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a brief Slaw Dogs story

Thi N. Mar 9, 2010 02:49 PM

Now that the article is out, I can tell a brief and possibly amusing story about the level of my Slaw Dogs devotion.

I managed to show up with to Slaw Dogs the first time... uh, about a month ago? The very day of the Official Grand Opening. It was crowded as hell, and they were serving free wine, and there were balloons everywhere. I was with a tough-minded New York chick, who grew up in her family deli and sternly warned me that she was *very particular* about her hot dogs, and occasionally gave me menacing eyebrow motions suggesting that if Slaw Dogs disappointed her, that was going to be it for our friendship.

The first dogs I ever had there were the original (chili + slaw) and the thai cole slaw. I think when the first bite of the Original went into my mouth I sort of went into AutoSlaveringMonster mode and took down four-fifths of the hot dog in a few sort of insane, wolfman like bites, and by the time consciousness returned, I only had a single bite of chili dog left, and I'd taken no notes.

This turned out to be an excellent justification for ordering a second chili dog.

Anyway, I rushed home, and with still-greasy fingers, tapped out an e-mail to my editor, begging to be allowed to write about this place, quickly negotiated a deadline, and figured out that I had four days to eat through the entire menu.

So I did it. I managed about six more meals there in four days, often taking down two dogs at a time. This is a familiar process by now, and often by the time I've eaten most of the way through an entire menu in a compressed period of time, I'm a little sick of the place, the cuisine, the whole process of eating, etc., and want nothing except salads and smoothies for a month.

So I filed the story on a Sunday, I think, went to sleep thinking about salads and steamed broccoli, and I woke up on Monday morning, and the only thought in my head was: MUST GO BACK FOR ANOTHER CHILI DOG.

Let me reiterate: I ate their 7 times in 5 days, often having two dogs at once, and once I discharged my obligation, all I wanted to do was DRIVE BACK AND HAVE ANOTHER CHILI DOG.

So I did.

In the month since, approximately every other day, I wake up and my first thought is, I WANT TO GO BACK TO SLAW DOGS AND HAVE ANOTHER CHILI DOG. Or maybe a chili dog followed by a caesar salad dog and maybe a market dog.

But that slightly tangy, slightly sticky, deep-layers-of-meat-sliding-on-top-of-each-other, that crystal clear *ring* of chili on sausage, that burning ultra-meat-tang - it calls to me, I can hear it from the back of my brain. The desire is unrelenting.

Crazy, huh?

(P.S. The New Yorker's comment was that she wanted to "hug Ray for making a hot dog with his whole soul.")

-thi

  1. Mattapoisett in LA Mar 9, 2010 03:12 PM

    You are not the only one:

    http://media.scpr.org/podcasts/loh/20...

    1. Thi N. Mar 9, 2010 03:40 PM

      Thought:

      Slaw Dogs is to hot dogs as Scoops is to ice cream.

      The brave new experimentors, using a familiar form as a comforting platform to reach for the new.

      1. sku Mar 9, 2010 04:26 PM

        7 times in 5 days, good God man. That is impressive. I will definitely find my way over there. The fact that you kept going back AFTER you finished the story is what truly speaks of this place. Hmmm, I wonder how those dogs would be followed by some Bulgarini gelato; I mean, if I'm going to be in that neck of the woods.

        4 Replies
        1. re: sku
          Thi N. Mar 9, 2010 04:29 PM

          For some weird reason, I'd say Bulgarini first. Bulgarini is delicate, ethereal. Slaw Dogs is gut-punching, gun-slingin' power.

          Just a gut-call.

          1. re: Thi N.
            Servorg Mar 10, 2010 08:09 AM

            So when your order comes up I take it you begin to "slawber" something fierce... ;-D>

            1. re: Thi N.
              n
              ns1 Mar 11, 2010 10:22 AM

              Please tell me when the post LAT rush dies down.

              I MUST try this.

            2. re: sku
              Thi N. Mar 11, 2010 02:07 AM

              Also: this particular area is some weird Lane of Quality Chow. Weird magic. Something in the water. Positive voodoo chants. Must investigate further.

