Tuesday, February 21, 2017

VBT Yankee Stadium: The Fugetaboutit

Ahhh, the New York Yankees. A team you either love or hate. In fact, one of my favorite teams is whoever plays the Yankees. Not a fan. Not a fan of Yankee Stadium either. It looks a lot like old Yankee Stadium, of which I was also not a fan. Hate the New York weather, it's either too hot or too cold, and the crowds are horrendous. So what do I like about New York? The food. New York City is like the epicenter of an international food explosion. You can get ANY type of food at ANY hour of the day. If food it your thing, New York is for you.

You know what else New York is famous for? The strong accent and slang of its residents. You hear a New Yorker in a bar in Hong Kong and you immediately place the speaker as a visitor from the Big Apple. Food and accent is what makes the hot dog for Yankee Stadium. Allow me to introduce The Fugetaboutit. It combines one of New York's most memorable catch phrases (say “forget about it” as one long word after you have had twelve beers and you get the picture), with the knish, an iconic eastern European snack that has made a new home in NYC.

A knish is a dough pastry stuffed with any combination of sauerkraut, ground beef, mashed potatoes, and diced grilled onions. To make one, get the best sub roll you can find, slightly grill it on a skillet and then slap in a Hebrew National all-beef frank. Top the frank with mashed potatoes, sprinkle on ground beef, some grilled onions, a row of kraut and then add a meandering stream of spicy brown mustard. The knish tastes delish, and it's all on a hot dog. Unlike the Yankees, this dog is a winner and you don't have to brave the subway to enjoy one at home. And if you think you can give me any grief over dissing the Yankees....fugetaboutit.

Beer pairing: Try a Saranac Adirondack Lager if you can get your hands on one. It is brewed upstate in Utica but embodies the freshness of the Adirondack mountains and washes down a knish on a bun like no other. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

VBT Kauffman Stadium: The Meat Bomb

Back in the day, which for the record was long before I was born, most beef was transported via cattle drives. Cows were driven in herds from the southwest up famous trails like the Chisholm and Great Western, destination: Kansas. Meat is one of the early commodities that made Kansas great as most of the trails ended somewhere in the the vicinity. Because of its close association with the beef business, Kansas City became renown for its BBQ. Ask any Kansas City resident what you should eat while in town and it will nearly always be some sort of meat joint. Meat is king in Kansas City.

With its fleshy history, only one hot dog will do for the Kansas City Royals: The Meat Bomb. It is a combination of the tasty meats that belong on a bun. Here is the rundown on how to build your own bomb.

Toast the bun, it will need the extra firmness to hold all of that carnage together. Also, it is much easier to tackle if you split the bun and use the halves like sandwich bread. Start with two or three slices of bacon as a base, lay on a small slab of BBQ ribs, add three meatballs, douse with KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce (it comes in many flavors, use the one of your choice). Then lay on the star attraction, the all-beef Hebrew National frank. It's a challenge to eat, the meatballs will want to roll around, and keeping the frank centered on the bun is no small task. But trust me on this, one bite and you will be singing the them song to Rawhide. This bomb explodes with the flavor of the best of the world of meat.

Beer pairing: Nothing will defuse the bite of this BBQ meat bomb like the crisp, cool taste of a Boulevard beer. Brewed in Kansas City, it is nationally available and comes in many varieties, but the Imperial Pilsner is recommended. 

Friday, November 18, 2016


Blog About a Dog got its 100,000th view this week. 

Thanks for all of your time and interest in the great american hot dog and our national pastime. 

More delicious posts to come!!!!

Monday, November 14, 2016

VBT Citizens Bank Park: The Balboa Dog

Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly Love, unless your name happens to be Rocky Balboa. Then it is the city where you get your face bashed in movie after movie. While fiction, America's favorite underdog boxer will always be soundly connected to Philly and is probably only second to the cheesesteak sandwich as a city icon. There is that whole founding of our nation thing going on there, but nobody cares about that. No celebrity involvement to be found in Independence Hall.

I think Rocky is pissed Rolling Rock moved to NJ
You know what else Philadelphia is famous for. The Texas Tommy. Despite its Lone Star State moniker, this hot dog was invented near Philly and is a hot dog that is split down the middle, filled with cheese and wrapped in bacon. Personally, I think it gives the cheesesteak a run for its money and tastes better. Argue that point with a Philadelphian and you are likely to be dropped faster than Apollo Creed. You have been warned.

It is only fitting that the Phillies and Citizens Bank Park get a dog with two local legends in the bun. In this corner, allow me to introduce the Balboa Dog. Start with a large grilled bun and then grill up a Hebrew National frank, split it down the middle and fill with your favorite cheese. Laying in a slice or two of bacon serves two purposes. First, it is true to the original Texas Tommy, and secondly it pays homage to the hanging meat that Rocky Balboa used to pound on during training in the first (and best) Rocky movie. Top with sliced hard boiled egg. Another nod to the movie where Rocky downed raw eggs for protein and muscle building. I would have used raw eggs on the dog, except that it would be gross and that whole salmonella thing. Add some dijon mustard and enjoy.

