Planet Earth: Hot Dogs of Asia

A few weeks ago I traveled to Asia. Luckily, Asia isn’t the void, hot dog barren continent I thought it would be. Instead, it is a fairly westernized, hot dog imitating continent that falls far short of being worthy of the title “hot dog continent”. There can only one hot dog continent and that is America. There can only be one ‘Murica. Regardless, in total I had three hot dogs, and one was particularly epic. It was part of a 25 course tasting menu at the #1 rated restaurant in Asia… three years in a row. Let’s not save the best for last, because I don’t save and I don’t like being last.

Gaggan: Bangkok, Thailand

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What we have here are little lamb kebab dogs on little buns with little onions, little carrots, and a little sauce. The menu we see during our 3 hour long experience of utmost gluttony is only emojis. There is one emoji per course, and this one was obviously the hot dog. We had to guess what the emojis were going to be – sometimes even after the course came out and we couldn’t tell what it was. To be honest, I don’t know what the sauces were because I was so happy and immersed in the experience. I had just enjoyed an old-fashioned that was infused with Cohiba cigar smoke underneath a glass dome in front of me. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Incredible. No words. “…”

Stand Underneath the Ferris Wheel: Hong Kong

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Touristy areas have hot dogs, it’s a way of life. So did the Ferris Wheel in Hong Kong. My options were Original, Spicy, BBQ, or Cheese. I went with original, and I love how that meant, ketchup, YELLOW mustard, and relish. This was true American influence. The bun was OK, the sauces were applied with gusto, but unfortunately the sausage itself tasted like dirty brown water trash. For what it’s worth, the Ferris Wheel was pretty awesome?

Random Convenience Store Bacon-Wrapped Wiener: Phuket, Thailand

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Given this title, I’m sure you were expecting greatness. So was I. It was really disheartening to see how under-cooked the bacon was and how flavorless the hot dog was. Such a fine establishment should have done better. Welp, someone had to do it. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone… ever.

P.S. Below is a picture of the Asia boys, AKA “JUBS” getting to meet the man behind the magic at Gaggan – Gaggan Anand himself. Check him out on Netflix’s Chef’s Table if you’re interested. Also, go to Thailand if you can.

Cheers

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Asiadog

New York is huge on its “fusion” restaurants. For example, Jerry said to Jane, “Oh my god, you wouldn’t believe the Italian Tapas Japanese fusion restaurant I went to with Ryan the other day. It was fabulous!” I may not be as enthusiastic as Jerry, but I can get down with fusion. In middle school, I would always mix yellow mustard and mayonnaise to dip my chicken nuggets in. Fusion. White people and hip hop made the Beastie Boys. Fusion. Red wine and white wine mixed together made Rosé. Fusion. Now, a hot dog and Asian cuisine made Asiadog. I can get down with that.

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(Sadly, I had to lie in the previous paragraph. I never actually mixed mustard and mayonnaise, sorry.)

Asiadog has multiple locations. They can be found in Smorgasburg, Berg’N, Madison St. Eats, and others. I found them in their new Midtown location: Urban Space. In the picture above you can see the vast variety of weenies available here. Its super exciting. I’m actually quite sad to announce that I didn’t get the “Wangding”. Next time, I definitely will just because of that name. Instead, I asked for their best dog as always, and the surprisingly educated hot dog fixer said that she couldn’t decide between two. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to feel guilty about getting two. Bring on “The Vinh” and “The Mash”.

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On the right side, standing six foot four, packing 300 pounds of pickled carrot, jalapeno, and pate, the fiercely formidable, Vinh dog! And on the left side, standing five foot three, dragging in crumbs of potato chips from the couch, doused in ketchup in mustard, embarrassing his wife, the sluggishly familiar, Mash dog!

Yes, those were my first impressions. I was taken aback by the abundance of unique toppings adorning the Vinh dog, and rather unimpressed by crumpling potato chips on a hot dog as on the Mash. With time comes change. I went for the Vinh first, as my eager, hungry personality often does. The pickled carrots were delicious, but there were a lot of them. The spice was great, but maybe not enough. The hot dog itself, just like in the Mash, was great. Asiadog prides themselves in their organic sausages. They even offer a chicken dog and a veggie dog. Now, if you ask me neither of those are actually hot dogs, but if you’re one of those types, go for it. The beef weenies I got had no casing (hence no snap, which was a downside), but tasted fresh, pure, and flat out delicious. The bun could have been a little more toasted, or perhaps of higher quality. A Martin’s potato roll never hurts, y’all.

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At this point in time I was thinking Asiadog was just good. It was unique and interesting, but not the greatest taste. It was then when I bit into the Mash. God Bless. How could one know that crumpled potato chips, fancy ketchup, and spicy jalapeno mustard could join forces to create a weenie so fine, and so gracefully elegant? It was as if a Chinese man banged a gong in my mouth, then grabbed two fire hoses that spewed out jalapeno mustard and spicy ketchup and coated my tongue with the sauces, then summoned a majestic dragon of beef to fulfill my carnivorous desires. Yes, I realize that is an absurd simile, but whatever. Go eat the Mash dog at Asiadog. It is phenomenal. Because of this, I raised my rating up a notch. I also plan on going back and trying all of their combinations.

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P.S. Red wine and white wine don’t make Rosé, silly. But for now, here’s a few other fusions to think about. Jay Z and Beyonce fornicated and made Blue Ivy. Fusion. An Orange and a Grapefruit rolled into each other on a grassy knoll and made a Tangelo. Fusion. A pig’s intestine was filled with low quality meat and formed a hot dog. Fusion, my friends, fusion.

Cheers

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