Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Casey Said This Needs A Title

Ladies and Gents, A historic moment materialized last July in beautiful San Francisco. Original Buddy Brewer and I did some serious first time dog crushing and epic wax shopping. It was a glorious weekend. I started out with a perfectly nutritious breakfast with buddy Justin. We hit one of my favourite joints out there, It’s Tops. It’s been there practically a million years and still looks the same. Plus they have delicious bacon and cheese stuffed waffles that they gladly will add a side of hot link to. Swampy was a regular trooper considering his innerds had turned on him and he really wasn’t allowed to eat this kinda grub but he did anyway.

Next stop was Brewer’s place of employ, Evolution Bureau. We had a nice coldie on the roof and checked out the view. We decided the best plan was to hit every record store in the city and throw back dogs and brews on the way.

Starting off at That’s It we bellied up for the massive Torta Cubana. We made the wise choice to split one so we had room for the hooch chugging the day would bring. It was for sure the right move. Lookit, that thing is the size of Brew’s face.

We moved on to Amoeba then Murrio’s, for the traditional record haul review and brew, The Explorist International,, Aquarius, and Toronado for a few more drafts along the way. The last, and best stop (and record haul), was Groove Merchant amazing used and rare stuff. Very well curated and to top it off dude was handing out ice cold Tecates to any takers. We took.

Back at Brewer’s pad I discover this genius lives on top of a hot dog stand! Sweet! Grabbed a snack at Underdog to go with the beers we grabbed down at the get quick and started spinning the records we picked up.

Hit some amazing sushi and fish weirdness to top off the day and Brew poured the last pint as we got into a super discussion about punk rock. One for the ages as some old kook would say.

New York, New York

Holy Shit I am behind on the dog postin. I better get this one up since I've already been back to NYC since this trip.

This lil whirlwind trip took me to catch up with buddies Mike Treff and James Victore and to see buddy Craig Finn play some really amazing solo shows.

Of all my trips to NYC I have never made it to two staples, Crif Dogs and Gray's Papaya. Well, I suck and still haven't hit Gray's but I knocked ol' Criff of the list. Not too shabby. They had a bacon wrapped thing with an egg on top and my rule is always go with the egg on top. I doubled down with another bacon wrapped dohicky with avocado and sour cream and a delicious PBR.

I shoulda popped into the secret hidey hole bar next door but we had to get to Craigs show. Priorities...

I got to hang for a few days and see a couple Finn shows, listen to records and drink cold beers. Positive Life Choices all.

Hebrew Beer

Whores One of the best albums this year.


This guy

On my last day Buddies Treff and his gal Amy took me to Bark. A quality jam over in Park Slope. I kept it simple and went for the chili cheese dog and a brat. Super tasty. But the best was the disco fries. A nice send off to the aeroport for sure.

Disco Fries

Buddy Treff and his lovely squeeze Amy stuffin faces.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Tilia. Minneapolis.

The lack of quality content on this blog brings me great sorrow. It makes my old balls ache. I'm not exactly sure what the deal is. Maybe it's my new affinity for coconut water, soy milk and kale chips. Perhaps it's Jake's cross-fit squat challenges and clean livin'. Maybe it's because ol' Geoff is such a big timer Hollywood type that he only has the stomach for fancy shmancy artisan eats. Fuck all of that. The thing that brought us all here was good times and quality dogs. 

It's time to get the band back together, go on the road, infuse our faces with delicious all-beef meats and mustards from far off lands. I give you Tilia in Minneapolis. Perhaps the best hot dog I have ever deposited in my beard hole.

Two of these BLT Dogs cost a grand total of $10. Here on the West Coast I couldn't buy handful of toenail clippings for that. 

Bacon, tomatoes, dill pickles, pickled veggies (carrots, cauliflower, onions), sprigs of dill,  mayo, mustard, black pepper, and scallions. It's like a Chicago Dog that's been sniffin' around in some gypsy mama farmer's market picnic basket. "Hey Sugar Babe, I like your sprigs."

I hoisted this duo of dogs into my Sarlacc Pit faster than the human mind can calculate the chewing muscle function. Down the hatch boys!

I also sampled the scallops and a gem lettuce salad. All excellent. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Station Street Hot Dogs. Pittsburgh, PA.

In-between napping and procrastinating packing-up my apartment for another move I heard about a new hot dog restaurant in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Normally I go out of my way to avoid that part of town since it’s filled with hipsters and douchbags, once I heard that this encased meat emporium was the brainchild of Kevin Sousa, my favorite local chef I knew I had to check it out.

However I didn’t want to do it alone. So I opened my phone and went down my list to see if any of my buddies wanted to embark on this adventure with me. With every call I got excuse after excuse like, “I’m visiting my dad in the hospital,” or “Dude, I’m too hung-over to eat.”

