I could not have been more disappointed by the latest report from the Wall Street Journal. While I love a good steak, I live for hotdogs! Hey, when you munch a dog, you knowingly accept the risks. I think I might just go and have a hotdog from Crif for lunch.
As you know if you read this blog, I’m a hot dog fanatic. I could live on that wonderful (almost) food. So, I was psyched to meet Montreal food insider Katerine Rollet for dogs in both Manhattan and Montreal. I’ll be writing more about this for Gadling, but here’s a look at the video she put together.
If you’re planning a trip up to Montreal (which I highly recommend), follow Katerine on Twitter.
I love Montreal. I’ve had a fantastic time every time I’ve gone. And, I’m a big fan of Canada. I enjoyed Toronto, Quebec, other parts Ontario and, of course, Montreal. Winnipeg sucked, but that’s life.
Even more than I love Canada, though, Canadians love me. I don’t know what it is, but Canadians have always taken to me, especially down here in the United States. I won’t name names, but there are plenty. Since discovering this, I thought about hunting for proof of my position, but hunting wasn’t necessary. I’ve gotten a lot of play in the Canadian press, including coverage in the Toronto Sun and Globe and Mail.
The video above will be featured in articles on Katerine Rollet’s blog (she’s Tourisme Montreal‘s food insider — follow her on Twitter), and I’ll be doing something for Gadling (I have a video of my own that I can use, too; I just need to finish start editing it).
I’ve been away for a while. That’s the curse of finding paid work: not as much time to spend on the fun stuff. But, I have been able to squeeze in a bit of time to experiment with video. I’m trying to spice up my posts for Gadling and Luxist with footage that I’m shooting with a Flip HD. So far, my work is nothing short of amateurish, but I’m hoping it at least brings a bit more life to the stories I’m pulling together.
You may remember my thoughts on the mustard when I got a hot dog (well, several) in Reykjavik over the summer. I got my first hot dog in Stockholm today, and I recognized the same cheese-like taste in the mustard. It must be a Scandinavian thing. However you measure it, my first hot dog in Sweden was an interesting experience.
My latest TraderDaily.com travel article has been posted. I had an absolute blast when I was up there last month, and I look forward to going again soon.
J’aime la Montreal!
So, take a look at the article on traveling to Montreal, then book a quick trip up there. If you’re in Boston or New York, Montreal isn’t too far up north.
While you’re up there, go grab a hot dog. They have decent dogs at the pool hall (there aren’t any pool tables there any more, just hot dogs) on St Denis. That’s exactly what I’m doing in the picture.
With fall coming, you probably think it will be cold as hell up there. You’d be absolutely wrong. Don’t think; let me do that for you. It’s beautiful up there well into October and probably into November. The air is nice and crisp.
They may be foreign; they may be domestic. Either way, I am a big fan of the food nature could never have produced on its own. You’ve seen me eat a hot dog in Reykjavik, Iceland, and you’ve heard my thoughts on dogs served in Massachusetts and New York. Well, I have finally added a new delight to the list.
I stopped by a dog shop in Montreal, yesterday. I have to say, it wasn’t bad. From what I understand, this was the best Montreal had to offer.
The verdict? Montreal offers a good dog, certainly far above average. But, it does have a way to go before it can compete with Swamscott, MA’s Popo’s or the crazy shop in Reykjavik.
I never thought I’d write about this outside the United States. Aside from my hitch in South Korea in 1997-8, I’ve never thought about hotdogs outside my native land– not even in Canada! Yet, I stood in a short line (considered long by local standards) for the best hotdog in reykjavik. I was assured that it’s the best in the country. But, in a nation of 300,000 inhabitants, that’s hardly a major score. With my first day in Iceland behind me, it’s time to play “taste test” from memory.
I don’t know what the name of the place is, but I hope the attached photo somehow contains it. Fortunately, the people who work there do speak English, so I didn’t have to raise my voice (which somehow makes non-English speakers fluent … it’s an American thing). I ordered two hotdogs with mustard and crossed my fingers.
I was not pleased with what I saw. I was given two boiled hotdogs (or steamed, whatever) in untoasted, unbuttered hotdog rolls. The rolls would not normally be a problem, but the dogs have to be pretty amazing if you’re not going to dress it up like that. With boiled hotdogs, you’re not likely to get the best taste. So, the combination of unadorned role and boiled dog had me concerned. But, I kept an open mind.
My first bite surprised me. The hotdog itself was good. I’d put it ahead of the average dirty-water stand in Manhattan, but it does not keep pace with the likes of Gray’s Papaya. The hotdog tasted like the many Oscar Mayer’s I had eaten as a kid.
The mustard? That was a different story. Amazing. It is hard to describe what exactly decorated my dog, but I assure you, I entered a new dog dining dimension. Somehow, there was a slight taste of cheese, and it had to come from the mustard. Specifically, it tasted like the cheese that one would find artificially squeezed into an Oscar Mayer cheesedog. Well, it was like that but tasted much better. The entire dynamic worked. I checked the middle of the hotdog, and it was not infused with cheese. Clearly, it wasn’t coming out of the roll. So, the mustard had to be responsible. Wherever the hell it came from, I was pretty happy. I may return to this spot before I leave Iceland.
While this hotdog was a pleasant surprise and could be the best in the country, it does not compare to the expertly prepared hotdogs I have eaten elsewhere. Popo’s of Swamscott, MA remains the best I’ve ever had– without any serious competition from the rest of the world. After Popo’s, I’d give a nod to Gray’s Papaya (on W 72nd St). I have fond memories of the pushcart that used to park in front of the Gaslight restaurant in Portsmouth, NH, but I don’t know if it even exists any longer. Also, “Ajumma’s Slaw Dogs”– at least, that’s what we called it– was great on many a beer-stained night when I was stationed in Korea. But, that was a decade ago, and I was loaded (likewise in Portsmouth). So, I really have no idea how good they were.