            3. Dommy Mar 9, 2010 04:45 PM

              I love that Chili... it's what Tommy's Chili would be if the cooks gave a damn...

              --Dommy!

              4 Replies
              1. re: Dommy
                Thi N. Mar 11, 2010 01:53 AM

                Yup, my thoughts exactly. Because Tommy's understands something... unlike Pink's, which I despise with the force of a thousand angry wasps. Even though Tommy's is gross, and careless, and cheap, and sort of disgusting, they get the *texture* that chili should be when it goes on a dog... subtly sticky. The same texture recurs in kibbeh nayeh made right. Jay's Jayburger, in the old days, did it better, but still sticky. But THESE SLAW DOGS GET IT.

                My favorite thing: pretty girls making fun of me. My second favorite thing: pure simple food done with undying care and devotion.

                1. re: Thi N.
                  Dommy Mar 11, 2010 09:12 AM

                  Wow! You are good at this... that is EXACTLY what I meant. :)

                  1. re: Thi N.
                    mrshankly Jul 23, 2010 11:54 AM

                    "unlike Pink's, which I despise with the force of a thousand angry wasps"... Thi, you've finally put into words how I feel about Pink's. Great review on slaw dogs!! My first visit there was with great apprehension and I walked out very pleased... quality ingredients, great service, and they truly care about what they're serving. Keep up the great work and congrats on the Times gig.

                    1. re: mrshankly
                      k
                      kevin Jul 23, 2010 01:05 PM

                      speaking of which how does one get a Times gig and how much do you get paid for it? is it a very minimal compensation? kind of like a freelancer?

                      to keep this chowish, anyone tried any new specials at Slaw Dogs recently?

                      -----
                      The Slaw Dogs
                      720 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104

                2. k
                  kevin Mar 10, 2010 08:01 PM

                  Thi, why do you have to do this to me? I'm supposed to be eating healthy now, and before you and other hounds starting posting on it, I thought I took care of all the hot dog joints but now..... aaaah.... and now that Fab's may be offering those awesome turkey dogs too. it's just too...

                  On a side note, how you get the gig of writing reviews, great chowish reviews for the Times? It's great so see you in print in the mainstream press.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: kevin
                    Thi N. Mar 11, 2010 01:51 AM

                    Healthy: they have good veggie dogs. Veggie caesar salad dog. Can't be that bad for you. Also: their chili, actually not that greasy. Remind me to write something sometime about how I lost 50 pounds while continuing to chowhound, *because* I chowhounded.

                    Job: the usual. Sacrifices to dark lords, burning live chickens, prayers to ancestors, promises of the firstborn.

                    But thanks for the kind words. This was actually the first review that I sat back after I wrote it and was like, "Yes Thi, today you're not actually a dumb***t. Have a cookie."

                    1. re: Thi N.
                      w
                      will47 Mar 11, 2010 06:36 PM

                      Wasn't going to chime in, since who wants to hear a vegetarian / near-vegan's opinion on a hot dog place, right? But since you mention the veggie dogs specifically, I'll throw in my $0.02. I tried their veggie dogs the other day (and vegans should note that the owner seemed interested / willing to adding vegan mayo to the menu). Apparently the buns are vegan (though they are just your average crappy hotdog bun). The veg dogs themselves are standard veggie dogs, probably Yyves or something. Not great, not bad... I think they would get better results if they boiled or steamed it before grilling. Also, they should also get some higher quality veggie dogs / sausages, like the Field Roast or Tofurky brand ones. I'd pay a premium for a better quality veg-dog... preferably not one made primarily out of industrial soy-junk.

                      I was not impressed overall with the quality of their sides. Despite making a big deal of the house-pickled daikon and carrots on the Vancouver dog they were serving the day I visited (not sour or pungent enough, IMHO), their standard pickles are standard-issue. I would bet the same is true of their relish. I asked the guy about it, and he started talking about how he wanted to make pickled beans and other stuff in-house... but seriously, why not start with the basics. If you're not going to make your pickles in-house, at least get high-quality ones. Buns -- same thing. Spend some time and find a bakery that makes good buns - buns that will stand up to the kind of textures and flavors they're featuring. Grilled onions were a little raw for my taste. I'd prefer something with either more char or more carmelization or both.

