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01-14-2010, 10:05 AM   #1
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Hot Dog, etc. Carts-do you patronize them?

On occasion....very rarely have I patronized food carts or food trucks. I'm talking about the ones that park curbside or are on the sidewalks of big cities.

Health wise, I have no qualms...in my city they are inspected by health inspectors, just like any other restaurant.

Mostly, I think it's because $ 3.50 for a hot dog seems pricey, considering their overhead doesn't even approach a regular restaurant.

That's a lot money for a lowly hit dog in a bun...big markup even if you consider someone who uses a lot of condiments.

I understand in some bigger cities licenses are extremely expensive...not necessarily from the city, but there are generally less licenses then the demand, so a black market as it were develops and potential entrepreneurs are willing to shell out many $ 1000's of dollars to buy one from another entrepreneur who is selling his cart or food truck.

I also understand that there are some gourmet carts out there...though I haven't seen one.

I'm not sure if I would order my Duck L'Orange from a curbside food truck, even if it is a gourmet wagon. But I shouldn't dismiss it, I shouldn't be arrogant in my comfortable pew...till I try it and understand the business. After all that's what has caused a lack of credibility among a very few global warming scientists and self appointed experts. But I digress, back to the original topic.

Do you buy from food carts or curbside trucks?

01-14-2010, 10:16 AM   #2
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street meat is evil

I will go hungry than purchase a hot-dog off the street, and when I worked at a factory I avoided the coffee truck like the plague.

There have been very few instances where i had resorted to street meat, usually late into early morning with that 10th shot of tequila still ringing in my head. (A point at which you really dont care about your own physical well being.)

reasons:

1. next time you have the opportunity to observe these... workers... in action, the lack of hygene will blow your mind. I know thats why we have immune system.. but this is just overkill

2. low grade bread

3. low grade meat

4. super-low grade condiments and you have no idea how that mustard or ketchup has been stored.

just.. eww, LOL
01-14-2010, 10:18 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
..... (snip) .....

Do you buy from food carts or curbside trucks?
Yes. Rarely from the carts you see, frequently from the trucks in the Seattle area. Some of the best Mexican food in Seattle is only available there. That is, if you want authentic food. Menudo soup, for example, cannot be had at most of the local restaurants - or if it can be had it's not really Menudo...
01-14-2010, 10:39 AM   #4
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Well, you've just got to be careful. Generally, you just don't want to be too tempted to load up on condiments and trimmings that are in open bins or otherwise may be mishandled. A hot dog or something, well, is what it is, as long as it's cooked.

In this town, it seems a lot of the street vendors actually take some pride in what they're doing: Can't recall seeing a pushcart I'd have passed up eating from: (well, maybe one) I suppose the game-day crowd means there's a lot of competition for the lucrative licenses. And they take that kind of food pretty seriously down here. Smells good, generally.

01-14-2010, 10:48 AM   #5
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I do, I do.

While I haven't approached a taco stand or hot dog stand in Salt Lake City (and don't quite dare to) I would go out of my way to buy a Shopsy's Dog two to four times a week when I lived in Toronto a few years ago. I couldn't always pronounce the type of meat, but the spicier the better.

I moved to Seattle after Toronto and their food was great as mentioned above.

A few years ago I received some free standby tickets to New York. I decided I'd go because I wanted to try a New York hot dog stand, New York steak, and New York Pizza. I was really disappointed by the hot dogs, they only had two different types of meat, unlike the vendors in Toronto. One day I'll get to Chicago for their dogs.

You only live once, and good food makes it all worth it.
01-14-2010, 10:48 AM   #6
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I do buy food from local hot dog stands, from time to time.
However, over here they must have a sink, with running (although bottled) water.
Be kept clean.
Plus, they do use quality products here.

Way back when, I lived in Calgary. Everyone stopped at the hot dog stand, right by the downtown library. His selection of dogs, and sausages was second to none, and for a quick bite was better than anything around.
01-14-2010, 11:01 AM   #7
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If anything I'm not going to patronize the icecream truck that passes by and makes all the racket.

01-14-2010, 11:08 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by builttospill Quote
A few years ago I received some free standby tickets to New York. I decided I'd go because I wanted to try a New York hot dog stand, New York steak, and New York Pizza. I was really disappointed by the hot dogs, they only had two different types of meat, unlike the vendors in Toronto. One day I'll get to Chicago for their dogs.

