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March, 2009, Page 141
Just in time for spring training, we’ve done a roundup of the Red Hots. Here are some of the best, most biting dogs you can get outside of the ballpark.
Photography by Nicole Roegner
Two Hippies Magic Mushroom Burgers
802 E. Indian School Road,
Along Indian School Road just east of Seventh Street, there sits a small white building. You can’t miss it – it’s the one adorned with a giant hotdog sculpture on its roof and a bright yellow sign illustrated with a long-haired, vest-wearing dude and dude-ette.
The tiny place is Two Hippies Magic Mushroom Burgers, operated by Andy and Kim Goldstein, who also own Long Wong’s, and you’d be hard put to find a better deal or dog in town. A $5 combo includes a drink and a mountain of fat, hand-cut fries sprinkled with “moon dust” (seasoned salt) and served in a brown paper lunch sack.
These hippies may cut corners on the sodas with self-serve cans of Shasta or RC – but the dogs are first rate. The staff fresh-grinds and stuffs the all-beef beauties daily, then charbroils them and plops them on a soft, bakery-fresh egg bun. These pups are enormous, too, piled generously with whatever you want, such as sauerkraut and salsa ketchup, or the unwieldy but wonderful Chicago-style dog, decorated with ketchup, relish, lettuce, tomato, jalapeños and onions. You’ll need napkins.
7051 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale
There isn’t even a bun with the bratwurst at Fine’s Cellar, but this dog can hunt: The plump sausage is crafted of homemade duck confit, splayed on a long white plate next to a nest of truffled sauerkraut and a snaking smear of whole-grain mustard aioli. It’s an extreme indulgence of minced duck, pork pate, herbs, salt, white pepper and a healthy dose of caul fat; a spark of lemon in the mustard and the punchy vinegar of pickled cabbage cuts the richness.
For Fine’s “Pigs in a Blanket,” meanwhile, Chef Cullen Campbell braises pork belly in maple syrup, ginger and beef stock for more than four hours until it’s silky tender. Then he tucks the meat into homemade crepes that are as thin and crispy as lace and tops them with buttery caramelized onions plus a sprinkle of Tillamook cheddar. Magnifique.
There are wine pairings for these dishes, naturally – Fine’s boasts one of the largest collections in the Valley. For the brat, Cullen recommends a Pinot Blanc from Alsace, France. For the Pigs in a Blanket, a Pinot Noir from Oregon would wrap things up nicely.
Boomer’s Sweet Home Chicago
5932 W. Bell Road,
Dogs are the centerpiece of Boomer’s lengthy menu, and the basic frank, crafted specially for the eatery from a producer in Chicago, is a point of pride: bursting in juices and salt, as a dog should be. A bare-naked pup, in fact, excels in the “snap” test, with its natural casing popping against the teeth for a joyous rush of beefy flavor.
There are a half-dozen choices, but Boomer’s owner, Mike Rothschild, a Chicago native who owned seven Boomer’s there in the ’80s, recommends the Chicago style (naturally), which means mustard, relish, chopped onions, sliced tomatoes, kosher pickle spear, sport peppers and celery salt piled high on a steamed poppy seed bun. Go extra nuts and top it all with melted cheddar if you like, or, if you’re really adventurous, substitute the jumbo dog, which is as big as it sounds.
We can’t imagine anyone finishing what must be the Great Dane of dogs – The Big Boom, a half-pound, pure beef footlong topped Chicago style with cheddar and hunkered on crusty French bread – but Rothschild assures us it’s frequently done.
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