Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The hot dog's answer to turducken.

I think I've found the perfect New Orleans hot dog.  It didn't come from a Lucky Dogs cart in the quarter.

I was patrolling down St. Roche Avenue around lunchtime and spied a cart in the neutral ground.  I felt a little gnawing in my middle and the smell from the cart tempted me to stop.  I'm glad I did.

The proprietor served me a wiener that sums up New Orleans. It was over the top in it's meat-centricity and reliance on local cuisine.  Allow me to paint you a picture...

Your typical American hot dog:
It didn't look anything like this.

The man handed me a half a baguette in which was sandwiched a frankfurter.  He dressed it with a butter knife slathered with coarsely ground mustard.  On top of that he added a generous layer of shredded roast duck.  The juice out of the duck drenched the bread.  "Would you like some holy trinity with that?" he asked.  I assented and he dipped a spoon into a chaffing tray and ladled the sandwich with a confit of simmered bell pepper, onion and celery, better than any pickled relish.

That was one succulent dog.  Price: $5.50.  With a soda and small bag of chips: $6.50.

I asked why he didn't use boudin.  "Boudin is too expensive.  The duck drives the price up enough as it is.  I use Nathan's franks and they match the duck well enough.  Boudin would be too rich."  Words after my own heart but I don't doubt that many of his patrons wouldn't mind biting into a rich pork and pork liver sausage for lunch.

As it was, it was a meal that stuck with me and repeated itself all day.  Much better than the fare at Lucky's which I tend to toss in the trash after a few bites as money wasted.

A summary of New Orleans' hot dog market.  Here's another (each sentence in this paragraph is a link)!  Here's how they do it in Boston. 

New Orleans is not a hot dog town.  This gent's on the right track to make it one.  Just add duck.

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