Thanks to our awesome sponsors we were once again able to provide a grilled Hot Dog lunch to the kids at the Philly HERO (Help Energize & Rebuild Ourselves) summer camp on July 31st.
Every year, during National Hot Dog Month, we take a Hot Dog Safari to sample Hot Dogs from stands all around the area. On July 30th, this year’s safari took us to the northern suburbs of Philly.
Our 1st stop was at Levis in Abington, PA.
Next stop was at Jack Frost in Glenside, PA.
Next we stopped by Denny’s Dogs in Hatboro, PA.
Our final stop was at Lenny’s Hot Dogs, in Feasterville, PA. We checked out their Pepper Hash Hot Dog, but unfortunately realized we didn’t have any photos until after the Hot dog was gone…
The Discovery/Science Channel’s “How It’s Made” Hot Dogs episode:
We spent Saturday afternoon, July 26th, eating Hot Dogs at several locations along South Street, here in Philly. Our sampling began at O’Neals Pub, where we tried their Corndog.
We followed that with a stop at Primo Hoagies South Street to try the Sausage Sandwich.
A Hot Dog crawl on South Street wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Gus’s Hot Dog Cart, so that’s were we headed next. Our timing could not have been better. So far, we’d been ordering one, maybe two, of each dog with each of us getting a bite.
Gus wanted to give Joel a whole Hot Dog, but Joel told him it was too much to eat and he should give it to someone else. At this exact moment a woman walked up and said she’d like to buy a hot dog for a homeless person around the corner. She was very surprised and thankful when we insisted she take the dog for free.
The next stop was across the street at Johnny Rockets, which served a South Philly Style Dog with Sharp Provalone, fresh diced Tomatoes and roasted Long Hots.
Our crawl ended at the Bainbridge Street Barrel House, where they were offering two Special Hot Dogs, a Carolina Dog with BBQ Sauce, Slaw & Pickles and a Jalapeño Dog, with fresh Jalapeños and Cheese sauce. Of course we had to try them both.
Joel setup a window display featuring his Hot Dog T-Shirt and Dolls collection at the corner of 4th & Banbridge streets.
On Friday evening, July 25th, Tracy Kauffman Wood and Brian Kauffman, the grandchildren of Max & Ida Kravits who had a Hot Dog Cart at the corner of 4th & South Street during the 1930s, were on hand to share stories and memories of serving hot dogs at the family’s cart and restaurant.
Time had a profile of Mark Reitman, an employee at Vienna Beef’s Chicago factory who has been called a Professor of Hot Dogs (PHD) and offers a two-day course about the business of operating a hot dog stand — or as he calls it, “the art of the cart.”
When asked about ketchup on a hot dog, he said “I don’t become politically involved with the use of ketchup. It doesn’t belong on a Chicago-style hot dog because the tomatoes and relish already provide that sweetness. But if customers want ketchup on a hot dog, they can have it on a hot dog. That’s my philosophy on ketchup.”
There are of course differing opinions on the subject.
We took a Hot Dog Crawl through the Reading Terminal Market on Wednesday, July 23rd to check out the specials and, of course, eat Hot Dogs.
While there are four places to get Hot Dogs in the Market – Franks A Lot, Hershel’s East Side Deli, Smucker’s Meats & Grill and Wursthaus Schmitz – we visited the two that were offering buy-one-get-one-free first, so we were too full to visit the other two.
We started our crawl at Franks A Lot, where we had a Texas Tommy, with bacon & a cheezewiz like sauce, and a plain dog with onions & mustard. We then made our way to Wursthaus Schmitz, were the dogs are huge and served with sauerkraut & spicy mustard. In hindsight, next time we’ll only get one at each stand and make Wursthaus Schmitz the last stop.