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The Eleven Regional Hot Dogs Everyone Needs In Their Life

There aren’t many things on this green earth that unify, and simultaneously drive apart, Americans quite like hot dogs, besides maybe politics and the NFL (which may as well be the same thing at this point, much to the chagrin of “Stick to Sports” Twitter). Hot dogs are universal in the sense that they’re consumed at every corner of the country. They’re also quite divisive, in that each region has their own spin on the mystery sausage, and which one is the best is a oft-debated subject.

Cities and states lay claim to hot dogs like BBQ and famous nightclubs. The Chicago dog, Dodger dog, Seattle-style dog, Detroit dog — all delicacies that locals will fiercely defend to their graves.

In truth, most of these dogs are remarkably similar: dog, buns, onions, peppers, cheese, and some kind of sauce. The attachment lies in the intrinsic pride that comes with the down-home origin story of each dog, most of which were long ago enough to not be quite remembered, as well as memories of better days and sleepless nights spent with friends stumbling into a hot dog vendor at just the right time.

One such cherished hot dog is Detroit’s Coney Island dog, which combines a Dearborn Sausage Company hot dog with beanless chili, a hit of mustard, chopped raw onions, and, of course, a helping of shredded cheddar cheese. These dogs are a part of the city’s culinary backbone, a place where a preference between local landmark American Coney Island or it’s next-door counterpart Lafayette can strain friendships. 

A few days ago, on Foodbeast’s podcast, The Katchup, hosts Elie Ayrouth and Geoffrey Kutnick were joined by Chris Sotiropoulos, the owner of American Coney Island to discuss the creation of the Detroit’s esteemed Coney Island Dogs. The company’s recent expansion to Las Vegas gives West Coaster’s the chance to try a regional dog that would be otherwise unobtainable. With the Coney fresh on our mind, the Foodbeast office began to think of other specialty dogs out there that we haven’t tried. 

So, we hit the streets and found eleven hometown favorites that we wish we could try, and here they are:

Sonoran Style

 

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The Sonoran hot dog starts with a frank wrapped in crispy bacon. Created in Tucson, AZ, the dog pays homage to the city’s Latino roots by using a split soft roll called a bolillo, and topping that with pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, diced onions, creamy mayo, mustard, and jalapeños. 

Chicago Style

 

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Maybe one of the most famous options on this list, the Chicago-style dog is as much a staple to the city as its biting wind. It uses a steamed Vienna sausage all-beef dog, which is then placed in a steamed poppy seed bun, and painted with the bright colors of tomato slices, sport peppers, dill pickle, chopped raw onion, relish, celery salt, and a drizzle of bright yellow mustard.

Scrambled Dog

 

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The Scrambled Dog was born in Columbus, GA 72 years ago, the brainchild of the late Lieutenant Stevens. This beast of a plate starts with a soft bun, then Stevens’ fresh chili, cut up weiners, more chili, raw onions, dill pickle slices, and a heaping handful of crunchy oyster crackers. 

Seattle Style Dog

 

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A Seattle-style hot dog consists of a grilled, split frank, nestled on a toasted bun that’s been smothered in cream cheese, grilled onions and, often, jalapeños. It makes sense that these are typically eaten during late nights out, because it sounds like something I would make with some potluck leftovers at 2AM.

Tater Pig

 

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This… is what it sounds like. A specialty of the Twin Falls County Fair, this monstrosity does just enough to constitute as a hot dog. Really, it’s a sausage. And it’s stuffed inside of a baked potato. Hence, the tater pig. 

Polish Boy

 

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Cleveland’s late night sausage of choice is a grilled kielbasa (a sausage broadly described as “any type of meat sausage from Poland.” Thanks Wikipedia). Place one of these guys on a sturdy bun, and top it with a handful of fries, coleslaw, BBQ sauce, as well as hot sauce, and you have yourself a Polish Boy.

Dodger Dog

 

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Los Angeles’ Chavez Ravine favorite has both steamed and grilled variations. Either way, the result is a ten-inch pork hot dog embraced in an equally as long bun, marked with relish, mustard, ketchup, and chopped raw onions. 

