Tuesday, October 27, 2015

OMG! I'm Gonna Die!

So I am pretty sure I am gonna die of cancer...and soon. At least if you have been watching the media lately you would think it a certainty. The World Health Organization (WHO) is the latest actor in the “hot dogs will kill you” crowd and took their turn beating the drum this week. According the the WHO, eating 1 ¼ hot dogs a day increases your chance of colorectal cancer by 18%.

Firstly, the WHO is part of the United Nations; an organization not exactly known for efficiency or being unbiased. If the UN says something, I automatically question it. Second of all, these people that claim hot dogs are bad for you are scientists. I love science and scientist, but they are also the same people that had no idea Pluto was in our solar system. Then they found it. Then the named it a planet. Then they decided it wasn’t a planet. Then they decided it was a dwarf planet. Then there is coffee. It’s good for you. It isn’t good for you. Sometimes it’s good for you. Then there is that whole “New York City will be underwater due to global warming by 2009” thing. The point is that while they mean well, scientist get it wrong…a lot. Don’t believe me? How’s your local weatherman doing with all that fancy scientific data and gizmos?

Now ponder life without hot dogs. Not a world I want to live in. Plus, who eats 1 ¼ hot dogs every day? Even during my last two summers of downing dogs at ballparks I averaged a hot dog every three days by the end of the year. And I am certain I am on the high end of the hot dog consumption spectrum.

So am I worried? I am actually more concerned about being killed in a freak vending machine accident than I am getting cancer from processed meat. And you should be too. Want to worry about something that could kill you? Lookup vehicle death statistics. And if the UN wants to do something to really help humankind, they should take on tobacco and leave the mainstay of ballpark cuisine alone.

hey, I only eat one dog a game anyway

Who wants to live forever anyway? You could lock yourself in your house and eat oatmeal three meals a day. Or, you could live a little and grab a dog or two now and again.

Hey we are all going to die, and when I drop dead I want to be in the bleachers at PNC Park with a dog in my hand.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

World Series Wiener Report

The contestants for the fall classic are set! The Mets square off against the Royals for the top spot in MLB. Both teams clawed their way to the top, with the Mets surprising everyone, perhaps their fans the most. The New York and Kansas City benches are filled with talent, and those lucky enough to have a few thousands bucks stashed under their couch cushions or desperate enough to sell a major body organ can grab a seat in Citi Field or Kauffman Stadium to catch the action.

But what will those fans do when they get hungry? Anyone that would attend the World Series and not have a hot dog is a sure communist, that means tens of thousands of dogs will be consumed during the Series. Which venue offers the best dog options? We need only to climb into the Hot Dog Explorer Wayback Machine to see how those ballparks fared during my quest this summer for the best specialty hot dog.

Citi Field leans heavily on the New York Deli reputation to offer up the Pastrami Dog. It is a double-meat treat that starts off with a Nathan’s frank, topped with brown mustard and pastrami. This delicious creation is adorned with a pickle spear. It scored a 26 of the dog-o-meter during my visit.

Kauffman Stadium has a much better selection of specialty dogs, but the one that tops the list is the Royal Bacon Blue Dog. It is a Farmland frank covered in blue cheese crumbles, blue cheese dressing, chopped bacon and red onions. It weighed in with an overall score of 25.5.

So there you have it, the Mets edge the Royals for specialty dog bragging rights. I will say that the Royals have a far better selection, more interesting ballpark and cooler uniforms. So, my money's on the Royals.

Stuck at home and can’t get a ticket? Join the club. You can recreate any of the dogs listed. Just be sure to use an oversized bun to hold in all of that goodness. And if you really want it tasty: use a Hebrew National frank.

Enjoy the Series and grab a dog!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Hot Dog Alert #7

Chicago residents lamented the closing of the iconic Hot Doug’s this year. Owner Doug Sohn hung up his apron for good and one of the finest hot dog emporiums in the nation fell silent. Then the Cubs called.

Looking to reinvigorate their hot dog lineup (as all ballclubs should), the Cubbies lured Doug out of his short-lived retirement. Doug, an ardent Cubs fan, couldn’t say no. What hot dog vendor wouldn’t leap at the opportunity to put their fingerprint on Wrigley Field?

Even better, Doug is naming his encased meat delicacies after famous Cubs players from the 1970s. Here is his initial lineup:

Carmen Fanzone Dog-a spicy Vienna polish sausage with spicy brown mustard and caramelized onions.

Dave Kingman Dog-a bacon cheeseburger sausage with cola BBQ sauce and sharp cheddar cheese.

Rick Reuschel Dog-an atomic pork sausage with chipotle mustard and pepper jack cheese.

If you missed the 1970s due to being too young or being on drugs, trust me when I tell you these are great choices for hot dog monikers. Not much has changed since then, the Cubs still suck and Wrigley is still the ballpark with the ivy wall, but the infusion of the new hot dogs will give Wrigley concessions a new level of respectability. And hopefully help fans ignore that eyesore of a giant jumbotron they put in left field.

Doug, if you are listening, I’ll be more than happy to test these puppies out for you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Hot Dog Alert #6

They say things are bigger in Texas. After consuming a good portion of the two-foot long Boomstick Hot Dog at Globe Life Park in Arlington, I believe it. But things are about to get weird as well.

In case you are glued to the tube on Saturdays and Sunday taking in football, you may have failed to notice that it is STILL baseball season and the MLB playoffs have begun. And if you are mesmerized by boys chasing the pigskin around and oblivious to other important life events (I am talking to you Oklahoma), you missed a great baseball comeback as the Texas Rangers clawed their way from third place to take the American League West Division.

So what are the Rangers going to do to celebrate and reward fans for coming out to root for the team? Introduce a new hot dog of course. This entry is a mixture of sweet and meaty. I know, sounds nasty, but I thought so too until I started testing some really strange dogs. They can be tasty if properly done.

Without further ado, allow me to introduce….The Cotton Candy Dog. It is a regular hot dog topped with cotton candy infused mustard and a tuft of either blue or pink cotton candy on top.

It doesn’t sound all that appealing, but I have learned not to judge a dog by its toppings. I’d love to try one, but alas, the Cotton Candy Dog will only be available during the playoffs. And I don’t have tickets. Want a full report on the dog? No problemo...just send me a playoff ticket and I am all over it. Talking to you Texas Rangers.  

If you do happen to have a ticket, get one ($10) and you can be a guest blogger and tell us all about this circus on a bun.

And allow me to repeat...IT IS STILL BASEBALL SEASON!