Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hot Dog Hot Spot: Moe Dogs

As was during the regular season, this blog will not only keep you apprised of the best ballpark hot dogs, but inform you of the best hot dog hot spots around the nation. Ballpark Hot Dogs’ travels frequently happens upon some of the best dog joints in the land and what better way to keep the taste buds in tune than to down one between games.

This Christmas holiday had your intrepid hot dog explore underway to the mountains of New Mexico. The halfway point between hot dog HQ and the Land of Enchantment is Amarillo, Texas. It is home to a place I had stopped at twice before but had the bad luck of it being on a Sunday when Moe Dogs is closed. Working closely with the NSA, I arranged to pass through Amarillo on a Saturday and cruise down Amarillo’s 6th street, which also happens to be Route 66.

Housed in a former old-time Diamond Shamrock gas station is Moe Dogs, home of the tastiest dogs in the Lone Star state’s northern panhandle. What was once the service station’s garage area is now a portion of the dining room and the grill where Moe serves up an array of meat rockets that will send your palate into orbit. Some of the menu entrees include the: Moe Killer Dog, Sherpa Dog, Thunder Dog, Lightning Dog and other magnificent meals of meat.

I ordered the Moe’s Spicy Tex-Mex dog and was not disappointed. The German sausage, jalapenos, onions and sweet peppers left my tongue smoldering and satisfied. One dog was a complete meal and every customer seemed to have a similar opinion.

Can it get better? You bet. Amarillo hosts an independent league baseball team that plays at the ballpark near the fairgrounds. In summer you can eat at Moe’s and catch some great indie action. Add in that Moe’s sits smack in the middle of Amarillo’s Route 66 kitsch hub and you can make a great getaway of dogs, baseball and Americana. Check out the video below for more on Moe Dogs.

You can’t get gas there anymore, but you can still eat at Moe’s. A highly recommended Hot Dog Hot Spot.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Regional Dog Fight: Tampa vs Miami

It has been a while since my last post. Why you ask? Partly because it is the off season, but mostly because I have been editing my book. You know, the one you can’t wait to buy.

Since much of the nation is mired in cold weather and we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring training, what better time to turn the regional dogfight looking glass onto the teams of the Sunshine State? Everyone wants to be in warmer weather this time of year, so let your mind wander south as we test the toasted weenies of the Tampa Rays against their rivals on the peninsula the Miami Marlins.

It really is a tale of two cities. Miami in on the bejewelled south coast with all of its multicultural flair, food and festivities in a place as much noted for its nightlife as it is its weather. Across the state, situated on the Gulf of Mexico, is the much lower key town of Tampa. That may not be confusing, but consider this: the Tampa Rays actually play in the city of St. Petersburg. Miami has baseball’s newest and most modern ballpark that could be mistaken for a museum of modern art, while Tampa has an old dilapidated dome that could be mistaken for nothing but an old dilapidated dome. Perhaps the threat of hurricanes is the only equalizing factors for both the cities. Tampa does have one HUGE thing going for it: my brother lives about 45 minutes south of the city and he is related to me. When you are a city on the brink, having a close relative of a famous hot dog celebrity within an hour’s drive can make or break you.

So how did the sausage showdown of the south pan out?

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability2GA Ticket Price3
It Factor2.5Fans3

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability5GA Ticket Price3.5
It Factor3.5Fans3

What we have here is a good old fashioned blowout. The Marlins take the Rays to task in this matchup. The biggest reason is the ballpark's location and cleanliness. Miami's stadiums is located in Little Havana with good access and is spic and span. Tampa is located in the wrong city and out of the way and needs a hosing down (by a hose, not a hurricane). 

The killer for the dog portion was the toppings. If you read my blog on this you know that the lower levels in Tampa have a great selection of toppings, while the fans that bought the cheaper tickets have a very paltry pick. Not cool...and it cost them. 

But be not troubled, you can put the Florida dogs to test yourself, and soon. I  will be flitting about the Cactus League in Arizona this spring and testing the dogs, you can check out the Grapefruit League and let me know how those are. And if you want to leave now and wait for the pitchers and catchers report date while basking in the sun no one will blame you. Send me a postcard.