                      Didn't try the sweet potato fries, but the Belgian fries were... well they're crispy, but I'm almost certain they're frozen, and probably have some modified food starch or are doctored somehow to make them crispy. Taste good, but again, nothing special. I think they should undersell rather than oversell, and just call them fries rather than "Belgian" fries.

                      To be fair, it's a new place, the prices aren't super high, but it's clear that they're going for an upscale / "gourmet" hot dog vibe; I think they should focus first on high-quality *basics* before getting all crazy and conceptual.

                      On the plus side, the staff was friendly and (mostly) helpful, and the owner seemed personable and willing to listen to suggestions / criticism. Questions about food ingredients were answered quickly and with a minimum of eyebrow-raising. I work nearby, so I'll definitely be back to see how they're progressing, and whether their veg*n selections are expanding.

                      1. re: will47
                        Thi N. Mar 12, 2010 11:18 AM

                        The bun is an interesting issue. I sort of feel that a lot of buns out west are *too* hard - they don't get the same wonderful soft-bun-then-snappy-dog feel that the Manhattan dogs do. Back East seems to understand, with dogs, hoagies, and cheesesteaks, the use of a really *soft* bun. I'm sort of sure that Ray is *aiming* for that particular texture - he talked for a while about testing all sorts of buns to get the balance right.

                        But then - and it's an interesting point you raise - once you start doing the Slaw Dog-style lots-of-toppings weirdness, the bun starts to fall apart.

                        I wouldn't say that the soft bun is a poor-quality issue. I think it's a very conscious textural decision. But it does present a physical challenge for the innovator who wants to push the soft-bun-snappy-dog thing in the direction of tons-of-toppings.

                        1. re: Thi N.
                          WildSwede Mar 12, 2010 11:22 AM

                          I'd be happy if they didn't fall apart after the first bite.

                          1. re: Thi N.
                            w
                            will47 Mar 12, 2010 11:56 AM

                            Yeah - if I were getting a NY street-vendor hot dog or a Dodger Dog, I'd expect a "traditional" soft, wonder-bread type bun. But here, it didn't seem to fit as much (for me).

                            Even if a totally soft bun is what he's going for, I think you could find (or have made) a bun that had a similar texture but is still a higher quality product, and hopefully something that would hold up a little better too. Maybe it was a conscious choice, but if so, I have to respectfully disagree with the owner on his choice of buns. The bun tastes exactly like what you'd get if you went to Ralphs and bought a bag of hot dog buns.

                            Now if we're talking sub / hoagie rolls, in my opinion there should still be some crackle and density on the crust, along with the softness and lightness inside. Light, not too dense, but not so porous that it soaks up everything. Otherwise, it's just a soggy mess with no texture. Generally speaking, it's the west coast that gets this part wrong more often than the east coast - the sub rolls here are squishier than the ones back east, though these days, with people raised on Wonder Bread etc., the trend in everything (bagels, sub rolls, etc.) seems to be towards softer and softer.

                            You can argue that cheesesteak rolls should be softer than sub rolls - I don't claim to be an expert. I would bet that they used to be firmer than they are now, but I could be wrong on that. I would also bet that a fresh Amoroso roll in Philly has a different texture than one that's been frozen and spent some time inside a plastic bag.

                            1. re: Thi N.
                              g
                              GK in SO Mar 12, 2010 12:04 PM

                              Thi, did you ever try Weiner Factory when it was still alive? It was all about the "wonderful soft-bun-then-snappy-dog feel" thing.

                              As a matter of fact, it was one of the main reasons their dogs kicked royal ass.

                              1. re: GK in SO
                                k
                                kevin Mar 12, 2010 03:50 PM

                                I was about to say those WF buns, eggy buns, were damn great but even better are those turkey dogs.

