Bigger, stronger, full of sass. That’s this year’s Dodgers. So why shouldn’t fans have a sandwich that represents the team? Trust us, it’s not the lowly Dodger Dog. Beloved, sure, in the same way we love vintage Volkswagens, as tokens of simpler eras.
As a gastronomic accomplishment, a Dodger Dog is mostly minor league. If you’ve had one, you’ve had them all. If McDonald’s ever served hot dogs, it would taste much like a Dodger Dog — consistent but bland. Forgettable as a politician’s promise.
Might surprise you that Los Angeles is the nation’s No. 1 hot dog market, consuming 95 million annually, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. Some of those have been Dodger Dogs, which have been around since 1958, when the team moved here from New York. The skinless dog hasn’t evolved much. Meanwhile, teams like the Texas Rangers serve up a 2-pound monster called the Boomstick. In Atlanta, the Braves serve a Dixie Dog slathered with slaw and pulled pork.
So why not a midlife makeover for the Dodger Dog? In honor of the playoffs, we decided to enhance it, soup it up, add a few special effects. “Go big or go home” was our motto. We’ve pimped this pup till it’s a performance-enhancing drug.
How does it all hook together? Well, it doesn’t really. This is a big, gloppy sandwich, half of which lands in your lap if you’re not careful. You don’t wave this thing around like a wand. You hunker over it, cradle it in your hands, cherish it for the architectural marvel that it is.
For dessert, you take a shower.
Step 1: Wrap three Farmer John hot dogs in bacon and bake them until they’re crisp.
Step 2: Generously spread a giant hot dog bun with Dijon mustard and place the bacon-wrapped dogs on top.
Step 3: Now build to taste: sautéed peppers, sauerkraut laced with bits of apple and caramelized onion, garlic potato wedges placed along the side and a snowy layer of white onion sprinkled on top.
Step 4: Lace the whole wonderful wad with cracked pepper, just because.
You end up with a sandwich that looked like something Beyoncé might wear. Yet, you’ll have to admit it maintains a certain gravitas, a sense of time and place, a permanence that only 2,580 milligrams of pure sodium can offer.
If that makes you a little squeamish, we also put together a plate of Dodger Dog sliders, a lighter, more-adaptable version to nibble on between rallies. Pigs in a blanket, made with Hawaiian rolls and cocktail weenies, garnished as you like.
Or you can ditch the dogs entirely and put together a gloppy-good vegetarian sandwich of sautéed peppers, kraut and garlic potato wedges on that bed of Dijon mustard.
Obviously, if you eat too much of this stuff, you might begin to internally ferment. Then again, there might be enough phosphates in these dogs to give you eternal life. Basically, you’ve self-pickled.
Say hey, moderation is for next year. It’s playoff baseball after all. Go big or go home.
Tell us: How do you envision the perfect Dodger Dog? Leave a comment below or upload a picture here. #dodgerdog