Thursday, February 26, 2015

Things Just Got a Little Cleaner

Me that is...not the blog. Hot dogs and working out at the gym do not exactly go hand-in-hand. In fact, they are pretty much at the opposite ends of the fitness spectrum. But, as of a few weeks ago, I am now a proud member of Planet Fitness. 

Why Planet Fitness? Why not Gold's Gym or others? First, I don't have a German accent, therefore I am automatically persona non grata at Gold' I think the real fitness dudes would beat me up. Secondly, Planet Fitness is present in nearly every city I will be visiting this summer. I know what you are thinking: "good move Tom, it is important to keep in shape while on the road." That may be true, but it is actually more important to stay clean while on the road. If you remember, last year, I had a bit of an issue finding places to shower. It had it's advantages, within 10 minutes of taking my seat at the ballpark I had the section to myself, and I wasn't bothered by fans crowding me. But the flies became an issue. Which brings me back to Planet Fitness. They are they cheapest national chain of gyms. They are open 24/7 and I can access any of them at any time. That makes for one clean hot dog explorer. Otherwise I would have to get a couchsurfing shower or pay for one at a truckstop. Showers at truckstops are about $10. A Planet Fitness membership is $20 a month. You do the math. 

This is great news for any of you planning to meet me for a hot dog at a game this year. Last summer, I went nearly 5 days without a shower. It got so people would not even park next to me. I may even invest in some deoderant this year. 

I begin making my way to Phoenix on Monday, March 2. Look for me in the stands, I will be the one so sparkling clean the sun will be glinting off of me....except for that mustard stain on my shirt. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Head West Young Man

In a few weeks it is off to Arizona to test the hot dogs in all of the Cactus League ballparks. I will be using my system for judging the dogs from last year while a I devise my new system for testing the the MLB specialty dogs during the regular season.

For those of you not in the know, MLB spring training is held in two locations. Half of the teams practice and get into shape in the Arizona desert in what is known as the Cactus League while the other half heads to steamy Florida for the Grapefruit League. I’d love to try the dogs in all of the ballparks of both leagues, but there are these things called time and money, not to mention the distance. Plus, many of the Florida State League (FSL) teams play in their parent team’s spring training ballparks meaning I have already visited several of them.

While there are 15 teams in the Cactus League, there are only 10 ballparks. Some teams share facilities, which makes fiscal sense. A few, like the Cubs stadium, are brand new and should be exciting to visit.

Baseball has been in Arizona in the spring since 1947 so the area is steeped in baseball history. And there is that Sonoran hot dog thing. If you didn’t read my post last year on the Sonoran, no will hear more about it, along with some great Cactus League action.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hot Dog Hot Spot: Jennifer's

In just a few weeks I am off to the greater Phoenix area to test the hot dogs in the Cactus League during MLB spring training. In the meantime, I have had the shakes. The “I ain’t had no damn dog in weeks” shakes. A guy I know highly recommended I try the hot dog cart that is outside of the exit of the Lowe’s home improvement store here in Tulsa. According to him it has the best dogs in Tulsa. But I have heard that before. I never pass up a good hot dog tip. Think of me as the Ponce de Leon of Processed Meat; in a never-ending search for the perfect dog. I prefer the dogs at parks, but since not all hot dog lovers love baseball (why, I have no idea) I bring you the best in hot dog hot spots as I come across them.

It ends up this cart is called “Jennifer’s.” The chef was cooking up some peppers when I spoke with him the the pepper fume infused smoke from the grill took my breath away. An array of grilled veggies adorned the artsy concoction and the frank was split to ensure even cooking. I was offered hot sauce, and being no wimp, I accepted.

The result was a juicy dog that bites back. It was a fabulous experience that had me headed for the water fountain. While I am not convinced it is the best hot dog in Tulsa, it certainly ranks as one of the best. And what man does not get hungry browsing power tools and lumber? So when you are in the Lowe’s in Tulsa lumber on over to Jennifer’s and get a delightful dog. And check out the video for the Jennifer's experience in full living color.