Cartagena, Colombia Street Dog

Believe it or not, I went to Colombia for a vacation with some buddies of mine. The land was beautiful, the architecture vibrant, and the culture friendly and welcoming. Believe it or not, I came back alive and with no effects of Zika. However, only 1 in every 5 people who have Zika show symptoms, and there’s some sort of incubation period, and I was without question bitten by a mosquito… but let’s forget about that. Believe it or not, and this is by far the biggest “believe it or not,” I found a hot dog to review in a foreign land where I spoke almost zero English. Believe.

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I know you can’t see it, but trust me, there is a sausage under there. Although it would be a pretty awesome conspiracy to fake a weenie review in South America, I didn’t have to. I’m looking at you, United States government. Nice “moon landing.” Anyway, I was able to find this weenie on the third night of a four night adventure. When we first arrived in the city of Cartagena, I saw some franks in the super market, even foot-longs which was super exciting. However, I never saw any at restaurants or stands, so I thought I was going to have to grill one myself. “Un perro caliente para mi.” Epic.

But alas, along the corner of the wall near the majestic clock tower at the entrance to the historic walled city, and young man was grilling weenies. After I basically just told him “si, si, si… uhhh, si?” he handed over a weenie unlike any I’d ever had. That is the perfect way to experience a foreign country.

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Look at that bad boy. The amount of bread surrounding the frank basically blocked my ability to taste it. But, it did have some delicious sauces on it. I watched the man put a pink sauce, a red sauces, and a yellow sauce down, then top it off with fried potato bits. My guess is the pink sauce was a mayonnaise-ketchup hybrid. The red sauce had some spice to it, and based on the sauce I received with my empanadas earlier, it was a tomato based hot sauce. Then, the yellow sauce was sadly not mustard. It was tangy and bright, which was odd, and I don’t even know what it added to the sandwich. What a waste of a yellow sauce. I don’t understand how any human could pass up on French’s yellow mustard here. Mind boggling. There’s a huge port in Cartagena, I guarantee they could import it. The potatoes on top were the best part. Crispy, crunchy goodness was gracefully sprinkled like fairy dust on top of this weenie. Si, muy bien.

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The guy above was only trying to take my money, but it made for a good photo. At the end of the day, the Colombia dog was OK. There was too much bread, but the unique sauces were pretty tasty and the potato topping delectable. The actual sausage had no snap or much flavor that I could tell. It probably could have been tofu and I wouldn’t have known. Don’t even get me started on tofu… it won’t be pretty.

2.5 weenies

Sure, it wasn’t the greatest dog, but it was a great experience. Colombia is a wonderful place to travel. Everything is cheap and there are basically no rules. In fact, the hot dog I had cost 4,000 pesos ($1.19), but my buddy Mike’s cost 10,000 pesos ($2.97) and they were identical. Nothing makes sense, but that’s why it is fun. Now there’s a motto to live by.

Cheers

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Lucky’s

Red and yellow has never been a good color combination. Its simply too much – too harsh. Who in their right mind would put red and yellow right next to each other? McDonald’s owns that color combination. Someone in marketing decided that was a good idea? Is it supposed to be subliminal messaging? Add the eating smiley face to the mix and it feels like you’re in one of James Bond’s evil villain’s Chinese torture chamber. Quite honestly, the bright colors kept me away from this place, although I’ve seen them all over the city. Then I found out they had hot dogs.

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Not only do they serve hot dogs, but they serve the “Chili Cheese Dog Supreme.” Let me describe how epic of a name that is. They took four of my favorite words, put them in a row, and used them to describe something to eat, which is my favorite thing to do. Why did I ever doubt this place? The weenie came out quickly, piping hot, and the staff was very friendly. The creepy yellow smiley face lights that made up 60 percent of the surface area of the ceiling were definitely not my favorite, but I let it slide once this glorious weenie came into view.

