Rajun Cajun @ Hot Dog City (Santa Rosa)
Thursday afternoon I had an errand at Coddingtown Center, which turned into an opportunity to stop by the mall location of Hot Dog City again for a late lunch. Still working my way through the menu, this time I picked the “Rajun Cajun” dog garnished with a swiggle of brown mustard, chopped onions and giardiniera. I asked about the type of giardiniera used and the proud response was, “Chicago-style with sport peppers, the real deal imported from Chicago Pickle Company”. I don’t know one pickle company from another, but this spot has made fanatically good sourcing decisions so far and that was all I needed to go on.
While waiting for change, I could see my order come up, and appreciated the careful zig-zag of mustard squeezed onto the dog in precisely angled fine lines. Too bad that the toppings obscure the staffer’s delicate work in the picture below. However, it shows in the taste, each evenly spaced bite had the exactly correct amount of mustard on it. No more, no less.
Image of Rajun Cajun:
The Cajun sausage was great with a nice snap, well-seasoned, only moderately greasy, and medium spicy. I loved the giardiniera too, pickled bits of crunchy carrot, celery, and the very hot sports. No cauliflower in this version. And, while the parts were tasty individually, the combination of hot link with even hotter condiment was too fiery for me and I nearly flamed out. The perfectly drawn Thomas Kemper draft root beer in the frosty mug was the only thing that saved me. One nice touch was the extra six ounces or so of root beer served in a plastic cup alongside the mug. At first I wondered why the freebie, but soon understood after tasting the Rajun Cajun. The lagniappe was very thoughtful and greatly appreciated.
Strength building on strength in another solid performance, the folks at Hot Dog City do things right.
Hot Dog City
804 Coddingtown Center
Santa Rosa 95401
SONOMA COUNTY HOT DOG CHRONICLES:
Chicago Dog @ Hot Dog City in Coddingtown Center
Hot Dog City in Downtown Santa Rosa
Uncle Bill's Gourmet Corn Dogs
The Casino in Bodega
Inn the Hot Dog House, Sebastopol
The Dog House, Bodega Bay
Ralph's Courthouse Classics, Santa Rosa
My detour to Cotati led me to Charlie's Serious Chili Dogs at the corner of East Cotati Road and Snyder Lane - the address is 1301 Maurice Avenue next to the Shell gas station...only two kinds of dogs...the chili dog with mustard and onion for $3.25 or the Reuben with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese...made with Casper dogs...had a nice snap. Simple, but good enough.
My friend gave a tip, which is I think Georgia style, you top the hot link with cool cole slaw- this is definitely the way to go, you get a nice crunch from the topping, but not the hot on hot. I LOVE Chicago-style giardiniera, but on a hot link- wow! These guys do do things right, though, otherwise.
re: P. Punko
Oh yeah, I've heard of Georgia style (maybe on the PBS special?), but not tried one yet. Anyway, I really appreciated the extra root beer. I eat a lot of hot food, but this was too much for me.
Can anyone confirm that sport peppers are serrano chilis? The rubbery, almost gritty texture is unlike any serrano I know, though the heat level is a match. Maybe it's the pickling process that makes that hard texture.
re: Melanie Wong
Melanie, the Chicago sport peppers do indeed resemble the serrano type of chile -- though the sport peppers never seem all that picante to me. The second photo in the link below is a good illustration of sport peppers on a Polish and a hot dog at a stand near our house in Chicago.
That stand follows the older "minimalist" (G Wiv's term) Chicago style: mustard, onion, relish, sport peppers. Vienna Beef's illustration belongs to the "dragged through the garden" style, adding tomato and pickle:
Of course, neither style permits ketchup!
Note that you can order sport peppers and other fixings from Vienna Beef, too... :-)
re: Melanie Wong
Just hit Gumbah's today for the first time, more later. I had really missed giardiniera and needed to get some. The sport peppers work much better I think chopped up in giardiniera because they usually are the first topping to pop off the hot dog, and since they are a little tough, they just don't really bite in half that well, so they don't mix in with the rest of the toppings as much.