Posts Tagged ‘Hot Dogs’

Phillies Phan Phood

June 19, 2009

Phillies ScoreboardI got to go to the Phillies-Baltimore Game tonight as a guest of Chris and his company, a major healthcare portal, so I thought I would do an article on food at the Phillies ball park.

Harry The K'sWe started the evening out at McFadden’s but it was so noisy that we only had one drink and headed into the park. Chris suggested we head up to Harry The K’s Bar and Grille. We ended up sitting under the “P” in Park under the Phillies scoreboard in Left Field.  It was a unique view of the field where we had great service from Teri, some good company and some decent food.

Phillies Chicken WingsThe first group of appetizers included some decent wings, Philly cheesesteak spring rolls, fries and chicken fingers. The Chicken Wings were good.  They had a nice heat to them, fairly meaty and nice roasted chicken taste finish. I usually like a crispy skin but as the wings cooled the skin seem to crisp up.  I think the reality was they were drying out but they were good.  The Blue Cheese dressing was surprisingly good. Nice tang from the blue cheese, mostly a sour cream base that cooled the heat of the wings and some small cheese chunks to give the sauce some texture.

Cheesesteak SpringrollsAn interesting dish on the menu was Cheesesteak Spring Rolls. These rolls had a nice crisp wrapper that contrasted to the soft gooey meat and cheese filling.  The filling actually tasted like a cheesesteak sandwich. The group’s only concerns with the dish was the meat to cheese ratio of the filling, which we all liked but wanted more meat, and the fact that we couldn’t order more than two rolls per order. That didn’t work with a group so well.  The mayo based sauce had a bit of heat to it so it was great for dipping. Definitely worth trying.

Chicken FingersThe Chicken Fingerswere huge, I hate to see their hands. LOL.  The batter was very light and flavourful and the meat was moist and sweet. The mayo based sauce matched well to the fingers completing the dish.

Hot DogNo, baseball game can be played without a Hot Dog. So our second course was hot dogs. It was the 6th inning so we went for dogs.  These great 6 inch dogs, had a nice steamed dense bun almost like a potato bun. The actual wiener was mildly spiced and well cooked. Someone, who will remain nameless, liked her dog with ketchup only.  The rest of us went for mustard and/or relish.  The dogs were great and perfect for our second course and for the first course anytime at the ball park.

We enjoyed our food at the ball park, it was just a shame the Phillies lost but 40% of our group was hoping for the O’s. Glad I got to go an spend some time with the group but the Phillies will win next time. LOL.

5 Guys – 6 Trillion Different Burgers

June 14, 2009

Five Guys - Doylestown PAChowhound Dan Macey recommended Five Guys in Doylestown for a great burger so for lunch today Donna and I went for it.  I didn’t know this was a chain before we arrived at the store.  I usually don’t review chains, I do eat at them but let’s make an exception and do a review. It’s my blog and I can do whatever with it. LOL.

The title for the post comes from store name plus the number of different possible combinations of burgers, cheese, bacon and toppings.  They offer 15 Different Toppings that can go on top of their standard 3 1/2 oz Patty plus you can have two patties, bacon and/or cheese.  The Little Burger has only one patty, their Regular Hamburger comes with two patties. So their Regular Hamburger is just an ounce off a Double Quarter Pounder.

Five Guys Little CheeseburgerI decided to go for the Little Bacon Cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, mustard and BBQ sauce.  My custom-made burger arrived in good time as the restaurant had a good flow of traffic at 11:30 in the morning. The first thing I noticed was the burger patty arrived very hot and the veggies arrived very cold. That combination made the burger the Perfect Temperature to eat right then.  I took the burger apart to take the photo and I noticed the cheese had not yet melted completely, the lettuce was very white and the burger looked messy.  I am a big fan of presentation but a bigger fan of flavour and flavour won.  Wow, what a good burger. I usually take a bite and write notes, take another bite, write and so on but I was half way thru the burger before we started talking.  The patty was formed from fresh beef earlier that day and burger flavour reminded me of the burgers my mom made at our family restaurant in Canada when I was a kid. The crunch of the veggies and the sauce of ketchup, mustard and BBQ made a great contrast to the beef flavours in the patty. My only criticism was the lettuce was white and from close to the core of the lettuce head. No biggie but it would have been perfect with green leaf lettuce. If they weren’t a chain, they would have made the Top 5 Best of Bucks Co – Burger list but I did give them an Honourable Mention

Little Bacon HamburgerDonna went for the Little Bacon Hamburger with relish, raw onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, mustard and A1 sauce.  This one photographed better than mine but again Donna and I were speechless until about halfway thru the burger. A delicious burger custom made just for her. She had the same big white hunks of lettuce that I got too but other than it was perfect for Donna. We both commented on the juiciness of the burgers and that the foil did a great job of controlling that reducing the number of napkins we usually go thru with burgers this juicy.  We also both commented on the stuff-to-burger ratio compared to the big chain burgers.  The Five Guys burgers seem to have more stuff to enjoy compared to how much bun you get.  We not saying “Where the Beef?” with the other chains but rather much more stuff you seem to get at Five Guys.