                                1. re: kevin
                                  g
                                  GK in SO Mar 12, 2010 10:57 PM

                                  Alas, my fellow hound Kevin, was the REAL bomb in my book...turkey dog, eggy, soft steamed bun, chili, mustard, onions, or "Tom MCO" in WF speak.

                                  I can't wait for Fab's to get the turkey dogs, but feel I may be dissapointed on the bun.

                          2. re: Thi N.
                            s
                            silleehillee Mar 14, 2010 06:55 AM

                            Thi, I'll consider a sacrifice to the Dark Lord of your choice if you tell us how you lost weight while chowhounding.

                        2. i
                          inlikeflt Mar 11, 2010 07:59 AM

                          With that Slaw Dogs backlash that I'm seeing in "other" places, it does my heart good to see someone who is "keeping it real".

                          Personally I think all the westsiders are poo-pooin' it simply because it's not on the westside.

                          1. a_and_w Mar 11, 2010 09:04 AM

                            Thi, you should take the southern girl to Slaw Dogs to get her thoughts. While you can get slaw on dogs in NYC, that's southern style!

                            1. Steve2 in LA Mar 11, 2010 01:57 PM

                              Actually you should consider a 12-Step program. And a prescription for Lipitor. And then get out of MY way so I can take up the mantle. I mean,while it's not pretty, SOMEBODY has to do it.

                              1. mstinawu Mar 14, 2010 12:22 PM

                                That was kind of.. Gross. But still, it made me want to go try Slaw Dogs. =)

                                1. monku Mar 14, 2010 05:51 PM

                                  Overhyped...

                                  $4.99 for the #1 The Original I'd expect a natural casing hot dog which it isn't. The chili (maybe I got tasteless part of the "perpetual chili pot" ) was not extrordinary. Yes, as another poster mentioned the bun was falling apart with every bite...didn't notice any toasting to maintain the "structure integrity".

                                  Belgian style fries?....$2.99 As an above poster mentioned they seemed like ordinary frozen fries to me. I guess the words "Belgian style" can command a dollar more.

                                  Wish them well and prosperity while it lasts, just a matter of time before they're off the radar screen.

                                  1. m
                                    miwine Mar 14, 2010 05:58 PM

                                    Wife and I had lunch today. "Beligian" fries were very greasy. the grease was rancid. The hot dogs had no snap, no flavor, overboiled, blah. I would not return. Fabs is several steps above.

                                    45 Replies
                                    1. re: miwine
                                      monku Mar 14, 2010 06:19 PM

                                      I was there about 12:15pm and my so-called Belgian fries were not greasy or rancid....they must have fried your's in the old oil. They weren't Belgian style fries that's for sure. Not worth $2.99.
                                      There's no "snap" to the dogs because they're skinless and not natural casing hot dogs unless you order the Natural Casing "Snap Dog" for $3.99.

                                      You want to be on the hot dog map, you gotta serve a natural casing hot dog only....none of this a natural casing hot dog is a separate option crap.

                                      1. re: monku
                                        Will Owen Mar 15, 2010 12:08 PM

                                        Some people do not like natural-casing dogs. It has in fact been my observation that LOTS of people don't like them. Yes, they are benighted souls, but any hot dog stand selling only dogs that go pop, as the Lord intended, will find itself feeding a niche market of limited scope.

                                        Anyone predicting failure for this place is gonna have to wait quite a while; every time we've gone by there (which we do a few times most days) the line's been out the door. This includes Sunday mornings, Tuesday afternoons, whenever.

                                        1. re: Will Owen
                                          monku Mar 15, 2010 01:58 PM

                                          Places selling hot dogs with natural casings?
                                          Pinks, Tommy's, Chroni's, Carney's, Portillo's, Fabs, Skoobies, Cupids...RIP Wiener Factory. The snap is out there and it isn't a niche market. Every street vendor in NYC sells natural casing dogs like Sabrett's and don't forget Gray's Papaya.
                                          No hot dog connoisseur would consider a place worthy without a natural casing hot dog.

                                          Give Slawdogs a couple more weeks and the LA Times effect will have worn off and you can go all you want. Yesterday Sunday Noon-1pm, no line...You must have been driving by Roscoe's where there were 20 people waiting in line.

