Hot Dog Day: A Dozen Delicious Must-Try Haute Dogs #nationalhotdogday

The hot dog is America’s unofficial summertime dish. Whether you’re grilling by the pool, out in the wilderness on a camping trip, or enjoying a baseball game, it’s almost certain some franks will be involved. But as we know, not all weenies are created equal. Chefs are now taking the humble hot dog to a whole new level by handcrafting every component – from the link and the bun to every type of condiment and topping imaginable. In honor of National Hot Dog Day, we present a dozen delicious must-try haute dogs from top restaurants.

The Arsenal at Bluejacket, Washington, D.C.
You might feel like you’re hanging out with your Polish relatives. Executive chef Kyle Bailey fires up kielbasa on his outdoor grill, then tops it with plenty of red peppers and onions. As your uncle Piotr is fond of saying, “To jest pyszne” (Translation: That’s delicious). [Photo by Marissa Bialecki]

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Bouchon, Beverly Hills, California
We love pretzel buns so much we’ve been known to compose haikus to them (Sample: Pretzel untwisted/Chewy, salt flecked brilliance/Tastes best with mustard). Here one of the brown rolls holds a prime chuck, apple wood-smoked hot dog crowned with cornichon relish and Dijonnaise sauce.

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Bourbon Steak, Washington, D.C.
This ain’t your average hot dog. Executive chef Joe Palma handcrafts this showboat from A5 Wagyu and pork, and then finishes it off with mustard, relish, and a side of duck fat fries. Simply glorious.

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DBGB, New York, New York
This hot dog has a French accent. A housemade beef frank is shoehorned into a brioche bun then topped with sautéed onion, julienne radish, frisée, and pickled veggies. We say, “Oui, oui!”

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Del Campo, Washington, D.C.
Chef-owner Victor Albisu puts his spin on the choripán, a South American street food classic. His version features a spicy chorizo link loaded up with pulled pork, red cabbage slaw, and sweet pickle salsa criolla. It’s best enjoyed with a glass of the smoked pineapple-laced pisco punch. [Photo by Greg Powers]

Charred food

Dirt Candy, New York City
There’s no mystery meat in these broccoli dogs. Two of the verdant stalks are smoked, grilled, and quickly sautéed before they’re tucked into toasted buns. Condiments include broccoli kraut, mustard-vinegar sauce, and micro broccoli. Eat both and you’ve just consumed 800% of your daily vitamin C requirement. Seriously.

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National Caviar Day: Indulgences for Every Budget

Caviar has been around for 250 million years, making it not quite as old as Earth itself, but one of our eldest delicacies. The first documented instance of caviar comes many millennia later, from grandson-to-Genghis Batu Khan in the year 1240, and it took nearly 600 more years for it to grow into the coveted culinary delight it is now renowned to be.  

Caviar is, typically, the roe, or eggs, of sturgeon, a fish with more than 20 species, many of whom we refer to by common names familiar to caviar fans, such as beluga. However, as our cooking cultures have evolved, chefs and home cooks have appropriated the idea of caviar, creating “caviar” out of everything from eggplant to black beans and corn (Yippee ki-yay for cowboy caviar!).

According to a Google Ngram Viewer query, it reached its pinnacle of popularity in 1986, right around the old “greed is good” days. But, caviar is still fashionable, and it isn’t just for folks born with a mother-of-pearl spoon in their mouths. A taste of the real stuff can be yours for a price that won’t break the bank. In honor of National Caviar Day, we’ve rounded up indulgences for every budget from 14 restaurants around the nation. PS: We’ll let you decide for yourself whether it pairs best with Champagne or vodka (Team Craig Claiborne, FTW, in my opinion).

Brennan’s of Houston, Houston, Texas
Executive chef Danny Trace adds elegance to his deliciously layered take on a favorite sport-watching snack with his blue crab and caviar nachos. Fire-roasted corn, Saint-André queso, alligator pear (a.k.a. avocado) mirliton pico de gallo, and lime crema rest on crispy chips — and the whole thing is crowned with an ounce of Petrossian caviar. Dig in for $100. You may not want to share, even if your team is winning.

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Catch, Santa Monica, California
How do you make lobster even more luxe? Add black truffle and California caviar, of course. That’s what executive chef Alberico Nunziata does (along with a bit of green apple for acidic balance) at this restaurant in Hotel Casa del Mar! The fresh, light shellfish is the perfect canvas for the rich flavors of these affluent ingredients. It’s yours for the eating at $23.[Photo courtesy of Hotel Casa del Mar]

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Faith & Flower, Los Angeles, California
Potato salad has its origins in European cooking, so it’s no surprise that the staple of homegrown picnics returns to its roots at Faith & Flower, one of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants of 2014. The warm new potato salad from executive chef Michael Hung is made with a creamy grain-mustard vinaigrette and generously topped with trout caviar – for just $14.

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Found Kitchen and Social House, Evanston, Illinois
While many people seek out the extravagant beluga and osetra caviars, chef Nicole Pederson stays true to her mission of offering locally-sourced ingredients, serving 30 grams of beautiful American paddlefish ($44) and hackleback caviar ($55). Crème fraîche and toast points accompany each elegant and simple dish.

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L’Etoile, Madison, Wisconsin
The flavors are big and fresh in the premier dish of the $125 seven-course tasting menu at L’Etoile. James Beard Award-winning chef Tory Miller combines local Blue Valley Gardens asparagus with smoked trout, radishes, and cattail shoots, topped with hollandaise and decadent smoked trout roe, for a light-yet-indulgent first course.