Upon first bite, the first thing I notice is the cheese. This is thick, melted, nacho cheese. It is a little richer than the melted Kraft singles I’ve enjoyed before, and I’m totally OK with it. It goes together quite nicely with the chili all over the dog. In fact, it is nestled within the dog because the dog split in half. Poor dog. Normally, I’m not a split in half kind of guy but in this case there is so much chili and cheese its almost necessary to keep the slop within the bounds of the bun. I shouldn’t call the chili slop – that sounds like something in a pig trough. This chili is a stew of beefy goodness only kings should have access to. If they sold this in cans, my pantry would have already collapsed from the weight of the copious amounts of chili I would buy. If I had an Jewish friend who chose to break Kosher rules one time in his life, I would feed him this chili. Oh, they put some onions on it, too.

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The bun is supportive of its contents, thick, and well-toasted. I’m about 84% sure it is a potato roll, but for some reason I can’t tell because the whole room is yellow from the ceiling lights. I know the frank is a Hebrew National, because it is advertised as such. It is an average sausage, and cutting it in half does always eliminate the snap. However, no snap here is not a problem because the focus was totally on the chili and cheese. I kind of wish there was no onion, but it didn’t hurt the overall taste at all because the chili was so on point. Lucky’s advertises the chili as Angus, so I can infer that it is imported. As an importer/exporter, I can respect the decision to import from Texas here. Hook ’em horns.

3.75 weenies

What just happened? Three quarters of a weenie? That’s right folks, I was so torn here that I brought in the quarter weenie. Behold a revolution. Trust me, it will help in the future when there’s 100 of these reviews, I make a list of the best weenies in NYC, and take over the world. Too much?

Cheers

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Ben’s Kosher Deli

I am ferociously dedicated to hot dogs. My devotion to the weenie is undying. Just about 2 hours ago, I walked 20 minutes from work… to a deli I had no enthusiasm for… in 10 degree wind chilled temperatures… alone… simply to eat a hot dog, take pictures of it, and write about it. If I told that to a psychiatrist, I’d be in a straight jacket right now. In fact, I heard about this deli because I’m pretty sure a dude I never met before in an Uber pool told me about it. Thanks, guy. Regardless of the struggle and the insanity, I can honestly tell you all that this was indeed the highlight of my day and I’d like to tell you about it.

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Behold. The frank from Ben’s extremely commercial, Jewish, and Kosher (I guess that’s still Jewish) Deli. Now, you may remember that I wasn’t a fan of another big commercial touristy Jewish deli. (Katz’s Deli) So, I wasn’t incredibly enthused about Ben’s, especially since it is just south of Times Square on 38th and 7th. The place was a little bizarre, and definitely huge and commercial as I feared. However, when I told them I didn’t want to sit down and be waited on, and I only wanted a hot dog at the bar, they looked at me oddly, but were very accommodating. For $9.95 the hot dog comes with a drink, 3 different types of pickles, coleslaw, sauerkraut, and a huge knish. This is an epic deal, especially if you’re poor. A quick side note on the knish: I love this invention. Whichever lovely Jewish man with gorgeous curls invented it must have been a sweetheart.

Let’s get into the weenie details. The dog comes out with ‘kraut on the side and no toppings at all. They only have this odd spicy brown mustard that I’ve never seen, called Gold’s. It is no French’s yellow, but it is pretty good, and I’m a little surprised by it. I applied it with incredible precision, and even added kraut because I was feeling the whole NYC Jewish vibe. The bun is nicely toasted, but maybe a little on the light side, as in I couldn’t see any grill marks or bun browning. That’s a new one: “bun browning.” It sounds like something the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders do as a pre-game warm up routine.

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Anyway, the first bite is marvelous, because the snap in this weenie is next level. You can tell there’s some real intestine on the outside of this bad boy and its glorious. There is a strong, 100% beef flavor, that is the tell-tale sign of a high quality frankfurter. This is a pure hot dog. If you are a plain weenie person, I think this would be on the top of your list. One unfortunate thing that happened to me, however, happened over time. Towards the end of eating the hot dog, I got a little tired of the snap. It was as if there was too much casing, and I had to chew through the sausage. This goes to prove that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Moderation in life is key. I didn’t think it could happen with the snap, but it did. I would definitely recommend this weenie, though. “One flaw a mistake does not make,” Yoda once said.