                                          1. re: monku
                                            Servorg Mar 15, 2010 02:05 PM

                                            "Give Slawdogs a couple more weeks and the LA Times effect will have worn off and you can go all you want. "

                                            At that point a "rebranding" will likely occur to "Slowdogs"... ;-D>

                                            1. re: Servorg
                                              monku Mar 15, 2010 02:40 PM

                                              When I first heard of the place I thought of the place in the valley called "Law Dogs".

                                              More like "Flaw Dogs" to me. $5 for a chili dog is out of my realm of thinking. Maybe in Beverly Hills they can get that price, not that neighborhood.

                                              1. re: monku
                                                a_and_w Mar 15, 2010 03:22 PM

                                                Oh, snap?

                                            2. re: monku
                                              s
                                              suvro May 12, 2010 04:22 PM

                                              Hmmm.....
                                              I went today (May 12, 2010) for lunch (my first time). At 1pm it was full. When I left at around 1:30pm, the rush had died down, but the place is still hopping with customers.

                                              I had the Green Monster - roasted green chili, chipotle mayo, grilled onion, pepperjack, spicy garlic salsa. I could basically only taste the roasted green chili sitting on top, and the grilled onion (someone mentions these are not sufficiently caramelized - I have to agree) on the bottom of the dog. The pepperjack was like a thin filo-like crust on the dog, barely discernible, and the spicy garlic salsa was lost in the melange of the other flavors. I ate it using a knife and fork, seeing that the bun was too soggy to hold its own shape.

                                              I also ordered sweet potato fried and these were disappointing in comparison to the ones I recently had (Valentine's Day weekend) in Napa Valley at Taylor's Automatic Refresher. There it was thick cut with very good sweet potato flavor and a nice garlicky salt dusting on top. Here these were very thin cut, and had very little flavor without some crutches!

                                              I will go back and try a few more that caught my attention - but not being a big hot dog fan, the hype escapes me!

                                              1. re: suvro
                                                b
                                                Bradbury May 12, 2010 04:56 PM

                                                Funny, I had exactly the same order about 24 hours before you did. I liked the flavors on the Green Monster (mine might have been a bit better-balanced than yours) but didn't care for the mushy bun. It might work OK on a plainer dog (especially if there was a natural-casing "snap") but when you put this much wet stuff on it, you need a roll with a bit more substance (like the ones at Top Dog for example ... any word yet on that new Top Dog avatar in south OC?)

                                                And the sweet potato fries were the exact same (mediocre) sweet potato fries I've had at several other places in the past year - thin and dull. Is everyone ordering frozen sweet potato fries from the same vendor now?

                                                1. re: suvro
                                                  Peripatetic May 13, 2010 01:45 AM

                                                  Slaw Dogs has some hits and a lot of misses. Personally I like getting the natural casing dog rippered with just yellow mustard and relish. The Chili dog is also very good. Some of the other combinations work, but many others don't. The fries and onion rings are a disappointment that I wish they would do something about.

                                                  -----
                                                  The Slaw Dogs
                                                  720 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104

                                                  1. re: Peripatetic
                                                    Will Owen May 14, 2010 09:42 PM

                                                    I'm gonna give essentially the same answer here I gave to the folks who hated the fries at Pie'n'Burger: Yes, but the potato salad is to die for! C'mon, you can get good fries any damn day of the week at McDo, but good potato salad is really hard to come by. Cooking a lot of potatoes and having them come out tasting good is not easy at all - they tend to be either crunchy or mushy. Both P'n'B and Slaw Dogs have figured that one out; the potatoes are firm but exactly tender enough, and the dressing and seasonings are just right. More consistently good than I can do, in fact.

                                                    1. re: Mr Taster
                                                      Dommy Jul 19, 2010 03:10 PM

                                                      Tell that to Golden State... :PPP

                                                      --Dommy!

