Thursday, June 25, 2015

Pittsburgh Pirates: Cuban Dog

After a stint of dodging dodgy weather, I was treated to an evening of perfect baseball weather in perhaps baseball’s best MLB venue: PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Something about a retro-inspired stadium with modern amenities situated on the banks of the Allegheny River with a stunning skyline view that does it for me. The best part? If you read my book (you are buying my book aren’t you?) you know that the first MLB ballgame I ever attended was when my dad took our family to Three Rivers Stadium. This game I was able to return the gesture and take my pops to his first trip to PNC Park. It doesn’t get any better than a Pirates game with your dad; dog in one hand and an Iron City beer in the other. Did I mention the weather was picture perfect?

Pittsburgh has a strong Italian heritage and influence. So it struck me as a tad strange that the Pirate’s specialty hot dog is a cuban offering. The Cuban is footlong all-beef frank on an imported German pretzel bun. It is topped with diced ham and house-smoked pork, mustard and homemade pickles. What’s not to like about a double-meat dog?

Appeal-I expected this dog in Miami, the fact that it is offered in Pittsburgh intrigued me. And the picture on the advertisement looked really alluring. 5

Ingredients-mostly good, but I was not a fan of the diced ham. 4

Uniqueness-nice dog, but it would have been even more unique if it had a Pittsburgh flair to it. 4

Monstrosity Factor-a large dog, but no match for my appetite. It was the only thing I ate at the ballpark and it was filling, but I was not overwhelmed by size or toppings. 4

Value-for an MLB venue $9 for a dog of these proportions is a good deal. I should mention that last year, Pittsburgh had the least expensive hot dog in the MLB. 5

Overall Taste-the diced ham dragged the score down a bit. The franks were delicious and I mentioned to my dad that I could tell by the taste who the manufacturer was. I check with the concessions people and I was correct. The Cuban Dog is made with Hebrew National franks. Great choice Pittsburgh. It is comforting to know that I am both good and good-looking. 4
The Lohr Boys Demolishing Dogs
A score of 26 is not going to put PNC Park in running to be “top dog,” but they still have a great specialty dog at a good price in one of baseball’s best venues. And after eating the Cuban, my spanish improved significantly. Then again, that might be accredited to the several Iron City beers we drank.

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