Wednesday, August 27, 2014

All American Hotdogs

All American HotDogs

When I lived in Santa Cruz I occasionally worked up in the hills and would pass this rustic dog stand. It seemed simple enough but for some reason I kept driving by without stopping. Little did I know how much this place would change by street meat life. When I finally did stop by I was struck by the contrast of what seems to a good-ole-boy redneck hot dog stand mixed with a zen garden and a gift shop of wooden trinkets. The food, however, has placed this hidden little treasure in my list of favorite dog spots that I will go out of my way to visit.

The Dog: 5/5
No amount of sauerkraut will bury this huge sucker
I don't know if I've ever seen a dog like this one, it has an uncommon plumpness that I haven't seen before. The first time I laid eyes on their sausages I remember thinking, this is truly a dog from the great nation of 'murica. The thing was about as obscene as a hot dog can get. It had a thick succulent look, swollen, flecked with spice, and tasty as sin. It's not for the faint of heart or easily intimidated, and once you've had it there is no going back.

An appropriate spread of extras
Accouterment: 4/5
For being a little hotdog stand in the mountains, this place actually has a decent spread of toppings, plus a few nice extras like jalepenos, a couple different kinds of hot sauce, BBQ sauce, and celery salt (not sure what that's about, or even how you make salt from celery....?) Nothing fancy, but everything you'll need to enjoy this plump tube of goodness to the fullest.

See that half finished dog? That's how far I got before realizing
I'd made a mistake ordering two.
Value: 5/5
Much like Jack Black's special kind of push-ups, one is all you need. I've made the poor choice of letting my eyes order for me, but eating more than one is decidedly an unwise move. A polish or hot polish dog will run you $5 (the most expensive item on the menu), and it's certainly a meal. If you're looking to splurge go for two smaller dogs, or get one with chili & cheese and top it off with a snow cone. 

Plenty of outdoor seating, especially because no one is ever here
Other: 4/5
This is a tough category as part of what makes the place so great is also what makes it a bit of a pain: it's in the middle of nowhere. Not nowhere, exactly, but on a rural stretch of highway 9 north of Santa Cruz before you get to Ben Lomond (it'll be on the right when you're going north, it comes quick so don't miss it!). The bonus is that you get a beautiful redwood forest as your backdrop. They have a little garden and the strangest curiosity shop of rustic doodads. What more could you ask for?

Overall: 5/5
An easy recommendation after eating these delicious dogs
This is one of those rare places I can't wait to take people to, but I rarely have the chance because it's so remote. I've even conspired to take a detour through Santa Cruz when traveling in California just for the chance to grab one of these dogs. It's worth a special trip and an absolute must if you are within 50 miles of Monterey Bay.