                                                      -----
                                                      The Golden State
                                                      426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                      1. re: Mr Taster
                                                        Will Owen Jul 19, 2010 04:11 PM

                                                        No, it's pretty easy to do at HOME. It's apparently damned hard to do in giant pots in a commercial kitchen. Uniform dice? An inch of water? Just the right amount of salt, and stir twice? Yes, a few manage it, which I'm sure took a lot of work to figure out. Some things just don't scale so easily.

                                                        1. re: Will Owen
                                                          Mr Taster Jul 19, 2010 04:36 PM

                                                          I don't really see how scaling up for potatoes would be too much different than scaling up for pasta. Once the variables are made constant (uniformity, etc.) it seems to me that any other modifications would be minimal. The hardest part of the equation is figuring out a base recipe which works.

                                                          Mr Taster

                                                          1. re: Mr Taster
                                                            Will Owen Jul 20, 2010 02:13 PM

                                                            It doesn't have anything to do with the science end - water-to-salt-to-potato ratio, time + temperature - but the scale of effort. Most mass-produced mashed potatoes are gloppy starch; why? because the line cooks dump wet boiled potatoes into the Hobart and wire-whip the crap out of them, that's why. A *GOOD* kitchen will at least use the paddle, and do small batches, and stop when there are still maybe a few lumps. More work, nicer product. A lazy kitchen making potato salad will dump a load of packaged diced potatoes into the big kettle and pull them out when one samples okay. A better kitchen will cook them in smaller batches. A GOOD kitchen will boil whole fresh potatoes and then dice them by hand.

                                                            1. re: Will Owen
                                                              Mr Taster Jul 20, 2010 03:12 PM

                                                              The real conundrum is that there are so many otherwise *GOOD* kitchens making potatoes the lazy way, which is the source of my incredulity.

                                                              Mr Taster

                                              2. re: monku
                                                r
                                                reality check Jul 22, 2010 01:17 PM

                                                So let me get this right, you complain that Slaw Dogs doesn't have a natural casing dog. But then you see it on the menu but don't want to pay the extra $1? Hmmmmm

                                                -----
                                                The Slaw Dogs
                                                720 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104

                                                1. re: reality check
                                                  monku Jul 22, 2010 04:44 PM

                                                  It's the principle...I shouldn't have to pay extra if they're claiming they're serving top notch stuff and charging prices to match.
                                                  There shouldn't be different dogs.

                                                  1. re: monku
                                                    Servorg Jul 22, 2010 05:06 PM

                                                    "There shouldn't be different dogs."

                                                    I have to say that I find that a really strange thing to believe. I mean look at the menu at http://www.wurstkucherestaurant.com/i... just as a for instance. Do you think they are doing a disservice to their customers by offering a range of different brats at different prices?

                                                    1. re: Servorg
                                                      n
                                                      ns1 Jul 22, 2010 05:11 PM

                                                      apples & oranges since a brat =/= a hotdog

                                                      I mean, can you even BUY skinless brats? isn't that just like, a pork meatball in roll form? lol

                                                      1. re: Servorg
                                                        monku Jul 22, 2010 05:25 PM

                                                        It's not the same.
                                                        At Wurstküche there's a difference in price for more exotic ingredient sausage. A hot dog with a natural casing should be a given at a place that specializes in hot dogs.

                                                        A hot dog is your main attraction and for Slaw Dogs to charge $5 for a small skinless hot dog with chili and slaw on it is a joke in my book.

                                                        You think "the" hot dog places in LA would survive if they served skinless hot dogs. (don't mention the $1.50 Costco special)

                                                        One reason I won't return to the Weenie Shack in Woodland Hills. Same thing.

                                                        1. re: monku
                                                          r
                                                          reality check Jul 22, 2010 07:58 PM

                                                          You're just cheap. Admit it!! Maybe the owers are trying to cater to people who do not like natural casings on their hot dogs? They offer the option, but it costs more, and you're complaining that they don't have natural casing hot dogs. That makes a lot of sense.

                                                          1. re: reality check
                                                            monku Jul 22, 2010 08:11 PM

                                                            So I'm going to spend $6 ($ extra for natural casing hot dog) for their idea of the perfect hot dog. I'm cheap not stupid.