The Phillies, just like the Rocky movies, started out strong a few years back but have had a really bad run as of late. Watching them play can be as painful as a few rounds in the ring with the Italian Stallion. Downing a Balboa Dog while catching a few innings will help ease the pain. And unlike for Rocky, there is always next year.

Beer pairing: Rolling Rock beer was brewed in nearby Latrobe until 2006. It still has a large following in the area despite moving to New Jersey (NJ? Really?). Served ice cold it is the perfect paring for the Balboa Dog. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

VBT Minute Maid Park: The Apollo 13

Gather 'round kids. Uncle Tom is going to tell you about once upon a time when America had an actual manned spaceflight program. It was tremendous. We even went to the moon! Now, we have some fiscal blackhole orbiting the earth that we hitch a ride to when the Russians allow us to ride in their rockets. It was a great time kids, America was great and the space program was a real source of national pride.

Once those mighty rockets rose off of the launch pad, their oversight was transferred from Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas. Houston would manage the flight until its return home. Did you know that the first word ever received from the surface of the moon was “Houston?” Know you know how the Houston Astros got their team name.

But it didn't always go smoothly. Several astronauts gave their lives reaching for the stars, and three nearly did but made such a harrowing brush with death that they made a movie about it. Apollo 13 had a near catastrophic explosion on its way to the moon, they had to abort their planned lunar landing and barely made it back alive. With the exception of Apollo 11 (the first lunar landing), Apollo 13 is the most famous of all moon missions.

It is in honor of those brave souls that cheated death we introduce the Apollo 13 Dog. It's a bit of a monster so pay close attention:
Start with a very large bun. Lay a bed of pepperoni medallions, lay the frank on top of the pepperoni, squirt on some mustard, put in some diced onions, dash in some sriracha sauce, a bit of chopped jalapenos, some relish, shredded cheese of your choice, diced sweet peppers, some avocado, a few tomato wedges, some crushed potato chips, two spoonfuls of pinto beans, and top with a sprinkling of Tang. That's right, Tang. It's an astronaut themed hot dog you know.

You know how many toppings that is? You guessed it, thirteen. This is a loaded dog that will send you over the moon with processed meat pleasure. And trust me, the Tang tastes great on it.

Beer pairing: It's Tex-ass. Blast off with a six pack of Lone Star while plowing your way through the Apollo 13 dog.

Monday, October 17, 2016

VBT Nationals Park: The Politician

Ahhhhhh, our nation's capitol. Full of history, monuments, museums and....sleaze. Too bad the Nationals ended up in Washington DC instead of Charlotte when they moved from Montreal. The District of Columbia would be a great town if it wasn't full of politicians.

Somehow, during my lifetime, we went from our elected officials being representatives of the people to being tools of establishment politics. With all of the disdain that our lawmakers in Washington invoke, this hot dog was designed with them in mind. Here is The Politician.

Start with on oversized bun. A big one, over inflated like our national budget. Then put in a all-bull frank (normally an all-beef wiener, but in this case it would be bull), lay in some pork, just like every bill passed in congress. I use some boneless ribs in my dog, add two slices of bacon because bacon comes from pigs and...well, you can connect those dot. Lastly, add some shredded mozzarella cheese. I originally did not intend to put cheese on this dog, but a lobbyist from the dairy industry bribed me to do so.

While this dog is delicious, it is named The Politician, so be prepared for an upset stomach after ingesting it. As well as a bad taste in your mouth. Just kidding, it really is tasty, but will all of that political jargon I couldn't resist.

Beer pairing. Fat Tire is one of my favorite beers. Their brewery is in Fort Collins, Colorado. That is no where near Washington DC, but Fat Tire rhymes with Big Fat Liar, so it really is a fitting beer for The Politician.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

VBT Angel Stadium: All Dogs Go to Heaven

Nearly everyone has had a dog that eventually crossed the rainbow bridge. It is an absolute life cruelty that dogs only live for about 10-15 years. Nothing is more heartbreaking than losing your best friend. But with the unbridled goodness that lives in all canines, all dogs must surely go to heaven. That is why, when I set out to design a hot dog for the Anaheim Angels, I didn't want no Mickey Mouse hot dog, I wanted one that represented dogs and angels. I don't know about you, but when I cross over, I will have a pack of fluffy and furry friends knock me over and give me the lick down of a lifetime. As soon as that is over, I am taking all of them out to the best hot dog stand on the other side.

What do all angels have in common? Halos and wings of course, and they are the centerpiece of the All Dogs Go to Heaven Dog. It features a larger then usual toasted bun (because dogs love to gorge themselves), an all beef Hebrew National frank (dogs LOVE beef), the frank it topped with boneless buffalo chicken wings (representing angel wings), onion rings (a nod to the halo), and chopped celery (because this dog had to have something healthy on it). It is a dog that you, or your dog, will love. So the next time you tune into an Angels game, grill up an extra dog for the dog and catch a few innings with your best friend. And this time, let him up on the couch.

Beer pairing: Although brewed in nearby San Diego, a Ballast Point beer will give your dog a nice compliment with its hint of hops. Pour your bestest pal a dish full of cool water, and yourself a cold Ballast Point brew.