Broken heart you say?
This entire fiasco began a few weeks ago when I had the craving for poutine. Poutine, for those of you who aren’t familiar, is a French-Canadian dish consisting of golden brown french fries straight out of the fryer mixed with fresh squeaky cheese curds, smothered in a rich brown gravy. I know, sounds delicious right?
One would think such a popular food item could be found in the great city of Los Angeles right? I mean, the second largest city in these United States would surely have at least one fine example of this Canadian culinary masterpiece, wouldn’t it?
No, the answer to that question is absolutely not.
So in my defeat, I sleuthed out the ingredients that would most accurately replicate what I have heard so much about, and could compare to endless Google image searches. The results? Well, heart stopping:
My recipe ended up including a bag of frozen french fries, a plastic tub of tiny mozarella cheese balls, and a jar of brown gravy. I heard mention that the ‘authentic’ poutine sauce was not just brown gravy, but a mixture of barbecue and gravy, so naturally I reached for my hot and spicy barbecue sauce and tossed it right on in there. My prognosis: Delicious.
Flash forward two weeks. Hype doesn’t bother me, unless I create it myself. I read about this place that opened recently in Pasadena, CA called ‘Slaw Dogs’. I looked up the menu on the internet [which, is honestly the best idea to happen to restaurants hands down] and browsed trough their interesting combinations of sausages and wieners topped with exotic cole slaws and condiments. There were honestly too many options for me to make an accurate decision without actually being there, so I made it a point to visit the next time I was in the area. That time was four days ago.
I have been living on a consistent diet of Ramen Noodle lunches. Full stock, hot sauce, and the occasional handful of frozen peas has been keeping my lunch breaks occupied for the past few weeks. Not exactly a square meal, but it does the trick on a thin dime.
So thursday night, I roll out to Pasadena. I pull up to ‘Slaw Dogs’ and I take a deep breath as i step through the door. I glance up at the giant blackboard full of the possibilities and take in all the possible combinations that can be created with their endless list of toppings and garnishes. ‘Spicy Polish with pickle chips, pico de gallo, and ranch dressing? No, that won’t do. Well, how about the standard all beef kosher dog with mustard, a pickle spear, electric green relish and some celery salt? Nah, too pedestrian.’ None of the options appeared to be the right one for me. Until i stumbled across the number ten: ‘TNT Super Dog’ (aka “The Good Timer”).
– An elaborate and remarkable display on a lavish scale
This sandwich sounded like the one for me. Two ten inch rippered beef hot dogs (the term ‘rippered’ refers to deep frying the hot dogs until they split…this was explained to me when i expressed concern after hearing someone else request theirs to be ‘rippered’ and inquired…’oh don’t worry’ they said ‘you’re getting the whole deal’), chili, cheese, bacon, pastrami, french fries, and grilled onions – all wrapped in a giant tortilla.
‘You should get the fried egg’
‘You should get it with the fried egg, you’re already going all out, you might as well take it one step further’
“can i do that?”
“GIMME THE EGG!!!”
I ordered it to go and sat patiently with a plastic cup of ice water as they bagged up my order and handed it to me. I said ‘thank you’ and quickly walked out the door. I couldn’t wait to see the treasure they had handed over.
I walked in the door to my friends house and slapped the ten pound bag (slight exaggeration I admit, but my arm was burning from walking that thing in from the car) on the coffee table and just announced: ‘Behold!’:
I’ll be honest, my heart hurt a little just thinking about eating it…don’t even ask how it felt after.
It was delicious. I finished the entire thing, and then even drank a few beers and ate some fried rice later on that night.
Two thumbs up.
But the saga doesn’t end there. The weekend nightmare has just begun.
Friday brings another typical Ramen Noodle lunch, coupled with a box of chicken flavored noodles for dinner, this was sodium light friday night! But I did feel the need to wash it all down with a healthy evening of boozing…and about four black and tans, an extra large shot of Jameson whiskey, and about three quarters of a [bellini?] (from what i remember….chambord…peach schnapps…and champagne mixed together in a fluted glass of some sort? I don’t know, I saw the bartender make a few for this couple right next to me and it looked interesting…I wouldn’t recommend it), and then a couple of MGD’s to cap it all off when I got home.
Saturday afternoon brought everyone’s favorite heart healthy hangover food – red dragon chinese express!!! I chose the something spicy fire chicken, and potato chicken [which, following on a theme here, was mixed with – you guessed it – french fries] accompanied by a mix of fried rice and chow mein.
And this is where the fun begins.
Saturday night at the Irwindale raceway, we pre-gamed it with about eight beers in the parking lot, and then headed into the park. There, armed with full mullet wig and grave digger t-shirt, my alter ego ‘Randall Brown’ makes his first public appearance, and is ready to do some damage. Beer after beer after beer to an un-carded redneck freak – combined with the largest pulled pork sandwich you’ve ever seen [seriously, imagine a six inch subway loaf jam packed with delicious slow cooked pork and a mountain of grilled onions] combined with a basket of chili cheese fries make for one interesting bathroom experience come morning.
After watching some figure eight racing, and then settling in with a few more 16 oz. Miller High Life’s, this night is looking pretty good – then sprinkle in some women’s curling, a female table tennis championship match, and some crazy Czechoslovakian off road, aggressive ladies winter bicycle racing, and I can fall asleep at midnight a happy young man.
Back to Slaw Dogs the next afternoon.
This time, a more sensible chicken sausage smothered in thai peanut sauce, thai carrot slaw, and crushed peanuts – married with an interesting basket of sweet potato fries laced with bacon and kimchi – topped off with none other than that infamous fried egg…and we’ve created another delicious addition to our family.
*note: you know you’re doing something terribly wrong if you have had to eat a carton of French fries with a fork two nights in a row
That brings us to today. I promised my heart, the trooper that he is, I would take it easy on him this week for all that he’s done for me these past few laborious outings. And then that little voice pops up in the back of your head after mulling over a hot bowl of Ramen that mentions ‘KFC’s Double Downer hits restaurants today!’ You remember that tasty little fellow don’t you? Two fried chicken breasts – sandwiching a pile of bacon, two types of cheeses and some spicy mayo? Yeah, that sandwich with no bread. Well, here it is:
And there it was. My last endeavor. I didn’t want it. I didn’t need it. But I had to have it. I had to, based on pure spectacle. How would I feel if I passed on the opportunity to devour the equivalent of a salt lick in sodium in four days. A crisco tub full of grease. An entire Idaho family farm full of potatoes. How would I feel!?
And how did I feel after the first bite? Queezy. I’ll be honest. I wasn’t really looking forward to biting into this thing. The grease had already eaten it’s way through the paper wrapper, dripped out of the cardboard box, and then melted through the stack of napkins that were sitting in the bottom of the Colonels paper sack.
I didn’t finish. I couldn’t. Maybe a normal human could, but the combo killed me. I didn’t even want the potato wedges, but they looked so great! And it cost the same whether I got the Dr. Pepper or not! So, of course i got it, I’m American!
It was foolish…It was wreckless…but dammit…it was necessary.
Now If you’ll excuse me….I’ve gotta….you know
Some More Pic’s To Keep you entertained!