Friday, January 02, 2009

Bright lights. City lights. I'm talkin' 'bout a Yankee, er, sauce

Friends who're around me on a regular basis know that I have almost Matlockian cravings for hot dogs. My friends also know that I'm pretty egalitarian when it comes to hot dogs. That is, I don't care if it's an eight-pack of $.99 or $5.99 dogs ... I'll put 'em in a bun and top 'em with mustard, chopped onions, peppers and, on occasion, chili meat, and just eat the hell out of 'em.

I have a friend who hails from up north, North New York (aka Upstate) to be exact. As long as I've known him [he agreed to be name-checked as "Yngwie" for our purposes here], he's known how much I like hot dogs. And every time he's ever heard me talk about how much I like Nathan's hot dogs, he's always responded thusly: "Sabrett's are better."

During my first trip to New York, in 2001 -- two weeks before 9/11 incidentally -- I ate at the Nathan's on Coney Island twice. It was during those two visits that I came to the learned culinary decision that Nathan's makes the best hot dogs in the known world. (Hell, my first visit to the Coney Island Nathan's inspired me to purchase a circa-1950 black and white glossy photo of hot dogs being cooked on the Nathan's grill, which hangs in my kitchen to this day.)

Second time I went to New York, in 2006, I ate me my first Sabrett's hot dog -- from a street vendor near Central Park. "A [Sabrett's dog is] pretty good dog," I remember thinkin'. But I also remember thinkin' this: "This [dog] ain't nowhere near as good as a Nathan's dog." Fast forward to today ...

My Yankee friend (he don't mind the "Yankee" moniker) gave me a jar of Sabrett Onions in Sauce as a belated Christmas present. He intimated that he'd had very few hot dogs in his life that weren't slathered with Sabrett's onions-'n'-sauce. Then he said, and I quote, "You probably won't like it, but we'll see."

Let's see ...

I made a special trip to Publix today to pick up a pack of Sabrett hot dogs and some fresh buns. (I got me some fresh wheat buns from Publix's deli.) I boiled two hot dogs as soon as I got home, and then I bunned-'em up. Next, I opened my jar of Sabrett Onions and Sauce and I let it breathe for a bit. Finally, I took a spoon and covered my dogs with sauce; I took hold o' one of my dogs with both hands and took a bite; and I took a mental note of what I was thinking as I swallowed:

This Sabrett's hot dog is pretty darn good good -- not Nathan's good, but pretty darn good; and Sabrett Onions and Sauce tastes suspiciously like Hunt's extra-sweet ketchup that's been infused with sliced onions. (Oh, and then I said, outloud to no one in particular, "Yee-uck!")

I'm of the opinion that no one over the age of 12 should eat a hot dog with ketchup on it. Hell, ketchup is only useful as a dip for fried potatoes and as a base for certain barbecue sauces ... period. Ketchup should never be placed on a sandwich or a hamburger or, especially, a hot dog. Repeat: Ketchup should never be placed on a sandwich or a hamburger or, especially, a hot dog.

Sabrett Onions and Sauce probably would taste good on a fried tortilla -- you know, like salsa. But it don't have no place on no hot dog at no time. Indeed.

I'm sorry, Yngwie.


Brian Stanley said...

Nice DLR refrence Django!

webbie said...

I grew up south of here in B'ham and we were hot dog rich. Hot dog stands on every corner. And each had it's own sauce. The most famous was Sneaky Pete's. The sauce is a brownish red sauce redolent with chili powder. The dogs are served with saute'ed onions, kraut, and sauce.