Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Place No. 72, Pink's Hot Dogs. Seriously. And, 72A, Nathan's Famous

Is the World Series over yet? I’ve been hibernating, attempting to avoid exposure to the whole sordid affair.

I did emerge and see a photo of ARod dressed in his Halloween costume. I’m assuming he was dressed as Rocky Balboa. Seriously, that had to be a costume, right?

"Yo, Adrian! Trick or treat!"

Speaking of people trying to pull our legs, Josh Pahigian tries to salute ballpark hot dogs by taking us to Los Angeles and someplace called “Pink’s” for place no. 72 in his “101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out.”

Based on this entry, the book should be renamed “100 Baseball Places and one Hollywood Eatery That Has Nothing to Do With Baseball.”

Seriously, even Josh points out that the place has a Hollywood motif, and that you have to look hard to find a baseball connection.

The fact that Josh looked to Los Angeles for hot dogs is an outrage and makes be uneasy about places Nos. 73 through 101.

I shall come to his rescue.

Alternative place No. 72A) Nathan’s Famous, Coney Island.

Nathan’s, of course, is the kind of hot dog served at Citi Field and formerly at Shea. So it only makes sense that we had to return to the epicenter of all things Nathan’s to pay proper tribute when we returned to the homeland this past summer.

Hot dogs have been a ballpark staple since Harry M. Stevens began serving them at the Polo Grounds in the early 1900s.

Tim and Andrew liked thier dogs.

History tells us that Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker, in 1916 opened his small stand at Coney Island, serving the dogs and crinkle-cut fries are served with a little fork.

The company's Web site claims President Franklin Delano Roosevelt served Nathan's Famous hot dogs to the King and Queen of England in 1939, and had the dogs shipped to Yalta when he met with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin.

Dad, Tim, Andrew and I headed to Coney Island after seeing the Mets beat the Cardinals 9-0 in our Citi Field debut.

After braving the Cyclone and Wonder Wheel, we made our way down to Nathan’s. Things had changed, but not that much. Dad ordered a round of dogs and fries, and we sat down on some tables to watch the colorful world that is Coney Island walk past.

There are massive signs about the annual hot dog eating contest, which seems kind of freakish.

New York requires restaurants to disclose the number of calories on menus. A hot dog with bun had 296 calories. This year's hot dog eating champion, Joey Chestnut, ate a record 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes on July 4. That would be 20,128 calories.

The dogs were glorious, and I’m sure I savored my one more than Joey enjoyed his 68.

We came right from the game, though I removed my Tom Seaver jersey for safety, lest there was any hurling on the Cyclone.

I was in standing on line for a second round of Diet Cokes when I guy looked over and said, "Hey, were you at the game today?"

"Yeah! How'd you know?"

"Well, you got Mr. Met on your face."

I'd forgotten to remove the menacing Mr. Met temporary tattoo. Not that strange facial tats made me stand out in a crowd on Coney Island.

Truth be told, I’m not keen on franks at the ballpark. Order a dog at your typical stadium, and an employee will open a drawer and hand you a ball of foil, the contents of which will be a shriveled dog and a squished, soggy bun that sticks to the dog.

One of things I liked best about the old Tiger Stadium was that vendors would roam the stands with boiled dogs floating in water that I assumed was hot. (If you know otherwise, don’t tell me. I’m in my happy place.)

Anyway, the vendor would capture a dog with tongs, take a fresh bun out of a bag, slap it there and then offer you mustard or ketchup, which he’d apply from a bottle.
The dogs were Ball Parks and not Nathans, but I could pretend.


Anonymous said...

I don't know who is the bigger tool here, Josh or Skank-Rod. (Granted, Skank-Rod is ALWAYS a tool.)

I will yield to no one -- or no location -- as to the quality of Vienna Beef, but doesn't anyone who know anything about hot dogs know about Nathan's? Who the heck has ever heard of Pink's -- even in L.A.? (I'm betting Tony Packo's in Toledo is miles better than Pink's.)

Now, if Josh had said In-N-Out burger -- or even Rick's Burrito's in Pasadena -- that's a whole different story.

They whip up a mean dog on the grill on the roof of Wrigley Field (I go with the brat), but there are at least a dozen places in Chicago that serve dogs that beat all to heck anything at either park. Check out Hot Doug's next time you're in town and tell me I'm wrong.

Oh, and when you get the dog, do it Chicago style -- mustard, onion, pickle, tomato, relish, celery salt and hot peppers. (See photo elsewhere on this here site.) You'll be glad you did.


Anonymous said...

By the way I apologize for the faux passes in my previous post. Burrito's with an apostrophe? And can anyone deconstruct the sentence about Nathan's? I can't. (OK, it should have been "Is there anyone who knows anything about hot dogs who doesn't know about Nathan's?" There. Much better.

Unlike Josh's pick.


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