Having grown up on hippy vegetarian food, I just can’t resist the allure of trashy food. Many of the American classics that I never got to eat as a kid, I can’t pass up as an adult. Meat loaf, biscuits and gravy, CFS (Chicken Fried Steak to the uninitiated), etc. I even have a soft spot (as I discovered eating in the college cafeteria) for chipped beef.
This weekend I indulged in that most sublime of all sausage-based dishes, the chili cheese dog. There’s nothing about those that isn’t good. It’s important to use really cheap ingredients. I went with Tillamook Cheddar instead of the classic American, since I just can’t bear to buy that stuff, but cheap trashy hot dogs and canned chili are a must. I’ve tried using home-made chili and good sausages, and it just didn’t do it for me.
I remember as a kid we’d go visit my Aunt in Anaheim, where they had Der Wienerschnitzel franchises. Best chili cheese dogs EVER. Guaranteed to be all over the inside of the bleached white paper bag by the time you’d gotten 10 feet from the drive-in.
In the summer when I was a kid we’d stay with our grandparents in Sacramento, and one of my Grandpa’s favorite hangouts what a place called Vick’s. Classic diner. Homemade shakes, all things grilled, everything came with Lay’s potato chips. We invariably ordered these hotdog sandwiches that consisted of Oscar Meyer weiners on Wonder bread with American cheese(food) and French's mustard. With iceberg lettuce for good measure. The whole thing went into the grilled-cheese sandwich machine. Ahhhhhh. Nothin’ like it in the world.
Quite a change from the bean spread and green onion sandwiches at home.