Saturday, March 23, 2013

Tommy's Chili Dog

Tommy's Chili Dog, originally uploaded by ~db~.
One thing that sets apart the best hot dogs is how carefully they are constructed. This is especially true when the volume of the ingredients is substantial. And that's where Tommy's chili dog fails.

It's a mess, and not just because it's served open-faced. First, look at the size of the bun compared to everything else. There's no way it's big enough to contain anything beyond the frank. So instead of a chili dog, it ends up being a chili coated dog with a big puddle of chili on the plate to be mopped up later. And what in the hell am I supposed to do with that huge tomato slice and those pickles? It's as if the person who put this together thought it was fine to just plop down each item on their 6-ingredient checklist, one on top of the other, without regards to how it's actually supposed to be eaten. So indeed, I treated it as what it was, and open-faced sandwich, and dug into it with a knife and fork.

First, the chili flavor smothered everything. But as a person who grew up eating at Tommy's, that was expected. The Cantella's beef frank is dense and chewy with little discernible snap, but good flavor. The tomato was a bit soft, leaving me chewing a long thin string of tomato peel. None of it was bad, but none of it was great. In the end I left half of the grease-soaked bun and a couple pickle slices behind on the plate. It was an okay hot dog, as long as you like Tommy's chili, but nothing I plan on ordering again. A bigger bun and more care in its assembly might have changed that. Chili dog, about $2.50.


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