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Mas (farmhouse), New York, New York
You need a line of credit to do a caviar tasting, right? Not at Mas you don’t! The appetizer menu is an affordable way to sample wild American malossol caviar with traditional accompaniments of toasted brioche, crème fraîche, and shallots. The paddlefish is $38 for ½ ounce portion + $76 for 1 ounce. Hackleback is $42 and $84, respectively. Or, sample the wild king salmon gravlax with paddlefish caviar, baby red beets, spring onions, horseradish crème fraîche, and an ‘everything’ tuile on chef Galen Zamarra’s tasting menu.

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Minton’s, New York, New York
Down-home ingredients meet uptown extravagance with chef J.J. Johnson’s roasted Okinawa sweet potato entrée with crème fraîche onion dip and paddlefish caviar. The roast-y root vegetable is the clear star, but the supporting cast has just the right amount of flash. Try it for $29. [Photo by Liz Barclay]

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Niche, Clayton, Missouri
Chefs Gerard Craft, the 2015 James Beard Best Midwest Chef, and executive chef Nate Hereford create their own caviar in this seductive egg amuse bouche. Missouri egg custard is made with Illinois maple and maple vinegar, roasted shitake mushrooms, and a trout “caviar” fashioned from strong smoked trout stock seasoned with housemade trout garum and set with agar agar to mimic the look and umami flavor of caviar. It is available as part of an eight-course tasting menu. [Photo courtesy of Greg Rannells]

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Petrossian Paris Boutique & Restaurant, West Hollywood, California
You can’t talk about caviar without mentioning the Petrossian name, which has been synonymous with caviar since the company was founded in Paris in 1920. Executive chef Giselle Wellman created a carb-y (yet delicate) caviar dish with housemade pasta, crème fraîche, chives, and caviar (of course!), garnished with Petrossian’s trademarked Caviar Powder. Order it at dinner for $22 for a half portion and $35 for a full plate.Continue Reading

Delicious T-Shirts: 11 Tasty Tees Perfect for Foodies

A t-shirt isn’t just a piece of clothing – it’s a statement. It tells people a little bit about who you are and what you love (and, in this case, what you love to eat). That’s why choosing which ones to wear isn’t a decision you should take lightly. We’ve decided to make it easier for you to let your flavor flag fly by introducing you to our round up of delicious t-shirts with 11 tasty tees perfect for foodies. Avid diners, your wardrobe’s about to get deliciousized.

Acid Trip
You can wear this one to Coachella or the NYC Wine & Food Festival. The tongue-in-cheek tee was inspired by chef Rick Tramonto of R’evolution in New Orleans, who once quipped, “Every chef needs a good acid trip.” Totally, dude.

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Reunited and It Feels So Good
This tee makes us smile. A mother and child together again, just like they should be. But then we start thinking we want to eat them both, which makes us smile in a more sinister way. Mmmm … doughnuts.

Doughnut and Hole

Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Warning: You may want to eat this shirt. This photorealistic tribute to one of the ultimate comfort foods looks like you could dig into it with a giant fork. Don’t. And please remember, it’s not cute if you drool on your clothing either.

Mac and Cheese

 

Wicked Chickens
We’ve always wondered where deviled eggs come from. Now we know, thanks to this clucking awesome t-shirt. Yes, we just went there.

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Dig This: The Best Varieties of Clams + the Delicious Ways Restaurants Are Serving Them This Summer

In the broadest of terms, a clam is a bivalve mollusk with two hard shells that protect the edible, sweet yet briny, exquisite yet simple, meat within. Found in most coastal areas throughout the world, clams are both a reliable dietary staple and a treasured delicacy. Served raw, baked, fried, poached, roasted, steamed, or in chowders, sauces, or stews, the versatility and relative plenitude of clams render them an indispensable seafood pick with chefs from coast to coast. Our seafood markets are brimming with a number of varieties of clams, some wild, some farmed, and all infinitely tasty. Here are the best varieties of clams and the delicious ways restaurants are serving them this summer!

Atlantic Hard Shell Clams at The Clam, New York, New York
Atlantic hard shell clams (Mercenaria mercenaria), also known as quahogs (pronounced coe-hog), are the quintessential east coast clam. Quahogs are graded by size, with littlenecks being the smallest (approximately 10-12 clams per pound), followed by top necks (6-10 per pound), cherrystones (3-4 per pound) and chowders (1-2 per pound). The Clam serves up its favorite and eponymous ingredient in a number of expected, and unexpected, dishes: littlenecks on the half shell, clam dip with zesty potato chips, clam and lobster sliders, and grilled white clam pizza, to name just a few.

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Soft Shell Clams at Island Creek Oyster Bar, Boston, Massachusetts
Soft shell clams (Mya arenaria) are also popularly called steamers, piss clams, longnecks, or Ipswich clams and are native to our northeast coast. The soft shell name is a bit of a misnomer as the shells are more brittle than soft. Soft shell clams are more oblong in shape than hard shell clams and are distinguished by a long protruding siphon, which the clam uses to both feed and filter the water. A bowl of steamers dipped in melted butter is one of the purest joys of a New England summer, and Island Creek Oyster Bar does not disappoint with its Ipswich steamers served with crusty bread for sopping up the every last drop of clammy goodness. [Photo by Michael Harlan Turkell]

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Razor Clams at Saxon + Parole, New York, New York
Razor clams, shaped like old-fashioned straight razors, are found both on the east and west coasts. East coast razors (Ensis directus) are known as Atlantic jackknife clams. West coast razors (Siliqua patua) are known as Pacific razor clams and are slightly more oval-shaped than their east coast cousin. Prized in Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Korean cuisines, razor clams are now finding their way onto non-Asian menus on both coasts. At Saxon + Parole, chef Brad Farmerie creates razor clam magic by combining steamed razors and egg salad, served with caviar and grilled bread. Brunch will never be the same.

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