Bacon-Cheese Dog at Five GuysI am still building my Best of Bucks Co – Hot Dogs so I ordered the Bacon-Cheese Hot Dog not knowing Five Guys was a chain.  It’s was a great dog and worthy of an honourable mention on the Top 5 list. It would have made the Top 5 if they weren’t a chain.  The perfectly grilled dog and bun came with crispy bacon and melted processed cheese. I had the option of the 6 trillion topping combinations but went plain as I wanted to taste the wiener, bacon and cheese. The slight char on the outside of the kosher wiener and the mild spices inside made for a great dog experience.  The smokey bacon and the sweet cheese added to the overall taste experience. A great dog

Five Guys Food ComboWe also ordered a Large Fries to share with the burgers and dog. The freshly chopped fries were great. Good crisp on the outside, good potato flavour on the inside.  It looks like they leave the peeling on when the chop them and that leaves more flavour for the eater. Staffers Kristy and Matt told Donna and I that they go thru 100’s of pounds of potatoes each day along with almost that much fresh hamburger patties. And for whatever reason this is a left handed store with the french fry chopper, the hamburger patty tool and even the frint door being designed for left handed users. Matt said the other stores he worked at in the chain are not like this so the Doylestown store is special. I didn’t notice the door on the way in but sure enough on the way out. It opens the opposite way.

A couple of other things we noticed while in the store. They have Sprite Zero in their fountain, most stores only give you the choice of Diet Coke or water as your low cal choices. Secondly, they give away shelled peanuts and the place is not a mess. And finally they have a ton of awards from different magazines and contests.  I can see why.  I just wish we had found the place sooner. Great burgers and dogs.

Read other reviews on Five Guys here, here and here.

Five Guys– 4399 West Swamp Road -Cross Keys Plaza, Doylestown, PA, 18901

Is There a Dog in There?

May 31, 2009

Dilly's Narrow SignAfter yesterday’s disappointing experience at Lenny’s Hot Dog, we went back to an old favourite to get a good dog.  We went back to Dilly’s Corner. We have been going to Dilly’s since we got to the USA and always had good food there.  Our last visit confirmed their Dilly’s Burger as being a Best in Bucks – Top 5 Burger.

Dilly's Menu

Dilly’s offers two dogs; the regular hot dog and the Dilly’s Dog from the extensive menu.  The regular dog can come with Kraut, Chili, and/or cheese. The Dilly Dog is a 1/4 pound dog with fried onions, peppers and potatoes on a toasted torpedo roll.

I went for the Regular Dog with Chili and Cheese.

062It was a great dog.  The steamed bun held a normal sized dog covered in Sweet Chili sauce and processed cheese. Normally Processed Cheese is something to be avoided but it was working here. The first bite revealed the snap of the wiener casing and taste of the grilled flesh. I know, Steamed Bun and Grilled Dog, what’s going on. Come to find out they have one of those rolling grills for the dogs so they steam the buns cause they don’t fit on the rolling grill.  Go figure but it works. Definitely a success and when coupled with the Pink Lemonade heaven on a hot afternoon.Dilly Dog

 The Dilly Dog is the featured hot dog at Dilly’s Corner.  The 1/4 pound weiner is covered in Fried Onions, Fried Peppers and French Fries.  The onions, peppers and fries cover the dog and bun I wondered if there was a dog in there. The Dilly Dog is a meal in itself.  There must be half a medium-sized onion sauteed in big chunks. The Onions are seasoned and lightly sauteed making them el dente and slightly sweet.  There is also a half a pepper slightly sauteed here as well.  The saute made the Peppers have an almost sweet pickle taste while maintaining a crunch.  A handful of Dilly’s French Fries was sprinkled through out the onion-pepper mixture. It takes a while to eat thru the onions, pepper and fries to get to the dog but the grilled wiener is there.  I was a little surprised when they gave me a fork and knife with the order but I could see why once I started to eat.  When I got to the wiener,  I found it to be slightly spiced but well grilled.  I usually want a snap to my dog but I was satisfied with the nice grilling  job. All in all, the Dilly Dog is a very special dog and worth the trip to Dilly’s Corner.  I am including the Dilly Dog as one the Top 5 – Best of Bucks Co – Hot Dogs.  I hope you go, give it a try and let me know what you think.

