Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mmmmm, Fried Stuff....Make Homeresquely Appropriate Groan Now

I remember the first time I ever had the miracle of fried cheese sticks, it was at a now-defunct restaurant in Oklahoma City named Pumps, more than twenty years ago. It was served with a sweet mustard sauce and it stands out as one of my first culinary "awakenings." Simple mozzarella, battered and deep fried, the crunch of the shell, the molten cheese, the sweet twang of the mustard, how had I lived without it for all of my (then) seventeen years?
Since then only one fried cheese dish has matched that experience, that of Hot Dog on a Stick, the wonderfully kitsch stands found in malls across the US.
Which brings me to the corn dog. My God, I do love a good corn dog, and Hot Dog on a Stick has the best I've ever had. As I order my heart quickens, my saliva glands are working overtime; is it knowing that I'm about to get a great corn dog or that the dog is being hand dipped in batter and fried to order by an always beautiful girl wearing a beguilingly retro uniform of jockey hat and hot pants, as her twin strokes away at a vat of fresh lemonade with a long handled plunger. I'll leave that question to smarter people with degrees in psychology, but it's a damned good corn dog.
Locally, if you want a good corn dog you can do no better than at The Quarters. A dive bar of Loverboyesque-mullet proportions, The Quarters (conveniently located on the same block as our place) has a liberal shot pouring policy (at least for friendly neighborhood cooks and waiters) and a really good corn dog. Sweet corn breading, crunchy on the outside with just the right amount of give on the inside, wrapped around a good, plump dog. None of the show you get at Hot Dog on a Stick, but when you consider that you don't have to drive half a day to get it, and you can have a cold Corona as well, a pretty darned good pinch hitter.


Maria said...

Oh, good grief. I love a good corn dog. I love a good hot dog. I don't WANT to know what is in them. I just want to eat them. I love that first bite, don't you? That first glorious bite when you sink your teeth in and the hot dog juice sluices through your teeth while the fried corn meal takes the tang away.

Unfortunately, I live with a near vegetarian and true healthy eater who would rather die than let me bring a ball park frank home. So, I content myself to sneaking them at the mall whenever I am there (which is not often since I don't really like malls...but hell, I would go just for the corn dogs.)

Eric said...

Mmmmm...goin' next door for a corn dog. Or three.
Yeah, that first bite is the best. I love chile dogs, but lately I've been craving just relish, onion, mustard and ketchup (never "catsup").
In New Orleans there are these little hot dog carts on pretty much every corner of the French Quarter and they have what might be the best damned dogs I've ever had. I'll be in NYC in Novemeber for the first time so you can be sure that I'll be eating my weight in dogs and pizza while I'm there and then reporting on it.