After realizing none of my buddies had their priorities straight I decided to go solo. So I hopped in my car. Put the address into my trusty GPS and headed out to hipster central. When I pulled into the parking lot I was extremely happy. The place looked like a dump. Instead of taking the shell of hot dog stand that had graced the neighborhood since 1915 and turning it into something fancy it appeared they kept the structure and dining area intact from it’s last renovation, which if I had to guess was in 1970 something. They even kept the original logo, which I think adds to the charm and awesomeness of the place.

While standing line my stomach was growling loudly. It was my body’s way of letting the three indecisive girls standing in front of me know that I was hungry and couldn’t wait for them to decide what kind of dogs they wanted. As they blankly stared at the menu and asked the guy behind the counter what each item on the menu tasted like. As he tried to describe each one I got even hungrier. At the moment I was about to Hulk out, jump behind the counter and make my own they reached a decision, three plain dogs. How adventurous.

Now that they were done I stood at the elusive front of the line. The guy behind the counter asked me what I wanted. Now I consider myself an expert at this. I should know what I want before hitting the road. Not this time. This time I caught a case of indecision. As I blankly stared at the menu I could hear the stomach growling of the person behind me. I didn’t want to feel his rage so I placed my order. Since I was possessed by hunger I’m going to admit that I went a little overboard. Here’s what I got:

One Chili Cheese Dog
One Banh Mi Dog
One Kimchi Dog
One order of duck fat fries
One Diet Coke

After placing my gluttonous order I grabbed a seat at the counter and waited. I glanced at all the other customers enjoying their food and couldn’t wait to be one of them. Five minutes later they brought me my tray and I started digging in.

I started with the chili cheese dog. I was kind of expecting a regular old hot dog with onions, chili sauce and cheese sauce. Station Street exceeded that. The dog was 100% beef with natural casing, covered with onions, arsenal cheese curds and homemade smoked briscut chili. Growing up in Detroit I thought nothing could beat a Coney Dog from All-American Coney. I was wrong. This was the best chili cheese dog that I’ve ever had. As I finished the last bite I was wishing I ordered three of these delicacies but I had to move onto the next one.

I’m going to make a startling admission here, up until 2009 I never had Vietnamese food. I never knew the joy of pho or a bahn mi until I moved to Seattle. The moment I had them they became a regular staple of my piss poor diet. After leaving Seattle for Pittsburgh I’ve had to endure sub-standard Vietnamese fare. For the last ten months I’ve been searching for the best bahn mi in the steel city. I had no idea that I’d find it at gourmet hot dog joint.

The Bahn Mi Dog consists of a beef dog, pork liver, pickled cucumber, pickled red onion, jalapeno, sweet chili and cilantro. The first bite had a kick. Sweat started pouring down my brow. I didn’t know if I could handle the heat. Each bite was more intense than the last. My mouth was on fire. I was almost out of Diet Coke. I really wanted to walk to the counter and get a refill; if I did that this dog would win. I couldn’t let that happen so I chomped away until Bahn Mi dog was distant memory.

If they didn’t go overboard on the spices this would be one of the best hot dogs I’ve ever tasted.

After getting a refill I walked back and saw the Kimchi Dog staring me in the face. I didn’t know if I could handle another spicy dog. I wanted to give-up. But I couldn’t. I had to devour this baby.

The Kimchi Dog is made of 100% beef, kimchi, kewpie mayo, nori and bonito. I was expecting it to have more of a kick, but it had more sweet than spice. A very pleasant and delicious surprise.

After finishing it I took a look at my duck fat fries and grabbed a few. After stuffing them into my mouth I realized I had enough. I couldn’t go on, the food had beaten me into submission. I needed a nap.

Station Square is the best hot dog joint in Pittsburgh. They only serve 100% beef dogs that have that snap with almost every bite. Since they’re located where hipsters congregate they do have a veggie option. If you find yourself in the burgh for any reason you need to get your ass in here immediately. 

Penned by none other than THE SCHNEIDS.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Austin Dogs: Featuring Frank & Bestwurst.

My pal Josh meandered his smug ass down to Austin to ride motorbikes without a helmet, watch the Dallas Stars play, and get friendly with mutual buddy Ryan's couch. It sounds like it was a real freedom lovin' weekend filled with beers, bikes and bountiful meats. Here's what Josh had to say in his own words:

Sampled dogs at two Austin locations, one old and one new(ish).

First were the new guys: Frank Hot Dogs & Cold Beer. These guys make their own sausages on site, with tons of options and combinations. I tried one of their featured creations, The Notorious P.I.G. This sucker is House-made pork, bacon, jalapeno & sage sausage with macaroni & cheese, Texas BBQ sauce. Not traditional, but absurdly delicious. I felt terrible about myself afterwards, which is always a sign of hot dog success. I washed it down with a local brew on draught: the Hops & Grains Pale Dog. Maybe not very hopped by my NW standars, but an immensely drinkable beer. I'm sure a dozen of them or so go down quite smooth on a hot Texas day.