If you have other recommendations for great Hot Dogs here in Bucks Co or elsewhere let us know thru the Reply Box or Comment line at the bottom of this post.

Dilly’s Corner, 2998 River Road, New Hope, PA 18938          (215) 862-5333

Dog Days of Summer – Not Quite

May 30, 2009

Lenny's Hot DogsLast weekend we went on our Memorial Day Weekend Best of Bucks – Burger Search. So this weekend, we thought we would start the Best of Bucks – Hot Dog Top 5 list.  I had gotten some good leads from the Chowhound boards for the burger search so I asked about Hot Dogs and got only one reco, Lenny’s. It was a tentative recommendation but Donna and I decided to drive down to Feasterville to give it a try.  Regular Dog at Lenny'sAccording to the Web site. Lenny’s started in 1935 from a push cart in South Philly and they expanded to a local chain to become a Philly favourite.  The chain fell on hard times leaving the Feasterville store as the only one left. 

Donna went for the Regular Dog with raw onions and their famour sweet pepper hash.  The famous Sweet Pepper Hash turns out to be a dry coleslaw with some sweet peppers diced up into it.  The sweet peppers brought an interesting taste to the coleslaw but some how the write up had us expecting something more.

Lenny's ComboI went for the Lenny’s Combo that my Chowhound friend had recommended, a regular dog with fishcake and the sweet pepper hash on it.  I also had to order the Levis Champ Cherry Soda.   When I ordered I noticed the grill had several dogs of different types and size already grilling but Donna and I were the only people in the store. I have never had a Fishcake on a dog before so it brought a novel taste to the dog.  The waitress said the fishcake was just fish (species?) and potato.  The cake is cooked separately and mounded on top of the grilled dog.  That combo is covered in the sweet pepper hash.  Both Donna and I found the buns to be dry, flaky, old and tended to fall apart as we tried to eat the dog.  The sweet pepper hash tended to drop off as well.  I didn’t think the fishcake brought much to the party as it had very little seasoning. The Levis Champ Cherry Soda was a pleasant surprise with a strong sweet cherry flavour and minimal carbonation making it easy to drink.  I wish they had a sugar free version. Except for the Cherry soda it was a disappointing experience.

Other reviews of Lenny’s are here and here.

Lenny's Hot Dogs on Urbanspoon

Lenny’s Hot Dogs, 606 W Street Rd., Feasterville, PA 19053           215-355-7616

Memorial Day Family Picnic

May 27, 2009
Tom BBQing

Thom at the Grill

Ryan, Robbie, Donna and I got invited to our Thom and Reno’s for their Memorial Day Picnic.  It was a blast meeting their neighbours and family.  It was also great from a food point of view too.  There was tons to eat and a variety of items to make it interesting.  We got there on time and Thom was already cooking up some ribs on the grill. The Marinated Pork was moist and sweet a sTom BBQing burgers and Dogslight smokey taste from the grill.  Once the ribs were done Tom switched the classics;  Burgers and Dogs. Both were great but for some reason you weren’t suppose to put ketchup on the dogs, it was ok on the burgers but not the dogs.  The BBQ featured only Sabrett hot dogs which they felt were the best dogs in the USA.  I am a Nathan’s fan myself but the Sabrett Dogs were very good.  They had a nice snap when you bit into them and a pleasant spice mixture in the meat of the dog. Not sausage spicy but flavourful enough to be a great dog.

BBQ Fix'insA nice surprise was some Breaded Eggplant that one family member brought in from New York City.  Poker buddy Pete explained that this eggplant only grows in Italy and every year the relative brings it.  Pete suggest that I eat it without the red sauce to really taste the eggplant.  I did and sure enough it was good.  I normally steer away from eggplant regardless of preparation but when Pete said it was special I knew I had to try it.  Either way I would get something to write about.  It was a good recommendation.  Eggplant, to me, has almost a metallic taste and can be tough if you get a thick slice.  These slices we thin with a light breading.  The taste was sweet with almost a cold cut density to the flesh. It was good and I would have ate more but they disappeared by the time I got back the table.  I didn’t try the pull pork but it looked and smelled great.

Tomatoes and MozzaA classic Italian Salad is Tomatoes, Basil and Mozzarella.  The picnic’s version was really special because of the two varieties of heirloom tomatoes and some really fresh basil leaves.  The mozza was obviously fresh from their taste but aroma coming off the giant basil leaves and tomato.  You could smell this dish from across the room.

Deviled EggsAnother treat were the Deviled Eggs made by local Chef Gary from Dish Catering.  Gary catered my 50th Birthday Party so I knew these would be good.  They eggs were seasoned with mustard, cayenne and paprika giving them some heat.  Not to much but a good match to the mayo and egg yolk base to the egg filling.