Carolina Style

 

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This version of the hot dog is popular amongst much of the Southeast United States. Beginning with an all-beef frank stuffed in a soft bun, it’s then covered in chili and piled high with coleslaw. Most people like to add mustard as well, to offset the sweetness of the slaw and savoriness of the chili.

New York Dog

 

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Contrary to every other aspect of their lives, New Yorkers like to keep their hot dogs simple. Strictly boiled in water of mysterious circumstances on a street cart, these dogs are topped with only mustard and sauerkraut for buyers to quickly shove down.

Italian Dog

 

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The answer to every New Jerseyan’s hangover, this dog originated in Newark. Here, bakers make plush loaves of pizza bread, which are like massive pizza crusts. After being split open, the bread is stuffed with a lightly fried dog, onions, peppers, and more deep-fried potatoes than can fit.

Tijuana Dog

 

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The Tijuana dog, though named after the town in Mexico in which it originates, gained it’s fame off the streets of L.A. Sold largely from street carts outside of sports games and clubs, this dog is wrapped in bacon and fried until crispy and snappy. It’s tossed into a soft bun and then served with grilled onions and peppers, mayo, mustard, ketchup, and sometimes a grilled jalapeño to give it some kick.

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Food Festivals News Restaurants What's New

This New Food Festival Is an Ode to the Chicken Strip

Chicken tender fanatics often live out their passion in silence. The dish can draw some serious side-eyes if ordered for dinner during a night out. Once the age has passed where “being picky” is a legitimate excuse for not wanting to try new menu items, the childhood favorite is usually reserved for the occasional bar order or desperate fast food buy. But, those crunchy breaded chicken strips are loved by most for a reason — they’re easily made and moldable to just about any profile. 

Later this month in Los Angeles, tenders will be getting the recognition they deserve, when Off the Menu and John Terzian of the H.Wood Group will be teaming up to throw the city’s first TenderFest at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on November 15. The festival aims to show off the tender’s full potential by bringing together some of the area’s top chicken vendors, including Delilah, Fuku, Raising Cane’s, Hot Mutha Clucker, CAULIPOWER, and Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken.

Additionally, famed chefs Nancy Silverton, Wolfgang Puck, Chris Oh, and Timothy Hollingsworth will each be crafting their interpretation of a tender to serve in front of a panel of judges. The winner of this showdown will be gifted a cash prize to give to a charity of their choice. 

Tickets for TenderFest are available now for $65, which pays for unlimited tenders and beer. The VIP tickets, which run for $175, also include the food and booze, as well as event merchandise, a VIP lounge, access to VIP-only vendor Dave’s Hot Chicken, a gift bag, and a 6 month membership to Off the Menu.

Off the Menu has been throwing dope food-focused events for a while now, and is a consistent source for innovative and creative flavors, which stands out in a Southern California culinary universe that can tend to stagnate on flavor-of-the-month trends. 

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Cravings Culture Restaurants

The 15-Minute Paella That Cuts Time, But Not Flavor Or Authenticity

Tucked away in a block on North Figueroa Street in Los Angeles’ historic Highland Park neighborhood lies Otono, a charming Spanish restaurant that you may miss upon first look. While the kitchen space is smaller than most restaurants — six burners, a couple ovens, and a narrow prep station — head chef Theresa Montaño makes up for it by expanding the flavors of her cuisine on an immense scale.

Montaño grew up cooking with her mother and grandmother in New Mexico, instilling a love of the culinary arts in her at such an early age.

“I grew up in a big Hispanic family, so food was a part of that,” she laughed.

Otono’s arroz y fideua, also known as paella, are some of the most popular dishes on the restaurant’s menu. Montaño mentions on a busy night, Otono could sell as many as 50 orders of paella.

Traditionally, a properly made paella could take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour to cook. With 50 orders a night, in such a small kitchen space, those numbers can seem daunting, but Chef Montaño doesn’t bat an eye.

That’s because she has perfected her paella dish to be done in a matter of 15 minutes, a feat that took her years to master, and is a necessary one to become successful in Otono’s kitchen setting.

The key to this, she shares, lies in the preparation.

Before Chef Montaño even opened the doors of Otono, she began the streamlining process.

