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Friday, August 21, 2009

The Hot Dog Hopeful Seek Out Artisanal Specimens at Acme

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 12:27 PM

click to enlarge The fancy wieners got deliciously blackened over charcoal. - J. BIRDSALL
  • J. Birdsall
  • The fancy wieners got deliciously blackened over charcoal.
As if we needed confirmation that hot dogs are the quintessential food of 2009, an overflow crowd packed the plaza in front of Acme Chophouse (24 Willie Mays Plaza, at Fourth St. and King) last night hoping to taste up to nine varieties of artisanal wieners.

Acme chef Thom Fox organized the Haute Dog event in part as a fundraiser for the sustainable foods advocacy org Chefs Collaborative. Hopeful attendees ponied up $5 for each dog, and $3 for a cup of local microbrew. Why are wieners fueling the zeitgeist these days? "They're a low price point item," Fox told SFoodie, "and they're from a great American tradition. They're hand-tooled stuff, all small-batch stuff," he said.

The nine dogs on offer -- cooked over charcoal on a grill set up oustside the restaurant -- were from a bicoastal roster of wiener artisans: Let's Be Frank, Fatted Calf, Boccalone, and Absinthe, among local producers, as well as East Coast makers Fleisher's and Flying Pigs Farm.

About halfway through the event, certain dogs were in short supply. SFoodie managed to snag a red hot from Brooklyn's Marlow & Daughters. It was a rough-textured blend of beef and pork in a crisp casing and an ambient smokiness. Delicious.

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