us need the steam of a wiener bath to totally envelope our senses. To tickle our ivories, so to speak. So one Saturday afternoon I took my boo out with me on a bona fide beef frank bounty. The results were less then fantastic, but you wouldn't be shit for a power hitter if you didn't swing for the fences and miss every once in a while.

Introducing Diggity Dog in the Tangle Town neighborhood of Seattle. The definition of a mediocre hot dog establishment.

I ordered the Alabama Dog, and the little lady went with a naked Italian sausage (she's still learning).

The Alabama Dog featured slaw, chili and onions. Nothing really spectacular about the first bite, and the bun was the best thing about it.

A mediocre dog is still a hot dog. Down the hatch!

The lady wasn't complaining. Nom nom nom.

All-in-all, Diggity Dog was like an early 80's Deep Purple album. The album art had so much promise, but then it just went south when the keytars came out. Can't win 'em all.

Friday, March 11, 2011

International Report: "Hot Dogs" Cozumel, Mexico

I've always associated these things with Mexico: tacos, marijuana, beheadings, Cortez the killer, spring break nymphs, illegal immigrants, and one of the world's most depressing monetary units, the peso. While that's a mostly accurate picture, it's not quite a complete one. They have hot dogs, too! And they're pretty damn good.

This was a special hot dog adventure. Two of the founding buddies of buddies and hot dogs were able to take it together. We presented ourselves to the exotic island inhabitants as "The Radical Bros." Rick and Dale Radical--extreme adventurers to the max. We snorkeled, swam, boogie boarded, drove pink volkswagens, played Quiddler, ate, wore sandals, and drank with maximum gusto. All out, all the time. Even walking was executed with an agro edge. Fortunately no one was hurt. Except for some wicked sunburns. (Which eventually turned into savage tans anyway.)

On the eve of our hot dog cart dining, I came down with a particularly challenging case of gastrointestinal distress. The kind where you set up shop in the bathroom and hang up your favorite pictures and take your shirt off for a while. But I was not going to be defeated. Nothing gets in the way of me and bacon wrapped Mexican hot dogs.

The keepers of the cart were quite nice. They let us goof around, stand behind the cart, throw down a chicken dance or two. The dogs were surprisingly awesome. The buns were soft and crumbly and unnaturally yellow (not sure what causes that-food coloring?) The dogs, I imagine, were of the cheaper Bimbo brand variety, which can be just fine every once in a while. The bacon they wrapped around them had a nice char on it. The onions were diced to a fine wet fluff. The ketchup was sweet, fresh, and bold. KETCHUP, you say, dear reader. Yes, ketchup. The scarlet letter of condiments actually, somehow, was perfect. Now let us never speak of ketchup on dogs ever again.

Down and out in Mexico-land. Wish I was there right now. I've always felt quite comfortable sitting on curbs.

A big thanks to the lovely Cha Cha for her insider hot dog cart knowledge and all around awesomeness.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Get Your Kicks On Route 66

Buddies I hit the road again and this time I ended up on a desolate section of Route 66 outside of Oklahoma City. Not much out there but this joint Pop's in Arcadia. It's a pretty big place and it's so flat out there that this building and 66 foot tall soda bottle jut right out of the landscape like a spaceship in the middle of nowhere.

If you are into soda this place will fluff your pillow. Hundreds of varieties from all over the world. Arranged by flavor in the coolers and by colour on the floor to ceiling shelves that line all the windows.

One of four walls this size

We stopped in to pick up some sodas but what the hey, they had dogs so we decided to partake.

I went with the Pop's “ripper” a 1/4 lb, deep fried all beef dog with kraut, jalapenos, and cheddar, on a poppy seed bun.

The missus went with the standard 1/4 lb chili dog. Paired mine up with an Avery's peach sody and a side of whole fried okra.

And since they had an assload of sodas we brought a mixed case home. Here's some of the haul

Wish this spot was around the corner from the pad.

While we were in OKC we hit the usual haunts of Coit's and Johnnie's. You've seen me write about them before but here's a little visual refresh:



Them's some good dags...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

International Report II: JAPADOG!

Vancouver is a strange city, totally mixed up in what it is-Asia, Canada, Amsterdam? So it makes absolute sense then that a place like Japadog would exist here. What is it? I dunno. Is it Japanese food? Is it a hot dog? Who cares, just eat it already. Japadog is a straight up conundrum. Let it be. What if you found out Bigfoot wasn’t actually a mythic beast but was just some strange hairy dude. You might be disappointed that the mystery, the value we’ve invested in Bigfoot, the wicked riffs he’s inspired, the sweet van art, those rad “In Search of…” documentaries would lose their cultural weight and all those wonderful things you loved would turn to shit. Anyway, Japadog is good as hell. And Japadog is odd. It’s on a block with a great smelling noodle bowl place, and then this other totally strange shop called BEARD POPPA’S that sells these puffy pastries filled with cream. I love fake Japan block, it’s very awesome. I’d been holding Japadog out to Peveto like a carrot, kept saying I was gonna go, but shit kept getting in the way. Finally, my buddy Coggins and I headed over there for a quick bite. Coggins is the king, check out the mini truck! Complete with Mexican blanket upholstery and black metal soundtrack. Again, Vancouver = anomaly. Trve Kvlt Mini truck?

So Japadog is world famous because the dude who started it got all these photo endorsements by tons of famous people like that governor of California who came back in time to kill us all, and some other dudes who do some things that have absolutely no bearing on my life whatsoever. So, Japadog is kinda popular. The place was packed when we went, tons of people (ok, the place only seats 20), Japanese tourists and regular downtown folk alike. They have some signature dogs, which are really brats versus the traditional frank, but like, why the fuck would you expect tradition next to a place like BEARD POPPA’S? That place is a mystery, or in fake Japanese, MYSTERYU. Japadog’s basically what you’d expect though: a brat on a bun, with like, wasabi mayo or shredded daikon and bonito flakes on it. It really does sound stranger than it is, though. We tried 2 each, the Terimayo (beef teriyaki with shredded cabbage & wasabi mayo) and the Oroshi (the brat I mentioned with the chilled daikon and green onions), added some chili garlic french fries, and got pretty stuffed. They also have like, a wagyu beef one or something.

Look at Coggins wolfin’ that shit down.

I would have ordered the Love Meat, but I just wasn’t in the frame of mind to tell the petite and super polite Japanese girl behind the counter I wanted LOVE MEAT.

Japadog is good, pretty cheap, and a little strange. I’ll totally eat there again, though and this time I’ll stop by FUCKING BEARD POPPA’S. I just found another place here the other day that I need to go check out, we’ll see if takes me a year to do it and report on it like with Japadog.