The Tastiest Ballpark Franks in Town Can Be Found Outside Safeco Field

Seattle's sausage strip is as formidable as can be found around America's ballparks, a veritable murderer's row of long, hot beef that renders the wieners inside the park shamefully flaccid. With apologies to the couple of Occidental Avenue hot-dog carts not included on this list, I offer some highlights:

Joe's Gourmet Grilled Dogs are cooked beneath a yellow tent a couple hundred yards from Safeco Field on Occidental. Here, the wieners are named after Mariner luminaries present and past: the Ichiro Dog, the Johjima Dog, the Beltre Dog, the Edgar Dog. Then there's the Homerun Dog, which, based on its considerable length and girth, is as befitting of the term "wiener" as any dog thine eyes have ever laid eyes on. The Homerun is 12 inches long, but unlike your garden-variety foot-long, the Homerun is as fat as a Polish. Eat a Homerun before passing through the ballpark's turnstiles, and you won't need to eat again—a loot-saving endeavor if there ever was one.

A shade north of Joe's is a stand simply billed Gourmet Hot Dogs. They sell a variety of franks here, including long, fat cheddar-cheese dogs. Only they're not so cheesy. Rather, the slight amount of cheese injected into the wiener serves as more of a condiment. Cheese lovers are sure to be disappointed, but for this tube-steak hound, the amount of cheese perfectly complemented the frank. In other words, it didn't try to dominate the between-the-bun action.

For an opposite effect a city block or so south, try Marv's Famous' Reuben Dog. It is exactly as advertised: pastrami, Swiss, and sauerkraut stuffed into a big bun with a single frank (quadruple bypass, anyone?). This is the kitchen-sink ghetto burger of the Occidental strip, and gets major, major points for innovation and ambition. But y'know what? Once the "holy fuck, I can't believe I'm eating this!" novelty wears off mid-dog, it's all a bit much. Much like Vegas, Requiem for a Dream, and cow-tipping, the Reuben Dog is something that should be enjoyed whole once and only once. But oh, what a once it was.

It's relatively hard to find a food that cream cheese doesn't go well with. But it's harder to find food that goes better with cream cheese than a Polish-style hot dog. Which raises the question: Why's it so damn tough to find a cream-cheese dog 'round these parts (or any parts, for that matter)? Does Michael Jackson own the copyright to cream-cheese dogs and charge some exorbitant fee for their usage? I don't get it, but Occidental's Mojo/Seattle Sausage stand does. For $5, pregame chowhounds can enjoy one of street food's greatest and rarest pleasures. It should be an FDA requirement that all hot dogs from here on out should be offered with a cream-cheese option.

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