                                                            I'm cheap and so are they.
                                                            Serve me the best you got....don't nickel and dime me.

                                                            1. re: monku
                                                              k
                                                              kevin Jul 22, 2010 08:14 PM

                                                              i'll agree with one thing, the dogs are way too expensive to begin with. i think i had a regular chili cheese dog, tiny dogs, a few strands of shredded cheddar cheese and some chili, that and another dog and a soda, and a small fries set me back 15 bucks. not a great deal at all.

                                                              though i may try the natural casing CCD this time around.

                                                              1. re: kevin
                                                                monku Jul 22, 2010 08:19 PM

                                                                Excuse me....those are "Belgian Style Fries".

                                                                1. re: monku
                                                                  WildSwede Jul 23, 2010 09:44 AM

                                                                  LOL - you guys are crazy. However, those were regular ol fries - not "belgian" - and they weren't even good. I moved them around to get to the sweet potato fries (which I thought were great). I agree that they are overpriced.

                                                                2. re: kevin
                                                                  Mr Taster Jul 23, 2010 09:18 AM

                                                                  Sounds like the hot dog equivalent of a typical Apple Pan meal.

                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Apple Pan
                                                                  10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                    m
                                                                    mc michael Jul 23, 2010 09:27 AM

                                                                    The Apple Pan is better and simpler in terms of choices and pricing.

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Apple Pan
                                                                    10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                                    1. re: mc michael
                                                                      Mr Taster Jul 23, 2010 09:56 AM

                                                                      I'm just saying, $15-$20 (with tax & tip) for a Micropatty Lettuceburger™, fries, and pie doesn't sound too much different from the Slaw Dogs story.

                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                      -----
                                                                      The Slaw Dogs
                                                                      720 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104

                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                        Servorg Jul 23, 2010 10:15 AM

                                                                        "I'm just saying, $15-$20 (with tax & tip) for a Micropatty Lettuceburger™, fries, and pie doesn't sound too much different from the Slaw Dogs story."

                                                                        Or wasting time and money driving around the LA area at a cost of 50 cents a mile looking for a SoCal impersonation of a (bad) NY egg roll...It just all depends on ones personal "taste" and what it's worth to each of us to quench that thirst or satisfy that jonesing.

                                                                        1. re: Servorg
                                                                          Mr Taster Jul 23, 2010 11:19 AM

                                                                          You misplaced your modifier.... should read "...a (bad) SoCal impersonation of a NY egg roll." :)

                                                                          Reread what I wrote... I was not criticizing anyone's personal choice to pay $15 for a meal of (traditionally inexpensive) fast food staples. Just stating that there are parallels between the two restaurant pricing schemes.

                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                          1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                            Servorg Jul 23, 2010 11:25 AM

                                                                            No, no...I was going for the "bad egg" all the way...

                                                                            1. re: Servorg
                                                                              Mr Taster Jul 23, 2010 11:37 AM

                                                                              Yes, I know.

                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                              1. re: Servorg
                                                                                Servorg Jul 23, 2010 11:38 AM

                                                                                And whether it's pricing schemes or travel expenses or adding on "a la carte" elements to satisfy the particular taste (that makes the meal) "what they are looking for" that drives up the cost - it's all coming out of the "hide of the hound" (so too speak).

                                                                                1. re: Servorg
                                                                                  m
                                                                                  mc michael Jul 23, 2010 12:29 PM

                                                                                  speaking of hide, this is a tough economy for restaurants across the board. it almopst seems the less expensive places may be having a harder time (maybe due to their lower margins).

                                                                                  1. re: mc michael
                                                                                    Servorg Jul 23, 2010 12:31 PM

                                                                                    The higher end places seem to have deeper pockets and tend to be better able stave off the inevitable ups and downs of the economy as they dip into those pockets over time.

                                                                                    That's why it's puzzling that folks are knocking the fact that a place like Slaw Dogs is trying to recoup what they lay out in wholesale costs on the retail end of things (and at the same time offer something that hot dog mavens usually enjoy - a natural casing).

