Sunday, May 1, 2016

VBT Busch Stadium: The Hill Dog

Saint Louis, the Gateway to the West, was home to many immigrants back in the day. Like many cities settled by newcomers from Europe, ethnicities tended to resettle near others from the same home country. A common language and heritage made landing on your feet in the new country a little less daunting. In St. Louis, the Italians tended to congeal near the highest point in the city. They made their small Italian community with all the trappings of home, including restaurants and shops. Today The Hill, as it is now known, still embraces it cultural roots and boasts a large Italian residency. It is a spot with a strong Italian vibe and home to some of St. Louis’ best restaurants.

To design a hot dog worthy of honoring one of the nation’s most vibrant microcosms of old Italy, I channeled of one of the most famous and influential Italian-Americans to ever grace our shores: Chef Boyardee.  The Hill Dog is simple, yet delicious. Take a soft bakery bun, lay in a Hebrew National frank and top with Chef Boyardee spaghettios with meatballs. Bite in while watching the Cardinals put on a show at Busch Stadium.

they take their heritage seriously
Kids will love this hot dog, but Chef Boyardee won’t. After designing the dog and heading out to the store to grab a can. I discovered that Campbell’s makes spaghettios, not Chef Boyardee. Talk about busting a myth. But even if I can’t tie the famous chef to The Hill, baseball can. Baseball greats Joe Garagiola and Yogi Berra both grew up there, in fact their boyhood homes are just across the street from each other. One of The Hill’s more famous eateries, Ragazzi’s, was the root of one of Berra’s more famous “Yogiisms” when he said of the joint, “it’s so crowded nobody goes there anymore.”

Beer pairing: it’s St. Louis, you HAVE to eat The Hill Dog with a cold budweiser in hand.

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