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AMERICAWEEK: Chili dog

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“I am proud to be an American. Because an American can eat anything on the face of this earth as long as he has two pieces of bread.” 

 Bill Cosby

Yes, AMERICAWEEK will always start with a quote from a great American. If there are any doubts concerning his “great American” status, then do your Bill Cosby research.

After yesterday’s letdown-turned-potato-miracle, I was glad to see the gas station stuffed to the brim with both familiar faces and rotating franks. Bernard saw me pull up and Ryan was bustling around, cleaning and organizing everything. He also sold me on a particular brand of water … Ryan is quite an asset already. After somebody I suggested last week I eat a chili dog for Fourth of July, I knew they were on to something. What is more American than meat? Why, topping it with more meat, of course! And, conveniently sandwiching this combo within two slices of bread, according to Cosby.

I make a beeline for the warm foods section, see the chili dispenser and then approach the dogs. There are three varieties: something cheesy, something bratwursty and something weeny. The latter simply states “Wiener”, which is the only viable option for a legit chili dog. And the best option for making second-grade caliber jokes. Although I don’t know if smirking at the mention of a “wiener” is more or less high brow than simply placing anything phallic in the crotch area … you know, seventh-grade crowd pleasers. Rest assured, I did not place the dog anywhere near my pubis.

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Waiting for me so patiently.

Today’s subject was well photographed and, thanks to an empty gas station, I felt more than a little awkward knowing these people I was starting to recognize could see me snapping shots of the hot dog counter. But I didn’t want to leave my readership hanging. Here’s the approximate process: take bun, open bun, take wiener, place in bun, carefully douse in chili, add onions, place jalapenos, squirt on some yellow mustard for a dash of color.

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My homage to the March of Progress

I take my first bite off the end dripping some onion and chili down the side. You know, start with the good stuff. And boy is it good. I may have lathered a few too many toppings onto this dog because the flavors are utterly overwhelming. But there she is … the distinct flavor of chili, hiding among the onion, jalapeno, etc.

The chili definitely adds its own texture, blanketing the dog and mixing readily with the other toppings. It’s warm, hearty and earthy. Exactly what I’d expect meat mud to taste like.

After a couple bites more I realize that either the mustard has no place on this dog or I did not apply it sparingly enough. The onion, chili and jalapeno harmonize happily, but the vinegary, briny yellow mustard just screeches over it. Although a little well done (and not in the lovely, this-was-cooking-over-an-open-fire way) the dog is as delicious as the last time. While we all love adding our different toppings, the wiener itself is always center stage. Juicy, substantial and delicious, I can find no reason to complain.

Furthermore, I did not need to run to the bathroom afterward, nor did I regret this meal in the least. In fact, I found myself with a surge of energy … and raw patriotism.

Nutrition Info: Sometimes foods harmful to the waistline are great for the soul

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9 comments on “AMERICAWEEK: Chili dog

  1. I used to love eating sloppy chili dogs at baseball games, but the internet has ruined all that. I cannot take that kind of risk now. A chili dog mess might be temporary, but the internet is forever.

  2. Sometimes foods harmful to the waistline are great for the soul, is a great quote!

  3. I love roller-dogs WAY more than is healthy. My personal favorite is a hot dog with fresh salsa, though I do still love a good chili dog. BTW, great post.

  4. love the quote ‘sometimes foods harmful to the waistline are great for the soul’ – I often feel this when getting my chilli dog at Ikea in Europe (no great choices here I’m afraid!), and love to try the real thing when in the States! like the blog btw!! thanks for stopping by mine and giving me the chance to discover yours! http://thebeachhousefrance.wordpress.com/

  5. Love the name and idea of your blog! Thank you for liking my blog.

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