Sunday, February 26, 2012

Relish Gourmet Hot Dogs (Part 2)

(UPDATE 10/15/12: Just learned that Chris has moved on to another venture and Relish is now closed. The cart is still at Cartlandia as of this update. Chris rented the cart to someone else and it is now Amore, a pizza cart. Best wishes to Chris and Emily!)

(Original Review -- January 2012)

While at the Cartlandia food pod a few days ago, I decided to go back to the Relish hot dog cart and talk with Chris. He was still a few minutes from opening when I showed up, but for me, no big deal. Well, other than the dang rain.

I kept eyeing the pot of chili for the coney hot dogs. I wanted to just take the pot and start chugging chili right there inside the cart. That stuff is street-dancing panda good. All meat and worth every last morsel.

Meaty Chili! Just how I like it!

Chris does his best to balance a hectic class load and work the food cart, and he does a heck of a job. Always extremely friendly to everyone. I learned more about Chris' plans for the cart, which include several new hot dog ideas. I'll let Chris do any official unveiling of new specials, but let's just say I'll be very pleased if even a few of his many ideas become reality.

Chris said the Bacon 'n Bleu hot dog was one of his favorites and a top-selling menu item. Oh heck, why not give that one a go? I mean, it's BACON. (pork lovers start salivating and swooning)

However, bleu cheese and I have a short, yet iffy relationship. I wasn't exposed to it much growing up, and its bite/aftertaste at one point wanted me to spit it out and completely Chuck Norris roundhouse kick that product to the next galaxy. Now, I at least tolerate bleu cheese more, but again won't be running over anyone like the loonies on Black Friday to get a zillion containers or blocks of it.

Chris worked his magic on the grill, grilling/steaming up the plump hot dogs and toasting the buns. Caramelized onions, bleu cheese, and "meat crack" made their way on the flattop. The inside of the cart produced hypnotizing aromas.

"Come hither, my fine friend...."
"Yes, master..."

Chris constructed the finished product. Bun, wiener, garlic cracked pepper aioli(?!), caramelized onions, semi-melted bleu cheese, sexy bacon. The finished product was a thick hot dog on steroids. This bacon and bleu went to the gym, benched about 500 pounds, and ate other smaller hot dogs! "Scalpel! I mean...fork and knife!"

"Bacon 'n Bleu"
(Relish Gourmet Hot Dogs)
Cross-section just to show there really is a hot dog under there....
The savoriness of wiener and bacon stand up to the bleu cheese bite, and the onions add that refreshing feel. Isn't this similar to why steak and onions rule?

I ate about half at the cart and intended to take the rest home. It never reached its final destination.

(me: "me hungry!")
(chomp chomp chomp)
(happy Aaron in next scene)

Chris hits a home run with this one! He had an artichoke hot dog special that I seriously considered, but I'll save it for another day. As of this post, Chris' latest special is the "Seattle Dog" (garlic cream cheese spread, caramelized onions, sauerkraut, and dijon mustard). Sounds awesome! And again, watch for more mouth-watering creations! 8.5/10

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