The humble hot dog is one of those things everyone eats as a child and debates rage over what city makes them best. Is it Chicago? Is it New York City? The simple answer to that question is “no.” Having grown up in Hollywood, California, my opinion on the matter is simple, the best hot dog in America is served up at Pink’s Hot Dogs in Hollywood, California. Some may say this is merely an opinion and they would be right, except for the fact Pink’s has been continually serving up tasty dogs in the original location, owned and operated by the Pink’s Family since 1939!!!
In 1999 Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordin proclamed Pink’s Hot Dogs a “Monumental Family Business,” for at that time, they had been feeding Angeleneo’s cravings for SIXTY years. I don’t know what criteria you judge
your restaurants by but at this point, they’ve been in business for 73 years so they must be doing something right.
Lets get to the dogs. Pink’s serves up a hot dog made to their specification by Hoffy, with a natural casing and prepared to order start to finish by ONE person. Regardless of time of day, you will likely wait in line somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes but when you get close enough to spy the menu, your mouth will water at the choices you can make. There are literally hundreds of hot dog combinations, many named after various celebrities who have partaken of a fast dog.
Regardless of my hunger level, I will always order two hot dogs, fries and two drinks at Pink’s, this trip the winning dogs were the Brooklyn Pastrami Swiss Cheese Dog topped only with mustard and my old stand-by, the Bacon Chili Cheese Dog topped with tomato, cheese, mustard chopped raw onion and of course, three strips of bacon.
First up, the Brooklyn Pastrami dog. A big, juicy mound of pastrami draped lovingly over a weiner whose casing just pops when you bite into it flooding your mouth with it’s juicy deliciousness. I have a soft spot in my heat for New York City and this dog gave me just the right combination of two of the City’s signature delicacies.
I have a professed love of bacon that has been well and exhaustively documented so topping that perfectly made weiner with three slices of crispy, porky goodness and then piling on beef chili, tomato and onions must be a hit right? ABSOLUTELY! This hot dog is visually appealing and doesn’t disappoint when it hits the mouth.
A half pound order of golden french fries really put the meal far over the top, caused me to take a deep breath and loosen my belt a bit. There was no way I was getting through even half of the fries but I wouldn’t have dreamt of not ordering them. If you get the chance, hey know a thing about onion rings as well.
Though Pink’s will make you a hot dog virtually any way you want it, the one thing they will not do is take any form of payment other thank cash (there is even a set of instructions on how to order and pay that you had better follow lest you piss off the long line of people behind you and leave hungry.)
When you take a humble hot dog, snuggle it up with a chile pepper, wrap it in bacon and top it with multiple condiments you can only end up with one thing…The “Sonoran Dog!”
A street food staple in Sonora, Mexico and a highly sought after late night nosh in the greater Phoenix area, the Sonoran dog is a culinary marvel.
On the corner of Indian School road and 20th Street in Phoenix, in a parking lot of all places, you will find a cart bearing the name “Nogales Hot Dogs,”serving none other than Sonoran hot dogs.
A few picnic tables and a pop-up tent are all that separates this street food vendor from others. I sidled up to the cart and place my order (since this was my first visit, I asked to have my pair of dogs the way the vendor liked his). For the paltry sum of $7, I got two dogs topped with tomato, bacon, mayonnaise, cotija cheese and pinto beans along with a 16 ounce “Mexican” Coke (old school glass bottle, pure cane sugar, frosty and absolutely refreshing!)
From the first bite to the last, I enjoyed my Sonoran Dog experience. Although I would have liked a bit more depth of flavor, maybe more zest, I would drop in on the Nogales Dogs crew for a snack anytime. If you’re in the area and feel a rumbling in your gut, drop on in an have a couple dogs, I did!