Essentially, all the elements of a proper paella are there, but Montaño found a way to shift the flavors into different components to speed up the preparation and cooking process. First, the rice is half-cooked ahead of time and infused with a rich broth. Then Montano creates a flavorful Samora paste that’s made from tomatoes, saffron, and mild chiles that combines with the rice during the cooking process. Once they all come together, the dish tastes exactly as it would had it been cooked another 15 or 20 minutes longer.

With only six burners in her kitchen and two of said burners required for each paella pan, adapting was non-negotiable in such a bustling environment.

Her movement through the kitchen was seamless, slicing fresh vegetables, chorizo, scallops, and all the fresh ingredients required to craft her multiple paellas. Containers of partially-cooked rice and flavorful broths were all measured out and ready to go into the pans once the order comes in.

“It’s just being careful through those steps not to overcook our rice in the beginning and handling it properly. The right ratio of rice for the pan size, you can see just one layer of rice and getting the crispiness on the bottom, that’s called socarrat.”

Chef Montaño explains she made the process foolproof, labeling portions of each ingredient and at which times during the cooking process to utilize them. Paella can be tricky if not correctly approached: you can either overcook it, undercook it, or completely miss the mark on flavor if rushed.

Coming from a Spanish heritage, Montaño spent time in Spain where she traveled to Valencia, the birthplace of paella.

“I went to the old school institutions that were doing the woodfire, really authentic stuff and also went to the more modern paella restaurants to see what they were doing in contrast and then started to develop this concept.”

That time and dedication has paid off and is reflected in the satisfying crunch of her paella’s euphoric socarrat.

Chef Montaño is a shining example that while traditional flavors are crucial to a dish, you need to learn to evolve in order to adapt to a modernized setting. By drastically cutting the time it takes to cook an exquisite paella, Chef Montaño has shown that she’s capable of paying respect to the old ways, while also embracing new techniques to expedite her process.

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Cravings Features News What's New

Fill Up A Bucket With LA’s Best Wings At The City’s First Chicken Wing Festival

Off The Menu Wing Fest

Los Angeles is going to a have a chicken wing festival. Writing that out seems like a dream to me — I, connoisseur of any fried bird, one who considers fried chicken as the only food group that matters. But here I am drooling at the prospect of filling myself to level ten out of ten on the full as f*ck scale on glorious, crispy, crunchy, sauced up chicken wings. And what’s even better is that said wing fest is equipping patrons with their own bucket to fill up with as much wings as they can fit.

Yes, this all you can eat chicken wing festival, aptly named Wing Fest, is coming to bless Angelenos’ wing lovin’ hearts on July 29 AKA National Chicken Wing Day at Mel’s Drive-In on Sunset Boulevard. And it’s all courtesy of Lawrence Longo of Off The Menu, who has switched his focus from eating a burger everyday to chicken wings. What fans can expect is a lineup of the best of the best: Pizzeria Mozza’s wings Alla diovola, Button Mash’s double fried sweet and spicy wings, The Greyhound’s sweet cherry BBQ wings, Banh Oui’s Vietnamese-style wing, Chef Kang Food Rehab’s Korean-style wings, and even Anchor Bar, the originators of the Buffalo Wing, all the way from New York, amongst a roster of other solid wing purveyors.

General admission for unlimited wings starts at $45, and tickets are available online. Pro tip: the Guatemalan Insanity wings from The Greyhound should come with a roll of Tums and a quart of milk. Trust me. They don’t call it “Insanity” for nothing.

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Celebrity Grub

Kawhi Leonard Gets Banned From Local Coffee Shop In Los Angeles


Update w/Apology: Alfred coffee has formally apologized, saying that the ban was a joke and “No one has been or ever will be turned away from Alfred.”

Update: Clipper fans have taken to Yelp to completely trash every Alfred Coffee location. Countless 1-star reviews popped up over the last couple of days, and Yelp has posted an “Unusual Activity Alert,” on the Alfred Coffee review pages. An Unusual Activity Alert occurs when a business stirs up controversy in the news and a sudden burst of negative reviews start being posted.