Next I sampled from Bestwurst, a veteran food cart that resides on 6th Street. I went for the headliner on their small menu: Bratwurst German style pork sausage, double ground with nutmeg and pepper. Their standard fixins are onions, kraut, curry ketchup, and spicy mustard. I ditch the ketchup on my dogs whenever possible (a Superbeast tradition). Amazing stuff here, everything a street dog should be. Quick, cheap, steaming hot, and better than most things you will ever put in your mouth. This is worth fighting through the crowds of college douches that gather on 6th every night.

I told Josh to give a shout to old Geoff and Northcutt at Frank. They weren't around. Probably touching dicks with some Hollywood mogul, 'bout ready to invest in their encased meat empire.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Guess My Celebrity Dad

Buddy Northcutt and I rolled out to Los Angeles this weekend to see some family and friends and do a little Frank business. We accomplished everything famously and thanks to said family and friends we had a great time between all the hot dog talk. Maybe the most enjoyable part of the trip was the downtown bar tour orchestrated by buddies Kent, Fieron and Nathan. We started off by hitting Cole's for some sustenance before the real business started. Classic French Dip. Super tasty.

Cole's is also home to The Varnish where I had this refreshing concoction called "The Fairbanks" It was Bulleit Rye and apricot, a giant ice cube and other fancy hoo ha I don't remember.

Around the halfway point of the evening we ended up at the lovely Jessica's bar, The Falls Lounge. After a couple PBR's and shots Fieron pointed at Nathan and said to me "We're gonna play guess my celebrity dad."

Me: "Ron Moranis!"

Fieron: "You mean Rick Moranis. No. Try again"

Me: (Second guess fell victim to a possible black out )

Fieron: "No. Try again"

Me: "Luke Skywalker!"

Fieron: "Bingo!"

(I paraphrased some of that shit because I really don't remember exactly how that all went down.)

Flash forward a couple hours, Jessica is still pouring the whisky and PBR's and the buddies tell me that Nathan really is Luke Skywalker's son. And to clarify were talking about Mark Hamill and not 2 Live Crew here *Edit* Buddy Kendra advised I did not choose the best 2 Live Crew song so it has been updated. Nathan's a pretty rad and funny fella. If you meet him ask him about a bulldog in a bed and a girl in a closet. Definitely a new buddy. Suck on that Star Wars nerds, a 10 hour bender with Luke Skywalker's kid.

But that was just Saturday. Sunday was we got into the dogs. First off we hit Berlin Currywurst. Met the owners who moved to LA from Berlin to open up shop. I maybe even impressed them with my Currywurst knowledge and that I had eaten my weight in it on multiple trips to their homeland. Their set up was simple. You picked the sausage, the heat level and the sauce. Completely authentic and just like the wurst karts in Hamburg. We pulled three varieties, Bockwurst with traditional curry sauce, Bratwurst with ginger orange Charlottenberg and Paprikawurst with Mitte which was a lemon garlic spiced sauce. Super good folks doing a cool thing. Make sure you go check it out.

Next on the agenda was checking out buddy Tyler's Handsome Coffee lab which happened to be across the street from Wurst Kuche. Due to being stuffed from Berlin Currywurst we had a couple coldies there and caught up with TJ before scooting off to watch the Lakers choke in the last 2 min of the game. Ol' WK has been chronicled here a couple times so I won't waste your peepers on it again.

We capped the night at Dog Haus in Old Pasadena. This place was a real treat and we weren't even hammered. Really good, fat beef dogs dressed up in a bunch of creative ways like we like. Lots of options but NCT and I went for the gusto pulling in The Little Leaguer and The Grand Slam respectively.

Grand Slam, smoked bacon, tater tots and a fried egg:

Danny smoochin his chili cheese frito pie dog.

Whirlwind dog trip but it was a gooder. We'll be back LA.

p.s. do all flights look like this? :

Friday, January 20, 2012

Rosamunde Sausage Grill. San Francisco, CA.

Following in the footsteps of our good buddy and certified "tube dude" Geoff, I checked out Rosamunde Sausage Grill in San Francisco. I was new to the city, a real Johnny Come Lately, lil' kid new boots fresh off the highway with nothing but an unkempt beard a maniacal craving for encased meats. This joint does not disappoint, buddies.

I wrapped my meat hooks around the Weisswurst. A veal, onion and leak masterpiece recommended by the gent working the counter. He told me to put ketchup on it. My reply? "No dice newb." The dog was a flavorful taste explosion, accessorized with kraut, some spicy peppers and stone ground mustard. The real winner at Rosamunde is the grilled french roll. The perfect amount of resistance before busting the seams on a delicious dog.

That's a good looking sausage right there.

My pal Erin rolled with the Chicken Cherry. She let me nibble off the tip. I'm not a fan of chicken sausages, but this one had a nice bite with a clean, sweet finish. The kraut plussed up the sour. All in all? Not too fucking shabby.

Here's Erin deep-throating a quality dog. Her thoughts? "Shit is good, man." 'Nuff said.