3.5 weenies

Is eating a hot dog alone at the bar of a huge time square deli sad? Am I a pathetic human being? To the haters I say nay. I say, in the words of Kelly Clarkson, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Unfortunately, eating a ton of hot dogs my eventually kill me. Eh. YOLO.

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.

4 weenies

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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3 Sheets Saloon

3 Sheets Saloon is part of a family of bars that is known for attracting 21-24 year-olds for incredibly cheap drinks, beer games, and a college vibe. You’ll notice in the picture above the word “she” is taken out of the name. That’s no coincidence. This bar is always filled with dudes. Dude fest. Sausage fest. What a great place to serve a hot dog! This is an example of an incredible marketing plan and I’m buying into it. Pour me a 3 dollar Bobby Lewis and serve me up a weenie to eat among a bunch of other weenies. This is livin’.

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Above rests the 3 Sheets Dog with a side of tater tots. The mustard was self applied, but the bacon… oh, the bacon, was not. Here we have a bacon wrapped, deep fried, cheese-filled dog. Hopefully you all remember the wonderful Harlem Shake bacon wrapped Sonoran Dog. That was a huge winner, so I was hoping for the same here. Unfortunately this one lacked something just looking at it. It lacked freshness. I’m actually not sure how to describe it, but I can tell you that it just didn’t possess the quality or the craftsmanship that I’d hope. I then remembered where I was and forgot about these silly expectations I had. I was at the college watering hole. “Baby Got Back” still plays over the speakers here hourly. People don’t go here for quality, they go here for quantity. Oh my, was this quantity.

The first taste is the bacon. Cheap, awesome bacon that is somehow stuck to the weenie inside. The next taste is the mustard I chose to apply. (Note the waitress teased me when I asked if they had yellow mustard, she said yes, brought out a yellow container, and inside lay the spicy brown pond scum. Or, “dirty brown water trash.” – Workaholics) Soon after followed the sausage, which had a very smoky flavor to it that I very much enjoyed. Then, a gargantuan influx of melted white cheese. This is the kind of cheese that is so fake you can only call it American; even more fake than my favorite Kraft Singles. This cheese tastes like it could sit on a shelf for 3 years. Now that’s some cheese.

Nothing was incredibly memorable, but it did taste pretty damn good. How could anything be bad if you add fake cheese and bacon to it, though? I mean, it can’t be hard to succeed in the restaurant industry once you know this secret. Anything could be good with this type of treatment. Leo would win an Oscar if he were deep fried, bacon wrapped, and cheese-filled. I guarantee it.

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(I certainly didn’t mind the crisp dill slices to the left either…)

I really enjoyed this hot dog, even though I knew it wasn’t very good. I’d compare this weenie devouring experience to going to a WWE event. You know it’s stupid, you know it’s excessive, but you’re still somehow incredibly amused. You’re surrounded by dudes enjoying a ridiculous experience. In this case, the ridiculous experience was a deep fried, bacon wrapped, cheese filled, 3 Sheets Saloon Dog.

3 weenies

If that didn’t convince you, nothing will.

Cheers

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The Bearded Lady: Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve. Rather than get in the Christmas spirit by listening to Christmas music, baking cookies, and stuffing socks full of useless trinkets, I am choosing to write about a hot dog. The story of this hot dog, in my opinion, truly embodies the spirit of Christmas. It all began on a Saturday morning. I had purchased a Santa suit in preparation to run a 4 mile race called the jingle bell jog, where my plan was to don the suit and attempt to make it across the finish line with my coworkers. Given that I write about a hot dog once a week, y’all know I can’t be in great shape. Well, Saturday morning race day comes along, and I wake up to multiple missed calls and texts. It is 10 minutes to race time and there is no way I make it to Brooklyn on time. Epic fail. Rather than stay in and sulk, however, I make it out to Brooklyn to participate in the post race bar crawl. Part of that bar crawl took place at a bar called the Bearded Lady, which, by some sort of Christmas miracle, served hot dogs. Santa is real, and he presented me with this gift even though I was a bad boy. No coal this time, just a weenie for me. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, indeed.