Corn and Bean SalsaHaving just come off our Mexican Hold’em party the week before, I thought I was full of salsa until I spy-ed the Corn and Red Bean Salsa.  This colourful salsa was a good change up from the spicy mostly tomato salsas were served at our event. This salsa was also mild in spice making it a refreshing appetizer on a hot day.

Scilian PizzaReno now runs the family pizza business in Ringoes, NJ taking over from his father Frank.  Not that we didn’t have enough to eat already, Thom started to grill some  Sicilian Pizza that Reno had made earlier that day.  I am more of a thin crust pizza fan myself but I had to try it.  Glad I did. the grill had heated the crust nicely but the biggest impact was on the melting of the cheese, basil, garlic and homemade tomato sauce. I restrain myself in eating only one piece, cause my MD is reading the blog now so I gotta watch what I eat or at least what I right. LOL.

Spinach Salad with StrawberriesNew Facebook Friend and Poker Buddies Pete and Stella’s daughter Geri made Spinach and Strawberry Salad.  This was a refreshing break in the heat of the day.  The lightly dresses greens were a nice contrast to the sweetness of the berries.  I helped Geri pass the salad to her family and got to meet more of this great family. It was a lot of fun.

Finnish BowlingOf course a bunch of us player poker for part of the picnic but the most interesting game was a version of Lawn Bowling from Finland. The idea was to knock over the different wooden markers with wooden cylinder until you get 50 points exactly before the other players. Ryan and I tried it and it was a lot of fun.  Ryan later partnered with Poker buddy Tony and they almost won.  I can see why it was a popular game and great for picnics. 

Thanks again to Thom and Reno for inviting us.  We had a great time and hope we get to do this again next year.  Happy Memorial Day.

Chili Dogs

May 3, 2009

We made chili last night and one of my favourite things to do with the leftover chili is Chili Dogs. They make me think of the summer, relaxing and family outings.  It was a cold rainy day today, so the Chili Dogs cheered my up and I hope they cheer you up too.

To make the Chili Dogs you first need chili.  I make a decent chili.  I start by browning a pound and half of half inch pieces of sweet Italian sausage and then brown two pounds of 80/20 hamburger both of which I set aside so I can cook the veggies in same pot.  I like to saute about 2 cups of yellow onions, four cloves of garlic, a pound of sliced baby bellas mushrooms, a chopped red pepper,  a chopped green pepper, a thinly sliced jalapeno pepper and a cup of celery.  Salt and pepper to season.  Once the veggies are soft, I add the meat back in and stir to combine.  I then add spices oregano, thyme, basil, cayenne pepper and chili powder.  Chili BowlThe amounts vary each time I make it so use your own judgement.  I like a nice bean to meat ration so that every spoonful gets meat, veggies and beans.  I also like to use different types of beans so you get different colours and and shapes.  Last night I used thee cans of black and three cans of red beans.  I also added the big  jar of red sauce and stirred to combine.  Salt and pepper again to season.  As the mixture comes to temperature, I did a taste taste and adjusted the spices and heat for the audience (mostly Donna and I but we always make more for Ryan and Robbie and their portions disappear during the night).  Last night was a mild chili night so I didn’t kick up the spices too much.

I like to serve my chili covered with some cheese.  Last night we used a shredded cheese blend of mozza, provolone and cheddar.  A few minutes under the broiler gives the cheese a nice melt.  I also like to serve some bread for dipping.  I have served garlic toast on occasion but with the four cloves already in the chili I thought the french bread would do.

Chili Dogs

So now we have day old chili to make the Chili Dogs for supper. I like an all beef dog pan fried and a steamed bun. Once you get that far it’s pretty straight forward, cooked dog goes in bun, cover with reheated chili, sprinkle with cheese (same blend as last night) broil until the cheese melt, plate and serve.  It takes a bit of practice to figure out the right amount of chili in the bun so that you can control the chili with the bun and loose only a little chili with each bite. I like potato chips and pickles to garnish and to add some crunch to the dish but Robbie ate all the chips while we were out and didn’t tell us.  Darn kids keep eating and it’s like everyday we have to feed them again. LOL.

These Chili Dogs were great.  The soft lightly steamed buns holding the moist chili.  The veggie and meat chucks in the chili and the heat from the cayenne and jalepeno peppers gives the dog great mouth feel. The pan fried dog snaps when I bit into it making all those memories and feelings return even on a rainy night.  They were really good. Soon it will warm enough to grill outside every night and I can revisit the recipe again and perhaps make spicy chili dogs.

So readers where can you get a great hot dog or chili dog?  Click on comment link below to share.