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Hot dogs at the grocer in San Diego?

  • s

I've had Gray's Papaya hotdogs in New York and Pink's out in Hollywood. One thing that makes these hotdogs so good is the natural casing for that snap. I also know about Woodie's and the Sabrett's cart out in Kearny Mesa; they're OK, but not so good that I want to go out of my way to get them (I've actually made trips to Hollywood just for Pinks). Is there any grocer out here in San Diego that sells the hotdogs with the natural casing? Preferably Sabrett's. I've checked all the usual spots around SD that I could think of like Trader Joe's and Henry's with no luck. I've seen places on the internet that will ship them out from the east coast but their prices are way too high.

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  1. Albertson's (at least the one near me) sells Nathan's franks with the natural casing, unlike the typical Nathan's that are available in most supermarkets. Boars Head franks also come with natural casing, and is carried by the Ralph's near me. I live in Encinitas.

    Henry's in Encinitas carries the Sabrett brand, but without the natural casing. I contacted their HQ about getting the natural casing franks, but they refused to budge.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Encinitan

      Looks like I need to stop by the grocery stores next time I'm near Encinitas. The major chains in my area don't have the selection that you seem to have out there. Sabrett's and Nathan's are my favorite dogs. I've never had Boar's Head but have heard good things about them. The natural casing is the key. I wonder why they aren't as abundant out here as they are on the east coast.

    2. Call IOWA MEAT FARMS and see what they have.

      1. Ah, what San Diego needs is a Gray's Papaya or Papaya King. They have the best hot dogs. Sigh, miss them...

        1 Reply
        1. re: sdunbier

          The closest thing we have in SD that I've found is Woodies out in Clairemont. It's good but not even close to Gray's Papaya IMHO.

        2. I've seen Sabrett's for sale. Not sure I remember where, though. Maybe Henry's? Vons?

          Seisel's in Bay Park sells Dietz & Watson dogs w/ natrual casing. DZ Akins' deli sells Vienna Beef dogs w/ natural casing, which I like quite a bit.

          1. Ralphs- Meat counter (*not* the area where prepackaged hot dogs/lunchmeats are sold) Private Selection Brand Skinned weiners in small (5 count) and larger/bulk packages. Its with the other Private Selection brand meats.

            Regular price is $3.29/lb for the small pack and $2.89/lb for the bulk pack. They'll be on sale just before Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cathy

              Thanks, I'll have to check Ralph's next time I'm in there. I actually want to get the hot dogs for the 4th of July this year. I usually have hamburgers to go with the usual ribs but I though I might change it up this year.

            2. In addition to using a quality frank, it looks like there may be additional factors. I'm passsing this along, just as an additional data point:
              In a recent Steve Lopez column in the LA Times, the Pink family critiqued a high-priced boutique hot dog ($15) at a snazzy restaurant, and all of them noticed that it didn't have "the snap."
              "That's the problem with grilling dogs, he [Richard Pink] said. When you steam, as Pink's does, a dog holds its snap — a crackling burst of flavor. It's that snap, and good value at low prices, that keep customers lined up day and night, Gloria Pink said."

              3 Replies
              1. re: Jim Strain

                Grilled dogs w/ skins still have snap. Gray's Papaya dogs are grilled and have plenty of snap, and I grilled the dogs I got from DZ Akins and they also had a nice snap to them.

                1. re: Josh

                  I'm not advocating; just reporting. I ate too many cheap hot dogs as a kid, so I'm not the biggest hot dog fan around. And while I can still enjoy a good dog, I'm far from a connoisseur.
                  . . . jim strain

                  1. re: Jim Strain

                    Good hot dogs cannot be denied. If Linkery ever makes theirs again, they are worth a special trip.

              2. Balboa International Market has a nice selection of sausages, including various types of natural casing hot dogs. The selection trends towards the ethnic, including Polish sausages. The sausages are in the meat and deli section at the back left hand section of the store.

                Henry's in University City sells Usinger's sausages and hot dogs with a natural casing. Usinger's is an excellent sausage brand out of Milwaukee. The Usinger hot dog that Henry's carries is rather small in size, but we use the Usinger knackwurst in place of the hot dog.

                Sorry I can't help you on the Sabrett's.

                2 Replies
                1. re: uchound

                  Have you ever checked out Sausage King on Washington St. in Mission Hills? They make their own sausages, old world German style. I would bet they have the "snap' you're talking about.

                  1. re: Ms. Verde

                    Is Sausage King still open ? I heard several months ago that they might retire and close the shop.