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Behold the Chicago dog. As I’ve mentioned before, Chicago dogs are great, but usually mood weenies. What is a mood weenie? Every once in a while, you get in a strange mood and crave chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, right? Imagine that chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream is a Chicago dog. It’s not your go-to, but when you’re in a weird mood, it’s money. Luckily, given the events of the morning prior, I was in a weird mood, and a Chicago dog called my name. Chicago dogs are essentially gardens on top of sausages. You have your tomatoes, pickles, onions, peppers, and most importantly mustard. My favorite part about the Chicago dog is the way the yellow mustard (always yellow, obviously) interacts with the pickle to form this graceful, harmonious marriage that is most definitely legal everywhere in the US except for Alabama.

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Now, remember, we are in Brooklyn, so this is not a traditional Chicago dog. We have here a very thin toasted bun which allows for emphasis on the toppings. The toppings are diced up and covered in black pepper, which is very rare for a Chicago dog. In fact, I’ve never seen this before. It is almost as if there is some form of pico de gallo adorning the sausage. I have to say it works very well. Then, the weenie itself. Let me give a shout out again to the Brooklyn Hot Dog Co,  serving up another delicious sausage. They are long, tasty, and of incredible quality. I still long for a little more snap, but definitely some of the best sausages around. This is a very bold weenie, at a very bold place, with very bold cocktails. I highly recommend both the bar and the hot dog they serve. If you’re ever near Prospect Park, this is a great rest stop to shoot some pool and enjoy a cocktail and a dog.

3.5 weenies

Now, in honor of Christmas, a poem. This is a mashup of some of your favorite Christmas hits, entitled “Hot Dogs for Thee”.

On Dasher, on Dancer, on Schnippers, Papaya

On Comet and Cupid, The Cannibal and Rudy’s

A hot dog comes for thee, oh yum yum yum yum

A king weenie we seek, oh yum yum yum yum

Deck the halls with loads of weenies

Fatty fatty fat, we get so fat

A hot dog comes for thee, oh yum yum yum yum

A king weenie we seek, oh yum yum yum yum”

From the middle of my heart (the bottom makes no sense), thanks for all of the support in 2015. See you in 2016, as there are still many weenies to try! God bless you all and have a wonderful holiday! 

Cheers

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The Rusty Knot

This review took me to the annals of the west village, on the water where the Pirates gather to discuss their recently discovered booty. I was nautically inspired, and drank a Montauk ale among the seamen. Ahoy, indeed, mates. Then, I realized two very important things. First, that it is very easy to make crude pirate jokes. Second, that a knot physically cannot rust. A knot is usually made of rope, which is not a metal, meaning that it cannot oxidize. Without oxidation, there can be no rust. Similarly, without a good bun, there can be no good hot dog. Enter the Rusty Knot and the pretzel dog.

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When I read about the pretzel dog I was very excited. Pretzels are generally quite good, and pretzel dough is fat and excellent. Hot dogs are obviously also fat and excellent, so when you mix two fat and excellent things you get a double fat and excellent sandwich. Salt is also a great component of a pretzel which could go well with the savory hot dog flavor. However, the end result of this creation was not how it was supposed to be.

The number one rule of wrapping a pretzel around a hot dog is to ensure that the pretzel is soft. This pretzel was crunchy on the outside, like a stale popcorn shrimp. Even worse, think of a hunk of cheese that sat out overnight and you accidentally bit into it without realizing it. That’s some next level imagery. The number two rule of wrapping a pretzel around a hot dog is to keep it on the hot dog. This one fell off and moved like a hybrid slinky-accordion. If I put this on the top if the stairs, it would gracefully slink down the stairs to the tune of “Play that Funky Music White Boy” because apparently that is a song that is commonly played on the accordion. Then, the hot dog itself wasn’t cooked enough and had nary a snap. As Boomer says on Monday Night… c’mon man. Overall, the pretzel idea was poorly executed.

In the above artsy, tiled, picture gallery contraption you can see the accordion figure of the pretzel a little better. You can also see a few positive things. You can order a pickle for 2 bucks. That’s phenomenal. There is guacamole in play. Stellar. Then, there is yellow mustard dipping sauce. This is the only thing that saved this dog from being absolutely demolished in the ratings.

