LA Trip: Pink’s Hot Dogs
Part Two of my trip to LA..the food part anyway….
I do not understand the obsession people have with hot dogs. I am a fan, no doubt (my friends will attest to my love of Dollar Dog Nite at the Phils/Sixers games), but I will not travel a million miles for one. I think it is because I live in the land of cheesesteaks and, frankly, you can’t beat them. Ever. In a million years. With a million hot dogs.
It’s got nothing to do with the old tales of what is actually in a hot dog, or the bit in Upton Sinclair’s book “The Jungle” where the guy falls into the meat grinder. It’s more that I have rarely had a hot dog that has made me stand up and say “Yeow! That’s some good tube steak!”. Ahem.
Anyway, Pink’s Hot Dog’s has been in Los Angeles for 71 years and is the obligatory addition to any Food Network/Cooking Channel/Travel Show about food in that area. So when I was driving around LA and I drove past it, I figured I would give it a shot. That is how a lot of people end up at Pat’s and Geno’s Steaks, which, honestly, don’t do anything for me (but that is another article for another time. Please send your hate email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
If anything, you have to give it to a place that can survive for 71 years. Most *people* don’t even survive for 71 years. This might look like a dinky stand, but the back has some lovely outdoor seating with a mural and the place is spotless. I mean, I used the bathroom and it was spotless. This might not mean much to you, but some people out there, and you know who you are, are delighted to her that.
Let’s get to the goods, shall we?
I decided to get 2 different dogs. I figured I would get 2 different things on the menu in order to get what was going on there. I hate when people just order one thing and pass judgement on a place soley with that. Plus, I found myself a sweet parking spot for 2 hours and I hadn’t eaten that day. So, let’s move on.
The Royal Dog is the one with the bacon. It is 2 dogs in one bun with chili, mustard, cheese, relish and 2 pieces of bacon. They created this one in honor of William and Kate coming to America and it is a limited edition.
The Spicy Ozzy dog is a Polish Dog with Nacho cheese, American Cheese, grilled onions, guacamole and chopped tomatoes. And it is, if you guessed, named after Ozzy.
The Royal Dog is interesting. I have never had a hot dog that was, in fact, 2 dogs on a bun. Even the idea of that is weird to me, and I love eating and trying to turn food on it’s proverbial head.
But I have to admit, it was a good deal for 6 bucks. This thing is hefty and you get your money’s worth!
Check out the heftiness of this thing. I needed two hands to eat it. Actually, I had to cradle it so it wouldn’t get all over me, the tray, the table and the 2 kids across from me who were gawking at all the signed pictures of celebrities on the wall (“Oooohhh…Pat Sajak!”). I was expecting a big dog, but this was ridiculously good. The bacon was precooked and warmed up but not too chewy and the rolls they use are a nice cross between a lunch type roll and a hot dog bun, so you don’t have to lose a tooth ripping off a bite. The chili was a little salty, but it balanced out nice with the dog itself, which was a long dog, but not too bogged down with flavorings so it was actually a compliment to the toppings.
The Spicy Ozzy was another being unto itself. Polish dogs aren’t something we usually have in Philly, in fact I had never had one until I ate this. We have kielbasie (say it: “ka-bahss-ee”) and that suits me just fine. I love smoked kielbaise so much, it is ridiculous. My uncle even likes to butterfly it and put it on the grill. He calls it Polish Ribs. I can’t argue with that. Anyway, it seems Polish Dogs are big in the midwest and out west too. This thing was hot and loaded with fresh guac (which is on everything out there), fresh chopped tomatoes, nacho cheese and many, many fried onions. I think there was supposed to be American Cheese on there too, but I didn’t taste it. No big deal. It was delicious, and the dog itself was the diameter of a buick. It was super good, but I had to put it down because it was just too hot. I got about 89% done. It was a sad time. But, I recovered nicely. Anyway, for $6.50, it’s a great deal!
Has eating these 2 mammoth dogs turned me into a hot dog aficionado? Nah. Has it made me into a big hot dog fan? I think the answer is this: if it’s there I will give it a shot and see how it goes. I’m glad I did, because I supported a business that is doing something right by serving quality food in a clean establishment and not ripping off the customers. I am still thinking about that place…so maybe I *am* turning into a fan!