Thursday, July 12, 2012
Washington, DC 20003
Who has two thumbs and has always been a fan of a good hot dog? This guy. When I lived in NYC, I loved the fact that you could get a good hot dog on any corner of the city and let's not even mention that there isn't a better late night food place than Crif Dogs (Temptee Dog, it will change your life). So, of course, this guy couldn't wait to try out DC-3 which is just a block away from Ted's Bulletin and owned by the same people. I guess pretty soon they're going to own the whole block down there by the Navy Yard. But, even I can't eat 10 hot dogs in one seating so I decided to pay multiple visits to DC-3 over the span of a week so I could try as many dogs as possible.
PBR. PBR Tall Boys. I probably should just stop writing now. They had me at Pabst. Someone once told me that PBR is water with a little beer added. That may be true but that doesn't mean it's not fantastic. Yes, once again, they serve PBR.
The first dog I tackled was the NY Coney which is an all-beef dog with chili, onions and yellow mustard. I thought it fitting to start off with a straight up American classic. The dog was grilled just right up to the point where there's a little charring and the skin gets crinkly. The chili was milder than I expected but still plentiful and sweet but not enough to hide the dog.
Next up was the DC Hot Half Smoke which is a grilled pork & beef dog cut in half with relish, onions, and mustard. Son, it just got real. This dog packed a ton of heat. Even though the title warns you, I didn't quite expect it and had to pause to take a few gulps of PBR. No, it wasn't just an excuse to drink PBR (like I need one) but there is some real spice in the Half Smoke. While I enjoyed it, I felt myself needing to douse my mouth long after I had finished the dog.
The Rochester White Snappy Griller comes from a deli named Zweigle's in Rochester, NY that's been around since 1880 and according to their web site they make their dogs in "strict adherence to 'Old World' recipes and techniques". It looks like when they old world, they mean Germany and hence that the snappy griller is closer in taste to German sausage then a hot dog. It's in a natural casing so it's got a rather white exterior that's a bit off-putting and comes with one lone strand of mustard. The flavor, though, is exact and really comes through. I also think I learned that I like the open top buns better with this dog with a nice toasting on the actually bread part and not the crust.
On my last visit to DC-3, I went a bit unconventional and started with Chef E's Italian Sausage. This is your classic spicy Italian sausage with grilled peppers and onions. The kind you'd get after drinking at Spring Lounge for five hours then walking down Mulberry Street during the San Gennaro festival. Actually, it was a bit better but still evoked the right memory of every street fair that I've ever been to. The peppers and onions were steaming hot adding sweetness to the sausage which had just the right amount of heat.
I finished off my experience at DC-3 with a NYC Street Vendor Dog. It's exactly what it says, a grilled dog with a steamed bun with regular yellow mustard and sauerkraut. Every time I got on off the street, I only added ketchup and mustard but never sauerkraut. Yeah, I know, what's wrong with me? This dog was a pretty authentic replica of what I remember off the streets of NYC which taught me a few things about my tastes. I liked the dog, mustard and sauerkraut in general but I think I really do prefer a little toast on the buns for a bit more texture. The soft steamed bun just wasn't doing it for me. Sorry street vendor guys.