One of the most highly anticipated meals on my recent jaunt to Chicago was at Hot Doug’s, a “Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium.” Here, Doug Sohn serves a bevy of traditional and exotic wieners topped every which way. The path to Doug’s is a well-beaten one due to loyal locals and tenacious tourists. The wait was well over an hour on this chilly Friday afternoon in March.
Joining The Astronomer and me for lunch was one of my oldest and bestest friends Kellie, a Chicago resident. While The Astronomer and I are accustomed to waiting in tortuously long lines for food [see: here, here, and here], such absurdity wasn’t a part of our companion’s day to day. I prayed that Doug’s dogs would be well worth the wait.
The primary reason for the line moving at a snail’s pace was the limited seating available inside the restaurant. To ensure that everyone had a proper place to sit, orders were only taken when a table was vacated.
Fortunately, the time between placing an order and food arriving was impressively fast. We were seated and eating within five minutes.
Continue reading ‘Hot Doug’s – Chicago’
With a trio of gourmet wiener shops opening within the span of a year, Pasadena has become a hotbed for hotdogs. The first restaurant to come on the scene was The Slaw Dogs on North Lake. While the toppings here were fun, I haven’t been back since my initial visit due to a yet-to-be-remedied bun situation. The next spot to open was Big City Hot Dogs in Old Town Pasadena, which was then followed by Dog Haus across the way from Pasadena City College.
While I haven’t heard much buzz about the former, the latter has been receiving rave reviews since it opened. Along with my friend and fellow Pasadenian Laurie, I visited Dog Haus for a weeknight dinner. We were both in the mood for something awesomely gut busting.
In addition to their signature hotdogs, Dog Haus also serves sausages, burgers, and a handful of sides. Both Laurie and I stuck to the hotdog offerings this evening. I was hoping for a side of onion rings as well, but retracted my order after learning that they weren’t made in-house.
All of Dog Haus’ dogs weigh in at a hefty quarter pound and can be had with or without casing. Alternative diets are satisfied with veggie and turkey varieties.
Every table is outfitted with a big ‘ol box of napkins and squeeze bottles filled with yellow mustard and ketchup. For those interested in zestier toppings, there’s an extensive condiment bar toward the front of the restaurant with several types of mustard, curry ketchup, hot sauce, relish, peppercinis, and more.
Continue reading ‘Dog Haus – Pasadena’
Moonlighting as a food photographer has taken me to some of Los Angeles’ finest dining rooms, dingiest streets, and seemingly everywhere in between. I love how the unpredictable nature of this job never fails to keep me on my toes. Earlier this summer, I was commissioned by Farmer John to prepare and photograph a local delicacy known as a Danger Dog. It consists of a bacon-wrapped hot dog nestled inside a bun and topped with sauteed onions and peppers, squiggles of mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard, and finished off with a grilled jalapeno pepper.
I have had ample opportunity to indulge in this classic street-side offering, but for some reason or another, never bit the bullet. I mostly blame sobriety for this grave misstep. When the assignment arrived in my inbox, I felt that it was absolutely essential to seek out a Danger Dog in order to truly understand its flavors, textures, and nuances. And so late one Thursday night, The Astronomer and I hit the streets of Los Angeles to conduct some field “research.”
I received a tip via Twitter that York Boulevard in Highland Park was a hotbed for Danger Dogs. As The Astronomer and I cruised down the boulevard, we saw a bevy of taco tables, a handful of taco trucks, and one lone Danger Dog dealer.
Parked outside a nightclub, the cart was gearing up for the impending crowd of revelers when we pulled over for a taste. Luckily, The Astronomer and I beat the rush and scored a dog before the club kids came onto the scene.
As the vendor was preparing our wares, I paid close attention to his technique and mise-en-place. After all, I was to recreate the magic in my kitchen the following day.
Continue reading ‘Danger Dogs: Blurring the Line Between Work and Play’
I avoided eating a Dodger Dog last season out of fear that doing so would cause The Astronomer’s beloved St. Louis Cardinals to lose to the Los Angeles Dodgers. After the Dodgers swept the Cards in the Division Series with me consuming only team-neutral concessions, I vowed to eat whatever my heart desired the following season. Superstitions be damned.
We returned to the ballpark last week to witness some regular season play between the Dodgers and the Cards. With the sun slowly setting in the distance and cheery fans sporting their brilliant Dodger blue, my appetite was piqued for greasy stadium fare.
During the first inning, The Astronomer and I shared an order of Gordon Biersch garlic fries ($5.75). What makes these spuds super special is the abundance of minced garlic and parsley bits coating each shoestring. Every bite delivers an intense garlicky hit that’s dreadful for one’s breath, but oh so good for one’s soul. I’m not much of a sports fan, but I will gladly tag along to any event where these fries are served.
Continue reading ‘Buy Me Some Garlic Fries and Dodger Dogs…’