                                                                          2. re: Mr Taster
                                                                            k
                                                                            kevin Jul 23, 2010 01:10 PM

                                                                            how did you do that trademark with teh Lettuce on the burger, did you really trademark that?

                                                                        2. re: Mr Taster
                                                                          k
                                                                          kevin Jul 23, 2010 01:09 PM

                                                                          I'll say this though, I think Slaw Dogs is more of the Emperor has No Clothes.

                                                                          Because in my opinion, Apple Pan makes the best coconut cream pies in LA, in a diner, cafe, or restaruant so it's still extravangtly priced, i guess the going rate is 6.50 per slice now, and this is not a haute sit-down restaurant, which makes it in my opinion way different than Slaw Dogs. maybe im missing something but the chili dogs there were ok, but they weren't better than carney's dogs.

                                                                          whoever has been to both and has tried both chili dogs, what do you think? (and to keep it kind of controlled, just evaluate teh chili and the dog together, without cheese since it's way different cheese at carney's than at slaw dogs).

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Apple Pan
                                                                          10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                                          The Slaw Dogs
                                                                          720 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104

                                                                          1. re: kevin
                                                                            Peripatetic Jul 23, 2010 03:06 PM

                                                                            I used to live near Carneys (Sunset location) and now I live near Slaw Dogs, and have had numerous chili dogs at both. I prefer Slaw Dogs. I get the natural casing dog rippered with chili and onion, and it's excellent. The one weak spot is the bun, though last time I checked (a few months ago) Ray was trying to find another supplier. Personally, I wish he would go the Market Grill (Monrovia) route and make his own.

                                                                            I get the impression that maybe Carney's used to be better, but now it's running on reputation and memories. I do love Carney's seating, though, and their fries are better than Slaw Dog's.

                                                            2. re: reality check
                                                              hnsbmg Jul 22, 2010 10:47 PM

                                                              I checked the Vienna Beef Web site and saw that they sell THEIR natural-casing dogs for about a buck more each than the skinless variety. It's hard to say exactly: the price includes a shipping charge, which I estimated at $10, and I'm assuming the two dogs weigh approximately the same.

                                                              1. re: hnsbmg
                                                                Dommy Jul 23, 2010 10:07 AM

                                                                THANK YOU!! That has been my experience at supermarkets as well... Natural casing dogs just naturally cost more!

                                                                --Dommy!

                                                                1. re: Dommy
                                                                  k
                                                                  kevin Jul 23, 2010 01:13 PM

                                                                  skinless means there's no skin, so natural casing has a skin, which if you are adding something to wrap around the tube steak, that would cost some more dough by it's inherent nature.

                                                                  1. re: kevin
                                                                    r
                                                                    reality check Jul 23, 2010 01:30 PM

                                                                    So people don't understand that logic. I can understand complaining about Slaw Dogs' high prices. It is pricey. But to complain about Slaw Dogs, not having natural casings and then complain about paying a higher price for those natural casings, is unreasonable.

                                                                    -----
                                                                    The Slaw Dogs
                                                                    720 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104

                                                                    1. re: reality check
                                                                      k
                                                                      kevin Jul 23, 2010 01:52 PM

                                                                      i guess i could accpet that the standard dog on the menu should be made with the natural casing, all things considered. i.e. that the special casing dog should be the default dog for the slaw chili dog, the chili dogs, and other dog preparations that employ hot dogs instead of sausages, or bratwrusts, etc.

                                                                    2. re: kevin
                                                                      r
                                                                      reality check Jul 23, 2010 01:33 PM

                                                                      Some people don't understand that logic. Complaining about the high prices at Slaw Dogs is legit; they are pricey. But to complain about not having natural casing and then to read, that Slaw Dogs does have natural casing but at a higher cost, is very unreasonable.

                                                                      -----
                                                                      The Slaw Dogs
                                                                      720 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104

                                                                      1. re: reality check
                                                                        w
                                                                        will47 Jul 23, 2010 02:32 PM

                                                                        I think folks were complaining that the *default* hot dog didn't have a natural casing, i.e., if you are already paying a lot, you expect to get a quality product without having to pay extra for it.

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