Something We Dreamed

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All Hail the King!

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Kosher-style Beef @ Supreme Dog

Kosher-style Beef @ Supreme Dog

Our hometown hero, Joey Chestnut, successfully defended his title Friday in the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest’s first-ever sudden death overtime (New York Daily News).

I was so excited that I ran over to Top Dog/Supreme Dogwhere Joey trains — for an all beef Kosher-style Frankfurter!

As I write this, I’m even noshing on a home dog (Bar S brand — 69-cents a pack at FoodMaxx), the breakfast of unemployed champions!

: More News About Joey Chestnut


Happy National Hot Dog Month!

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Who doesn't love hot dogs? *Frankly,* that would be un-American!

As the Fourth of July approaches, I can’t stop thinking about hot dogs — possibly because the annual Nathan’s pig out is this Saturday.

My love affair with the link is nothing new. I even run a Flickr group dedicated to world-wide weenies of all shapes and sizes: Hot Dog.

It seems that I am not alone in my obsession.

Way back in the 70’s, Mettja C. Roate wrote a cookbook devoting half its pages to tube steaks. has a forum on hot dogs, sausages and brautwursts (you have to register to access the lively discussion). Hot Dog Chicago Style has a searchable database of restaurants located across the country. In addition, the opinionated has a Hot Dog Page listing close to a hundred different joints located across this great hot dog loving nation. (Oh, and did I mention The Frankfurter Chronicles?)

I have a list of my own old favorites and “dying to try” establishments:

Before dining at any of these or any other fine dawg-serving establishments, I suggest a study of Hot Dog Etiquettte. (Unless, of course, you’re heading to the white trash trailer, ahem, restaurant, Hillbilly Hot Dogs:

Just as in the great depression of the 1930s, reds hots are, well, red hot! So far I haven’t seen a “Depression Sandwich” offered on menus (hot dog & fries for a nickle — or four cents if that was all you had — as served at Fluky’s in Chicago).

Today we have “designer dogs” and restaurants serving “Lobster Dogs.” We even have recipes for lobster corn dogs with truffled hollandaise sauce, with, perhaps, an order of duck fat fries on the side…

With all the money the weenie industry is making, I think I should join the ranks of the honorable hot dog cart vendor. The cost of running a profitable weenie stand may be high, but I would be doing something I loved. I could even prepare for my new career by simply changing degree programs. Goodbye SUNY-Empire, hello Hot Dog U: The Harvard of Encased Meats!

EAT IT UP: More Food in Fashion!

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Written by Kate Blood

July 2, 2009 at 9:25 am

EAT IT UP: Food Crimes in the News!

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Written by Kate Blood

July 1, 2009 at 12:14 pm

A Dozen Dishes I Crave

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Gorgonzola Stuffed Medjool Dates

Gorgonzola Stuffed Medjool Dates

Inspired by Michael Bauer’s thoughts about “dishes I’ve remembered long after my reviews have been published,” here are the top 12 dishes I still crave, also in no particular order.

  1. Pollo Molcajete — spicy chicken in red sauce served with nopales, crunchy deep-fried pork rinds and grilled fresh white cheese at Casa De Las Sirenas in Mexico City.
  2. Tom Douglass’ salty-sweet, seriously tasty Fennel Salad with Orange and Hazelnuts at Seattle’s Serious Pie.
  3. The chewy, earthy Gorgonzola Stuffed Medjool Dates served at intimate Bar Tartine in San Francisco’s Mission District.
  4. Alaskan Halibut (pricey, but worth it for the heavenly fresh taste as well as the jewel box-like presentation) by Chef Laurent Manrique at Aqua.
  5. Bi-Rite Creamery’s mouth-watering Salted Caramel ice cream.
  6. A favorite childhood treat — old-fashioned French Dip Sandwiches (with hot, house-made Dijon-style mustard) at Phillipe the Original in L.A.
  7. Divinely rich, savory-sweet Pere al Gorgonzola salad at Tigelleria in cute little Campbell, California.
  8. The absolutely addicting Pecan Bars — oozing sugary fresh, sweet cream butter — at Kenny & Zukes in Portland.
  9. Super simple Yunnan-style Roasted Leeks dusted with hot red pepper powder at Beijing’s Food in Novel.
  10. Luscious Crabmeat Sardou with artichoke bottoms and creamed spinach as served at historic Galatoire’s Restaurant in New Orleans.
  11. Butter soft Hot Salt-Beef brushed with lip tingling hot mustard on a chewy beigel (bagel) fresh from the oven at Beigel Bake on Brick Lane in London’s notorious East End.
  12. Delfina’s intense Grilled Calamari with Warm White Bean Salad — the squid’s smokey flavor pairs perfectly with creamy white beans.

Rotten Butter

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Fresh Willow Maid Butter

Fresh Willow Maid Butter

My father never liked butter. He said his American farm-cook mother had served rancid butter as a cost-cutting measure. I think, perhaps, serving rotten butter was just a reflection of my grandmother’s lack of skill in the kitchen. The only thing she whipped up that didn’t make me sick was packaged Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing.

In England, everyone’s favorite living Sex Pistol, Johnny Rotten, is mock-celebrating the U.K.’s history and butter: watch his telly commercial on YouTube (Rotten sells Country Life).

If Rotten’s butter sell-out leaves you craving a pat of real anarky, check out the recipes at F*#k Corporate Groceries and Punk Rock Kitchen‘s kick-ass cookie cutters! And steer clear of the Food Network — where the programming has turned into a rancid pablam according to True/Slant’s Matthew Greenberg.

The Fine Modern Art of Food

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Warholesque Art at Humphry Slocombe

Warholesque Art at Humphry Slocombe

While touring San Francisco’s Mission District, I spotted this funny Warholesque painting at the new Humphry Slocombe ice cream shop. (I ordered a scoop of their intensely caffinated Blue Bottle Vietnamese Iced Coffee, and skipped the foie gras flavor…)

Andy Warhol was far from the only modern artist known to feature food in his work — California painter Wayne Thiebaud is lauded for his still lifes of pies and cakes. Photographer Liz Wolfe has an equally artistic recipe for food bliss: colorful, candy-coated set ups.

The summer of 2009’s most infamous food-art installation is in England where street artist Banksy has taken over the Bristol Museum. Banksy’s show features pink-frosted donuts, tubes of bologna, demented cooks, excrement filled ice cream cones, and a giant vanilla soft serve melting on the top of an ice cream van.

What Banksy’s cooked up may not whet everyone’s appetite. It does prove, however, that just about anyone can be a modern artist. Why not try your own hand at food art in the home kitchen?

Better yet, get out of the house and join in the fun at a Jell-O mold competition or French fry sculpting contest! (Don’t miss the video!)

UPDATE: Thanks to Rebecca for showing me this additional item on SFGate — Freeman Makes Artistic Desserts at SFMoma.