Special Edition: Destination Dogs, Philly

That’s me and Jimmy Cronk, creator and co-owner of Destination Dogs in downtown Philadelphia. That’s two people who share a passion for hot dogs. The person on the left just eats them and tries to avoid becoming obese. The person on the right creates them. The weenie God – he is an enabler in the best of ways, coming up with 33 (for me, 34) location-themed high quality weenies for all to enjoy. I was lucky enough to spend a Saturday afternoon in this fine establishment in a the fine city of Philly, and ended up having 6 of Jimmy’s fine franks. Cue the obesity.

From left to right: “One Bite in Bangkok”, “The Chicago Bull”, “Trenton Thunder”, and “Chivas Royale”. These weenies are themed after Thailand, Chicago, Trenton, NJ, and Mexico. There is nowhere else in America where you can do this. It’s absolutely wild. This old boy was as happy as could be. Imagine your favorite thing in the world. Now imagine it in 34 different varieties, all while serving craft beer. I think that’s what John Lennon was singing about.

One bite in Bangkok is made of a snake. To be very clear, it is not a hot dog, it is a python sausage. I literally ate a python adorned with cucumber salad, pepper jelly, crushed peanuts, and cilantro. It was dope. The Chicago Bull is a classic Chicago dog, kind of like Emmett’s. Can’t go wrong, a true classic. Chivas Royale is deep fried, loaded with cheese sauce, bacon, salsa verde, sour cream, and scallions. I felt my cholesterol thicken as I consumed it, and I loved it. Then the most unique, even though I just ate python, was the Trenton Thunder. This Thor-esque colossus of a wiener was also deep fried, loaded with pork roll (aka Taylor ham), scrambled egg, cheese sauce, and a very interesting tomato and pepper jelly. So far, Trenton, somehow, while being a relatively undesirable city, produced an insanely desirable hot dog. Get this one.

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Heeeeerrreee’s Jimmy! While he didn’t have an axe and break through a door, once he found out that I wrote a hot dog blog, Jimmy did what any hot dog lover would do for another – he hooked it up. We got to try a custom Philly creation that he plans to bust out during Iggles season. I don’t want to leak his secret recipe, but it’s basically a Philly cheese steak-weenie hybrid, and it works. Upon first glance, it was like a kindergarten art room: dysfunctional and filled with things that don’t get along. Then, once we got to know the inner-workings, we realized how great it could be. I was honored to get to try it, a true A+. We also got to try some amazing chili sauce and a “Kansas City Beefs”, adorned with pulled BBQ ribs and slaw. This was the simplest dog, but maybe the best. If only my stomach allowed, I would have had 3 more. I still can’t decide if Trenton Thunder or Kansas City Beefs was the best, so I’ll recommend that you get both when you go.

In summary, this place is the real deal, and I’m a huge fan. The quality of the weenies is incredible; we have the snap, the juice, the smoky flavor, and the size to bun ratio. The buns are hearty, but not too thick, and nicely toasted. Once you add in all the exotic toppings, you have yourself a real all-inclusive hot dog resort of an experience. My hat goes off to Jimmy for this vision, as well as his hospitality. The good news is, he’s not just in Philly, but New Brunswick, NJ as well. You better believe I’ll be there soon.

Cheers

@nyweenies     Facebook

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P.S. My friend Dan ordered the hot dog above. What are you, 12, Dan?

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Citi Field

I’m back. Yes, I took a break from writing. Yes, I was busy, and yes, I am both a goon and a loon for failing to compose poetic soliloquies about hot dogs the last few weeks. However, I answer NO to the question, “Did you stop eating hot dogs?”. Of course not! If one writes about hot dogs, one has a passion for hot dogs, and ipso facto, one devours hot dogs as if it were one’s job. I am the one, friends. I am the one who eats the hot dog. So, without further ado, I present a review of Citi Field’s wondrous weenies. Upon conclusion, I will post a picture of every hot dog consumed on my “break.”

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Overall, Citi Field is super nice. I highly recommend it as a baseball park. However, it doe seem more expensive than others. Even Yankee Stadium is cheaper. That being said, the weenies are Nathan’s brand, and they have a topping section that is superb. Jalapenos are an option, and I did not leave them hanging. Accompanying the Jalapenos were center fielder sauerkraut and first baseman sauteed peppers. What blew my mind about this was that all of these toppings were self serve, and I didn’t think that was gross at all. They run an efficient topping supply chain and I was pretty pumped about it. As expected, there was no yellow mustard, but the spicy brown variety offered was not terrible. The bun was lightly toasted and the hot dog was pretty high quality, but as you’d expect with a ball park hot dog, it was not grilled to perfection. I finished the jalapeno mustard dog and while “watching” the game, could not stop comparing it to the Yankee Stadium dog I reviewed. So, naturally, I went for another.

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Forgive me, friends. I forgot to mention the short stop of the topping lineup: relish. God Bless relish. Eating this second weenie was like that time in high school when Ms. Morrison let us go to the library for our project, but we got Chick-Fil-A instead. I felt a little bad, but it was totally worth it in the end. This is a really good weenie. Yankee Stadium’s was bigger, but Citi Field has a higher quality dog with a more diverse range of toppings. Therefore, I hereby present the weenie crown for the best ball park dog in New York to: Citi Field.

3.25 weenies

Now, I’ll play the poke flute and awaken the Snorlax that is me in order to show you the hot dogs I’ve eaten the last few weeks. I gave them all names, because when you care about something, it’s polite to give it a name. Be polite. Name things.

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Jacinto. (Spanish for Jack) Named for the pepper jack cheese adorning a mustard-glazed weenie.

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Sybil. This guy just couldn’t find his true identity.

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This one already has a name. These are the legendary Cannibal Dogs from The Cannibal, currently the best weenie in Manhattan. Stop what you’re doing and go to this restaurant now. If I had to start a restaurant, it would not be much different from The Cannibal. Amazing.

Cheers

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100 Montaditos

I feel small when I take a picture from a restaurant’s website (100montaditosny.com) and use it as a banner on my blog. However, I feel huge when I eat small sandwiches that cost a small price. I then feel ever larger, massive in fact, when I find out that one of the sandwich of the 100 that they call Montaditos is the greatest creation of all mankind: a hot dog. I’m not a big Spanish tapas guy, but apparently a Montadito is also Spanish, so Spain just earned some major points in my book. Viva la España! I forgive you for your staunch metrosexuality.

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Things can be good when small. I really like the munchkins from Wizard of Oz, Altoids, and Pugs, so when I saw how small this hot dog was I tried not to worry. #31 on the menu of 100, this is as simple of a sandwich that one man can buy – for one dollar. There is a nicely toasted bun, a kind of small wiener inside of it, and a stripe of both mustard and ketchup on top. 100 Montaditos played it safe, but they played it right. If you’re going to have a hot dog on one of the most diverse sandwich menus I’ve ever seen, stick to the classics. The best part is, they used yellow mustard. The next best part is, this sandwich is a dollar on Wednesdays. Follow that up with two dollar beers, well, I’ll be there every Wednesday. I’m pumped to have a new neighborhood hang out. I’m also pumped that I’ve said all I need to say about this hot dog. A little wiener gets a little amount of words, because I don’t need them. It’s great, and the place is great too. Go forth and enjoy a micro-wiener… or 5.

3.25 weenies 

Cheers

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