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Quite honestly I feel bad that this is the lowest dog ranked yet. I enjoyed the bar and the experience overall. I even took this guy I met on the street from Arkansas there because I thought it would be good. I would go to the bar again for certain. They have a pool table, and a campy nautical vibe that is very appealing. There’s a real fish tank! Regardless, (and not irregardless, that’s not a word so stop saying it America), it wasn’t a good hot dog and that’s just a fact.

Cheers

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Humboldt & Jackson

Well, I found myself in Brooklyn again. This time was far enough away that I caught people giving me funny glances as I walked around the streets. While it is in Williamsburg, it is definitely in the back of Williamsburg. Back here is where the Wicked Witch of the West summers. The rat from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a place here. Have you seen PeeWee’s Big Adventure? This is where Large Marge lives. However, nestled within this barrio is a little taquito of holiness called Humboldt and Jackson, serving up excellent All-American drinks and snacks. It’s crafty.

  
Before I get into the deliciousness that is pictured above, let me start out by saying that these guys serve something called “beer cheese fondue”. I cannot name a single time in life where if that was on the menu I wouldn’t order it. It was amazing, and I highly recommend it. Beer is good, cheese is good, and fondue is fun to say in a french accent with a beret on. Beer cheese fondue is a fantastic invention. (Maybe they should put some of it on a hot dog.)

Now, the weenie itself. The Chili Verde Dog. H&J is all about small market beers, and they keep constant with that theme in their hot dogs. The weenie itself is from Brooklyn Hot Dog Co., a local sausage maker. If I knew that was a profession that I could tell a guidance counselor in elementary school, it would have been on the top of my list. Not only is it local, it tastes damn good. Note to self, I need to visit the weenie factory soon. Then, laid gracefully on top of the dog is the chili verde. This is certainly a first for me, and a pretty unique, hipster-y topping. I am definitely a fan of it, but I’m not so sure it should be on a hot dog. If you’ve ever eaten flautas, this hot dog is essentially flautas plus a sausage. There are some mexican soft cheeses and diced onions on top as well that help cut the spice of the chili verde. The bun is toasted with care, and they even stuck a little American flag in it. How perfect is that? 

  
Obviously I enjoyed it. The weenie in general was kind of like that kid that you stay friends with only because he is interesting. You don’t want to hang out with him all the time, but every once in a while he provides a little spark to your drab, meaningless, mundane existence. Pop some chili verde on that bad boy and that’s the personality you’ll get in the dog. Good, but not great. Mexican, but American. Sauce, but not salsa. Ornate, not elegant.

3.5 weenies

I would also like to point out that I did not plan on coming to this establishment, nor did I know they had hot dogs. I was more than pleasantly surprised with the place in general and the fact that they had a gourmet hot dog on the menu. They specialize in beer and wine pairings and everything that they serve was really good. Go there. 

On a more serious note, what has 100 teeth and eats wieners? A zipper…

Cheers

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Shake Shack

There are two things in life that I have dreamt about, yet hadn’t done before this review. They are: eat cake by the ocean, and eat at Shake Shack. One of these has been accomplished in the last 24 hours. Unfortunately, no, I did not eat cake by the ocean (sorry Joe Jonas). I am very happy, however, that my first time at Shake Shack I was there to eat a hot dog and not a burger. I’m also very happy that everything about Shake Shack was better than expected. I went in thinking I was going to have a touristy, commercial, type of vibe. In the restaurant, everything changed. I came out stuffed, with both a cheese stain and a mustard stain on my shirt. That, my friends, is how life should be.

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The Shack-Meister. That is exactly what a hot dog should be called, because I want my sausage to sound like my college frat buddy who partied the hardest. Ooooh, the Shack-meister, look at him gooo, chug a beer, he’s the Shack-meister. Besides its already epic name, it apparently is the most popular dog on the menu and according to the man behind the counter “made them famous”. This is a very unique dog. It’s the first I’ve reviewed that is split open. It is also the first I’ve reviewed with fried shallots (elegant onions). But, most importantly, it is the first I’ve reviewed with cheese. Poured in the crevasse of the weenie is a delicious cheese that tastes like 7 Kraft singles melted and condensed like Campbell’s soup. It is glorious. For some reason it reminds me of molten steel being poured in the forges of the industrial age. I’m basically Andrew Carnegie building America one weenie at a time, pouring my molten steel on wieners across the nation.

