The Vegas/Hot Dogs situation

Why, pray, is it so fucking difficult to get a halfway decent hot dog in this town?

Now, I’m not going to flex like Epicurius and claim that I’m the terminal of all knowledge when it comes to shoving shit into my face, but I’ve been here and there and put things into my mouth that ought not have been put there and like an underclass nerd who managed to score with the cheerleader, I hold those panties triumphantly up in the air while I bask on the accolades.

Or whatever.

What I’m getting at here is the state of the hot dog here in Vegas is abysmal. I’m not some dickbutt east-coasterner who professes that the frankfurter sandwich is the end-all-be-all of nishnosh but I do enjoy the things, as much as a fella can enjoy shoving six to twelve inches of beef tube past his lips and deep down into his throat.

But what the fuck, Vegas, is the deal with Chicago-style hot dogs? It seems that every time you turn around, you’re accosted by shops and stands and casino cafeteria that tout the fabled Chicago-style dog. What does Chicago-style even mean anyway? It’s been dead for five years but still managed to vote twice in the last election?

Fellow Vegas-hater Gewehrmonkey and myself happened into a Chicago Hot Dog eatery in Henderson and put the Chicago-style to task. The dogs were served up with this sort of electric green relish. To say that it was simply green, as a person would imagine regular pickle relish would be a misstatement. This relish, chutney, salsa, whatever you can call it is green like those nasty jell-o salads your grandmother would make for Easter. A sort of intense green that may as well be so out of gamut that you couldn’t print out a copy on your inkjet.

Along with the atomic radiation green relish, the dogs were served with slices of tomato, onions, a big dill pickle spear and these odd little slightly-spicy, way-too-sweet peppers.

This is overkill. Too much bullshit to shove on a hot dog. And at like seven bucks, it felt all the world a ripoff. The sausages didn’t really taste any different than the bulk foodservice dogs we’d use in restaurants which I’d worked, hell they weren’t any better than the ones Costco’s deli sells for a buck and a quarter.

The flavors are cloying. Weird jell-o salad tang vs dill pickle bitterness vs the peppers’ dull spiciness led to the sort of lackluster flavor complexity that you as a child would fabricate when grabbing ingredients at random from the fridge and attempting to make a kickass super radical to the maximum breakfast supreme surprise.

So, imagine my shock and surprise when moseying through Downtown in general and into The Fremont in particular when I’m met by a tiny casino cafe, one advertising actual, real hot dogs, not ones adorned with garlands of hibiscus flowers and draped with grape leaves and steamed in rosewater, but an actual, honest-to-god American motherfucking hot dog. With chili, cheese and onions. For four bucks.

Yes. Last time I had a foot of meat in the mouth, I was paid twenty bucks.

Maybe there’s hope for this miserable place after all? Maybe if they can finally not fuck up a hot dog, maybe there’s something else they won’t fuck up?


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