You only live once, and good food makes it all worth it.
Hot dogs in the Northeast aren't necessarily considered 'serious food.' There can be a funny kind of purism about that, actually.
01-14-2010, 11:16 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Hot dogs in the Northeast aren't necessarily considered 'serious food.' There can be a funny kind of purism about that, actually.
I guess I shouldn't believe everything I see in the movies, but they act like the hot dogs are so good (I guess that's why they're paid the big bucks and I'm not).
01-14-2010, 11:20 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by builttospill Quote
I guess I shouldn't believe everything I see in the movies, but they act like the hot dogs are so good (I guess that's why they're paid the big bucks and I'm not).
Heh, for some reason I'm reminded of Crocodile Dundee. "Well, you can live on it, but it tastes like *awkwardly-bleeped out with 'dung' *

Now.. Pretzels... With the kosher salt and yellow mustard.
01-14-2010, 11:22 AM   #11
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You haven't lived unless you bought from the San Felipe Clam Man:

The Clam Man of San Felipe

Tijuana food carts were always an adventure. Strange mystery meat in huge old 1 gallon mayo jars with rusty lids. No ice or refrigeration in sight. The tacos were great and you always bought a second one and maybe more. Fortunatly a pharmacia was just around the corner and Lomotil was cheap. If you drank enough cerveza you were in the banos frequently anyway. The $hits were just part of the vacation fun.

L.A. downtown area has a lot of push carts probably 3/4 are run by illegals that have no permits much less a visa/green card.

Some better Mexican 'maggot wagons' are really very good and are what they call hot trucks with a full grill etc. Super fresh made burritos and taco plates.

Maggot wagons being a term for all lunch wagons around here for years, no ethnic slur intended.

I watched them making hot dogs on TV and if you saw the meat mash and the crap they add to it you would not eat another one. But they still taste good on occasion. We home grill Hebrew National sometimes and hope that brand is a bit better. (They claim they answer to a higher authority)
01-14-2010, 11:33 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Phil1 Quote
I watched them making hot dogs on TV and if you saw the meat mash and the crap they add to it you would not eat another one. But they still taste good on occasion. We home grill Hebrew National sometimes and hope that brand is a bit better. (They claim they answer to a higher authority)
Grill?! Grill? You gotta steam em!

Actually, that brand is pretty good as far as what in Wisconsin would be considered my Philistine Bostonian sensibilities... they obviously aren't using a lot of puree of pork byproducts in those.

Now, of course, you can go to a deli and get your hard-cased franks with sauerkraut and such, too. I never particularly cared for those, but there we are.

In any event, don't ask for ketchup on a hot dog in Boston, you'll get it, but we'll know you're a barbarian.
01-14-2010, 11:52 AM   #13
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I ate from lots of street vendors in Korea in my year over there. Never worried too much about *what* I was eating.

There aren't too many "roach coach" vendors around Omaha, though. I've occasionally hit one in Seattle or other places I have traveled to. Usually the most authentic food you can get

Jim
01-14-2010, 12:04 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Grill?! Grill? You gotta steam em!

Actually, that brand is pretty good as far as what in Wisconsin would be considered my Philistine Bostonian sensibilities... they obviously aren't using a lot of puree of pork byproducts in those.

Now, of course, you can go to a deli and get your hard-cased franks with sauerkraut and such, too. I never particularly cared for those, but there we are.

In any event, don't ask for ketchup on a hot dog in Boston, you'll get it, but we'll know you're a barbarian.
Actually if you come to Lowell you head for the Worthen Bar and get then Boiled in Beer it just adds so much to the flavor but I do agree you have to either steam or boil them no grilling thats just wrong. As far as the trucks that go to factories and warehouses go those things are known as Roach Coaches out my way
01-14-2010, 12:27 PM   #15
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I like my dogs BBQ'd. There is one guy out here...older Ukrainian fellow...who BBQ's Smokies @ his cart...

Smokies are sort of Ukrainian sausages...they go for $ 4.50...but they are good...all that old country European taste....

They're bigger, juicier, spicier...all around better then regular hot dogs.
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