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The bun is of the potato variety. It’s dense and yellow, well toasted, and compliments the rich flavors of the toppings well. The sausage is maybe my least favorite part of the dog. There is no char, no snap, and the split open presentation helps with the cheese, but takes away from overall enjoyment. It does have a nice smoky flavor, however, which works well with everything else. The crispy fried scallions (elegant onions) add a nice crunch and appearance. Every element of the hot dog compliments each other in a different way, combining for a delightfully rich and savory experience. This dog is not to be laughed at. Don’t mess with the Shack-Meister, he’ll steal your girlfriend.

4 weenies

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Oh my goodness I totally forgot. Shake Shack has yellow mustard everywhere. It’s on tap, it’s in packets, it’s underneath the chairs, and it oozes from the light fixtures. Y’all know how I feel about my yellow mustard. It is incredibly refreshing and completely correct that spicy brown is not in the entire restaurant. Thank you, Shake Shack, may the tides forever be in your favor.

Cheers

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Bill’s Bar & Burger

Sometimes, after looking at a bunch of Picasso sculptures, you get a hankering for a weenie. It happens to me all of the time. For example, on Sunday, the cubism really got to me and I just had a craving for a fat juicy sausage. I was very much a tourist that day. After cruising around in the MoMa, I dilly-dallied on over to Rockefeller Center and watched some guys try way too hard to impress their dates by trying to ice skate. I was feeling way too cute and traditional. Then, like the star of Bethlehem, Bill’s Bar and Burger appeared on the horizon. Today, for this young man, it would be Bill’s Bar and Hot Dog.

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There were 4 dogs on the menu. New York, Chili Cheese, Chicago, and Corn Dogs were the options. I asked the young gentle-dude what the best weenie was, and got a literal LOL reply, “I like them plain with ketchup.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the only time it is OK to eat a ketchup hot dog is if you’re under 12. So, I may have to contact a lawyer and see about Bill’s Bar and Burger’s child labor situation. I then had to press the waiter and rephrase by asking for the most popular weenie, since his judgment was so terrible. I ended up with the Chicago Dog. I was very pleased with this, as it had been a while since I had one. The last I remember was Frankie’s On the Go back in July, and it was pretty underwhelming. A Chicago Dog is typically mustard, onions, tomatoes, pickles, and peppers. It’s like a little salad on a dog. I’m not a salad guy (who would have guessed, a guy who writes about hot dogs doesn’t like salads), but I love a good Chicago dog. Upon receipt of the sausage, the first thing I noticed was the bun. Big dog in a little bun. (Sung to the tune of “fat guy in a little coat”). The hot dog isn’t even that big! Honey, I shrunk your bun.

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The little bun wasn’t too big of a problem, though. The picture above highlights the best part of Bill’s Bar and Burger’s weenie: the actual sausage. It’s a Hatfield’s all beef bad boy. I highly recommend. They probably could have cooked it a little more, but this was like a Maserati among Hyundais. An albatross among finches. Well done Hatfield’s. The pickle was sliced, which is against my preference, but the mustard was classic French’s yellow and it made me feel alive again. The peppers had a nice spice to them, but maybe were a little too much, or too acidic. Lord knows I have heartburn problems already, I certainly don’t need more of that. In all honesty I really enjoyed the hot dog itself. Plus, at Bill’s, you can order a “Cold Ass Beer”. It is literally the brand of a beer. I don’t care who you are, that’s fun.

3.5 weenies

I’d like you all to leave this review thinking that you should go to Bill’s Bar and Burger. It is definitely a great place to grab a simple meal. Plus, it’s in the Rockefeller Center, so when your parents come in and want to see the tree, you can drag them in to get a burger or a weenie and not even feel bad about it. Then, you can watch a bunch of people fall in the ice skating rink. Then, you can go see the Rockettes. Is it Christmas yet? Smart marketing, Bill’s. Smart.

Cheers

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