Monday, July 05, 2010

New England hot dogs and New Orleans hot dogs

I don't follow a lot of sports.  While I haven't been able to escape the recent World Cup coverage, it's mostly out of the corner of my eye.  Even when I was dragged to watch the recent Uruguay vs. Germany match, I read the newspaper and took along some clerical work to keep me occupied between goals.
There is one sport I do follow every year however and one athlete I particularly admire.  I salute Joey Chestnut and his fourth consecutive victory, earning him the right to wear the coveted Mustard Yellow Belt.  I am almost ashamed to admit that I am fascinated by competitive eating.  I've never been to Coney Island myself and it's probably not in my future anytime soon, but I sometimes daydream that I will one day go heat-to-head against Joey Chestnut.

The lady of the house scoffs at my ambitions and shuts off the conversation as soon as I start discussing my aspirations.  We used to go to Spike's Junkyard Dogs where you can get a free tee shirt and your picture on the wall if you can eat six dogs.  My record is two dogs in a half hour. I have some training to do before I can match Joey Chestnut's accomplishment of this year's 54 in ten minutes, and this isn't even his career best.

When I lived in Boston, I would stop at Downtown Crossing and grab a hot dog from one of the Boston's Best carts.  It was a cheap meal on the run.  In New Orleans, I can get into condition by visiting the various Lucky Dogs carts scattered around the French Quarter.  The fact is though that I don't like Lucky's dogs.  I tried one once and I didn't finish it.  Not because it was too much for my frail stomach, it just didn't taste good.

Boston has plenty of good hot dogs.  Speed's of course is in a class by itself (scroll down their page a bit to read the Wall Street Journal review).  I can't even finish one of Speed's creations though the condiments set the culinary standard for what best complements hot dog flavor.

There seems to be a shortage of hot dog carts in New Orleans.  I understand that Lucky Dogs has an exclusive franchise in the French Quarter, but what about anywhere else?  The CBD (Central Business District to our non-New Orleanian readers) and Audubon Park can certainly sustain a cart.  These are just the two most obvious locales aching for a hot dog cart.  It will take a trip to City Hall to discover the answer to this burning question.


Michelle H. said...

The quest for the best dog. I hope you find it in New Orleans.

I've never watched an eating contest. I'm reminded too much of that old movie, Stand By Me, and the boy deliberately making himself sick just to make everybody else hurl during the pie eating contest.

Whalehead King said...

The funny thing is that I am mostly a vegetarian and I have a very small appetite. Maybe that's why this fascinates me. If there were a sardine contest though....who knows? I can eat a lot of sardines though probably not as many as I think.



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