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...