Probably the best part are the attempts to make the reviews sound legitimate, with cries of bad service and high prices.

There is a lot more star power making its way to Los Angeles, courtesy of the NBA and a slew of superstar free-agent signings. A couple of those superstars, however, chose the Los Angeles Clippers as a destination instead of the Lakers.

That isn’t sitting well with Laker fans, and apparently a popular L.A.-based coffee shop isn’t taking it too well, either.

After the Clippers announced the acquisitions of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, Alfred’s Coffee allegedly posted on their Instagram, “We reserve the right to refuse service to Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and anyone else affiliated with the Clippers organization.”

It’s not unusual to see in-state sports rivalries get heated among fans, but for a business to potentially split its customer-base within its own city is something else.

While Clipper fans are few and far in between, some still made their way to Twitter and posted their displeasure with Alfred’s coffee.

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We can imagine fans took to Instagram as well, seeing how Alfred disabled its comments on there.

We'll see if Alfred's will stick to its guns, or apologizes to the Clipper fan base. It'd be even funnier if the Clipper team actually did show up to a location to see if they'd really keep their word.

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Restaurants

The Michelin Guide Dropped The Ball In Their Recognition of Los Angeles

“They really are going to have to eat their words if they want to come back and do it the right way in Los Angeles, and the truth is that they probably won’t.” Poignant commentary from Eater LA Senior Writer Farley Elliott regarding the Michelin Guide’s return to Los Angeles. He made these comments along with other critical insights on the guide in a recent appearance on the Foodbeast podcast, The Katchup, predicting how its renewed recognition of the Los Angeles dining scene would more than likely fall flat in representing the city appropriately.

“If they don’t put a San Gabriel Valley restaurant on there, if they don’t put a taco truck on there and give one of these places that are everyday dining options a star, people like you are just going to continue to laugh it off and rightfully so,” declared Elliott on the podcast. And you know what? Once I heard the results of the starred winners earlier this week, I did laugh, albeit ironically. Because as Farley predicted, the Michelin Guide did come back to Los Angeles and they did drop the ball on representing the city correctly.

Now this is no knock on the restaurants earning their deserved stars and Bib Gourmands, nor is it deflecting the recognition and merit. But the Michelin Guide really had an opportunity to highlight just how unique and diverse Los Angeles’ culinary landscape is these days, yet instead stuck to their antiquated model that favored European fine dining and expensive sushi restaurants. The high price points of the starred winners were — surprise, surprise — the commonality they had between them.

Perhaps it’s simply the Michelin Guide having to adjust and familiarize themselves with the sui generis dining nature of Angelenos. And judging by the disappointment the city’s major food media outlets expressed over the results, they’ll probably get the hint. Hopefully. Because when Angelenos look to dine out, some nights it will look like delicious Spanish fare at Otoño followed by boba in Koreatown then capped off with a late night snack at taco stands like Avenue 26. Other nights it will look like a posh tasting menu at Kato, which then wraps up at beloved taco truck Mariscos Jalisco. It’s L.A., we’re the masters of high-low.

Make no mistake, I’m encouraged that Los Angeles is recognized by an authority such as the Michelin Guide as a legit dining destination. But does it validate the city’s legitimacy as an exciting and bona fide food city? Not one bit. Yet, with the guide’s return comes added revenue and awareness, which I’m hopeful is a step in the right direction towards Thai restaurants, Filipino restaurants, Korean Restaurants and other deserving dining destinations that reflect how Angelenos dine regularly, being awarded appropriately in next year’s Michelin Guide for California.

 

For a full list of Michelin-starred winners in Los Angeles, they’re as follows:

ONE STAR RESTAURANTS

  • Bistro Na’s
  • CUT
  • Dialogue
  • Hayato
  • Kali
  • Kato
  • Le Comptoir
  • Maude
  • Mori Sushi
  • Nozawa Bar
  • Orsa & Winston
  • Osteria Mozza
  • Q Sushi
  • Rustic Canyon
  • Shibumi
  • Shin Sushi
  • Shunji
  • Trois Mec

TWO STAR RESTAURANTS

  • n/naka
  • Providence
  • Somni
  • Sushi Ginza Onodera
  • Urasawa
  • Vespertine

THREE STAR RESTAURANTS

(none)

 

Categories
Restaurants Video What's New

Korean BBQ Restaurant Serves Up Massive Pork Belly Burgers That Can Be Cooked On Your Grill

When you hit up a Korean BBQ spot with the squad, the typical power move is to get a few select cuts of meat and let them sizzle to perfection on the table’s grill. If you’re at this particular restaurant, however, you can up the ante with a massive “K-Town Burger” that you can request to be cooked tableside.

