Nathan’s Cart: Plaza Hotel

If you can’t cook a good weenie in a cart, you can’t cook a good weenie. Put that cart outside of the Plaza Hotel and you’re putting yourself in the upper echelon of weenie carts. Put a Nathan’s name on it and if you fail, there will be serious consequences. I’m talking about the kind of consequences Nalgene would have faced if I was able to break one of their stupid BPA free plastic bottles. Believe me I tried. The point I’m trying to make is if you put a Nathan’s cart outside of a regal, ornate, some would even say elegant, place like the Plaza, on the southwest corner of Central Park, on the world’s greatest island, Manhattan… it better be pretty damn good.

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Now, weenie fans, take a look at the picture above. At the north and south poles of the sausages pictured, please focus in on the very tip. Just the tip. You may notice that there is a small knobby ending on the sausages. This is an indication of an excellent, real skin hot dog. This is what Nathan’s does, and this is why they’re great. When skin like this exists, the snap exists, and the juiciness follows. Since I just came from the dentist, I decided to get two hot dogs. That’s a rule that I follow, by the way: after the dentist, have two hot dogs. Per the original rules, I went one with pure mustard, and one with whatever I choose. In this case, it was chili and cheese. God bless that combo. The original mustard only dog only offered spicy brown mustard, unfortunately. This often happens in New York, however, so I’m used to it.

I have only two complaints about the Nathan’s cart dogs. The bun wasn’t toasted at all, and the weenie itself was not very hot. I think if the guy didn’t feel rushed with a huge line, he might have cooked it longer, so I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. Other than that, and perhaps not worrying about how sloppy the chili cheese dog was, something was very correct about these weenies. When I consumed them, it felt like I was doing the right thing. It was almost as if I had done some sort of community service or even given a charitable contribution. If I felt like that every time I ate a hot dog I’d weight 314 pounds, but I’d be pretty happy.

3.5 weenies

By the way, the rule for going to the dentist is that you get to eat two hot dogs after (only one if you have a cavity). If you ever have surgery, or, I’m so sorry if this is you… a colonoscopy… please call me. I’ll tell you what you need to do and how many hot dogs you’re allowed to eat. Bradly Cooper was in a movie of the same title… limitless.

Cheers

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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