Saturday, May 2, 2009

Housemade Hotdogs

We are back from another Meatpaper Meat party, this one at Camino Restaurant on Grand Aveue in Oakland. The location was good, one could complain that there were a few too many people there-but I certainly couldn't be that one to complain since I had to beg just to buy my ticket to get in at a late date-and they accomodated me!

More about the meat party later but the most popular item there was a house made pork corndog. As these treats came off the line wrapped in an almost crispy corn meal coating they were snatched up immediatly. In fact folks hovered around the open hearth kitchen, the anticipation was palpitable. As the night wore on there were still cheers across the restaurant as some deserving sole or another was treated with a specially made corn dog, served directly to them at the table without having to fight the hoards at the kitchen line. It was like winning the loto.

One of the most exciting corn dog experiences I had before that was at the Pelican Tavern in PG, where they were serving foot long dogs that were house battered and fried. I heard about these from Kathy Duron at the Lodge at Pebble and had to take 3teens out to dinner there where we ordered 4 kid meal foot longs. Last time we were there, the foot longs had been replaced by dinky, ordinary dogs that might have come out of the freezer.

In the last year I have had SRF American Kobe dogs, Akaushi prime hot dogs from Heartbrand, and the homewrecker Nepenthe 2:1 bacon wrapped deep fried hot dog. (The Nepenthe Dog was $15.95 by the way and came with a side salad that, upon request could be deep fried also). But my favorite hot dog ever was the frank I had right out of the smoke house during my Meat Cutter apprenticeship by in 1987. I took the processing house tour and 5 minutes into the tour swore off ever eating hot dogs again, until we came to the smokehouse and cut a fresh link off a rope of dogs and ate it right there.

The SF Gate weighs in with the article below:

Despite the legacy of local favorite Caspers, the Bay Area has never been a hot dog destination like New York or Chicago. But suddenly, restaurant chefs are making hot dogs from scratch and serving up local, boutique franks in unusual guises.

By focusing on pasture-raised, hormone-free meats, they are transforming what had been a guilt-inducing trashy treat into a trendy, fun and more sustainable way to indulge. Take note, however, that hot dogs made in small quantities from quality meats do cost more than your basic mystery-meat link.

At Cafe Rouge (1782 Fourth St., Berkeley; 510-525-1440), the emphasis is on Mediterranean fare and charcuterie. But now you can also order a hot dog (served with cabbage relish and potato chips, $7), made in-house from heritage breeds of Berkshire pork and Piedmontese beef. The dogs are also sold to go ($5) and in bulk ($10 a pound) at Cafe Rouge's meat market.

Read the full story here.

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