This K-Town Burger experience can be found at Porkfolio, a Korean BBQ joint in Santa Anita, California that’s known for their plethora of various kinds of marinated pork belly. Porkfolio actually mixes some of that into the burger patties, which are half-and-half blends of pork belly and brisket. That all gets topped off with mozzarella cheese, Gochujang mayo, and a kimchi-based “Seoul Slaw,” all of which are encased in a sweet bolo (aka pineapple) bun.

It’s one thing to get a plenteous platter of meats placed down in front of you, but to get a double-patty burger grilled live adds a whole new dimension to this social food experience.

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Culture Features FOODBEAST Opinion The Katchup

Here Is How The Michelin Guide Can Make Angelenos Care About It

Earlier this year, the Michelin Guide, known by most foodies and insiders as the defining restaurant rating guide, made the announcement of its return to Los Angeles after a nine year hiatus in the city. At the time, former Michelin Guide director Jean-Luc Naret commented on the departure, “The people in Los Angeles are not real foodies. They are not too interested in eating well but just in who goes to which restaurant and where they sit.”

But times have changed since Naret’s verbal slap to Los Angeles, as it is now heralded as one of the most exciting food cities. Fast forward to now and you have Angelenos who are armed with adventurous and curious palates, all eager for a taste of authenticity and the previously unknown all at once. Such a groundswell of interest in cuisine has lead to a foodie movement in the city that’s been influenced by the culinary machine that is the Los Angeles of now. These days new restaurant concepts are fresh and exciting, chefs are emboldened to serve the food authentic to their personal experiences, and equal validity and fanfare is bestowed upon all kinds of eating establishments, whether it be a taco truck roving the streets or posted up outside a tire shop to fine dining restaurants that challenge diners’ tastes and invigorate inclinations.

With such a broad stroke of culinary offerings from all kinds, backgrounds, and formats coloring Los Angeles, is the typically stuffy, white table cloth-leaning, and archaic Michelin Guide even a good fit for the city? And frankly, should Angelenos even care?

The simple answer would be ‘no’, since the Michelin Guide outright called out LA diners and slandered the city on its way out. But being that Visit California has partnered up with the guide to come back to Los Angeles, it’s wise to consider the benefits that the added tourism and influx of dollars it could bring in. But beyond that, why else should the foodies of Los Angeles pay attention to the Michelin Guide?

Eater LA Senior Editor, Farley Elliott, helped answer that question on a recent appearance on Foodbeast’s The Katchup podcast.

“If they don’t put a San Gabriel Valley restaurant on there, if they don’t put a taco truck on there and give one of these places that are everyday dining options a star, people like you are just going to continue to laugh it off and rightfully so.”

Sure, the Michelin Guide has long been the culinary standard of excellence, but what it fails to do in tandem with its longevity is adapt to modern culinary norms. The rigidity in its preference for tasting menu, white tablecloth, European fine dining establishments reflects on a draconian and frankly problematic formula for its lack of inclusion of restaurants outside of such narrow standards.

But here in Los Angeles, the Michelin Guide has a chance to address such criticisms by taking the city for what it is. “Glendale is so different than Venice, it’s so different than Frogtown, and Silver Lake, and Downtown or the Arts District. So [the Michelin Guide] has got to be willing to meet these places where they’re at and understand and respect that obviously what they’re doing is working for the average diner.”

So until the Michelin Guide can start recognizing the Mini Kabobs and Sun Nong Dans of Los Angeles, places where they reflect the everyday dining habits of most folks, then the majority of Angelenos will simply not care or give credence to the merit of it at all.

 

Feature Photo: Steve Lyon