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Hawk Krall

Hawk Krall

Illustrator from Philadelphia, writes & draws Hot Dog Of The Week along with sporadic reports on Philadelphia for Slice and AHT.

Columns

  • Website
  • Location: Philadelphia
  • Favorite foods: Regional American food, hoagies, cheesesteaks, tomato pie, Southern anything, classic French and other fancy stuff too.

Hot Dog Of The Week: David's Kosher Taste Test

David's Kosher is an interesting new hot dog brand that seems to be pushing the "healthy"—or at least "gluten free, uncured, natural"—angle, along with the kosher and regional Chicago angle. These all-beef franks basically taste like a fusion between a New York-style Hebrew National and a milder Chicago Vienna Beef dog. I tested them out with a couple different methods and various levels of toppings. More

Hot Dog of the Week: New Jersey Italian Hot Dog from Hot Diggity in Philadelphia

I was a bit skeptical of Hot Diggity's February special, as I am of many reimagined, fancied-up regional hot dogs. Messing with something like the New Jersey Italian Hot Dog or "NJIHD" —a north Jersey thing, land of the most hard-core hot dog purists in the country—is dangerous. Jersey-style pizza bread made by an organic artisan pizza place in Philadelphia? But guess what? It works. More

Hot Dog of the Week: Hot Dog Jamboree at Hobbs Coffee in Swarthmore, PA

The other weekend I made it to Hobbs, a coffee shop right outside of Philadelphia, for their one-night only Hot Dog Jamboree. Chef William Randall puts out some really impressive food from a tiny coffeehouse kitchen and recently became hot dog obsessed, whipping up eight different hot dog specials for the event, and even road-tripped into Jersey to source some of the country's best frankfurters. More

Philadelphia: Navajo Frybread Tacos at the Shiprock Pop-Up

Ever had a Navajo Taco? A cousin of the puffy taco, Navajo Tacos start with a funnel-cake-esque base of frybread, topped with "chili beans", lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheese, and can be found at state fairs and Navajo reservations across the southwest. Nearly impossible to find outside of Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado, though, we're bringing them to Philadelphia in the form of a pop-up dinner next Monday night. More

10 Christmas-Themed Hot Dogs

Some of the nation's top hot dog chefs have come up with some wild and delicious yuletide-themed concoctions. We've got a lot of reindeer dogs going on as well as some other crazy specials, like a cognac, lamb and pork sausage at Hot Doug's topped with mint mustard cream and double creme brie. And who said Christmas doesn't inspire crazy hot dogs! More

Hot Dog Gift Guide 2012

It's that time of year again—the time to find an amazing gift for the crazy hot dog maniac in your life. There's plenty of amazing new hot dog stuff this year (see the hot dog guides from 2011 and from 2010), including a brand new book from a hot dog historian, hot dog cooking gadgets, t-shirts, and a whole bunch of delicious mail-order sauces. More

Hangover Helper: Breakfast Sandwiches from John's Roast Pork in Philadelphia

On a sluggish Saturday morning, John's is exactly the place I want to be. Perhaps the word's not out yet—the Saturday I visited, there was absolutely no line, and service was quick and no-nonsense. The entire menu is available, including roast pork, beef, cheesesteaks and the like, but the Italian meets old school Philly sandwiches are exactly what I need when I'm still slightly drunk from the night before. Try the scrapple and eggs with American cheese and a side of cherry peppers pictured up top, or the thick cut pork roll on a kaiser bun, all cooked on a grill seasoned with 80 years of Philly's best steaks. More

Hot Dog of the Week: Yann's Hot Dogs from Fairmont, West Virginia

A few months ago, I took a hot dog tour of West Virginia (the northern part of the state at least) and one of my main goals was finally trying the infamous Yann's. Known as the "hot dog nazi", Russell Yann serves up hot dogs from a tiny eight-seat shack with no hours and no sign, and a barebones menu of hot dogs, pepperoni rolls and "white" or "brown" bottles of milk. There's something magical going on with these hot dogs. More

13 Thanksgiving-Themed Hot Dogs in America

The hot dog purist in me wants to hate this sort of thing, and really how many carb-on-carb stomach bombs topped with stuffing and mashed potatoes can you eat, but I'm always surprised by how inventive and truly tasty these things are every year. This year's crop of Thanksgiving-inspired dogs was created with even more finesse and balance. Sure, some of them are pushing the "hot dog" definition, they still look so damn good. More

Hangover Helper: Home Fries with Hamburger Gravy at Royal Restaurant in Keyser, West Virginia

Coming down out of the mountains after 5 days of camping, whiskey, and Old German lager I found myself in Keyser, West Virginia in desperate need of breakfast. We stumbled upon the Royal Restaurant, a local place covered in wood paneling, motorcycle art, and old soda signs, empty except for a table of local old timers reading the paper and looking at us like we were from Mars. More

Take a Hot Dog Tour of West Virginia

Every small town in West Virginia seems to have at least a handful of crazy little hot dog shacks—many of which double as coffeeshops or video poker parlors—that pride themselves not on high quality frankfurters, but on the spiciness of the homemade chili or creaminess of their slaw. More

What's the Best Rochester Beef Hot Sauce for Hot Dogs?

I've tasted and written about almost every different Greek-rooted hot dog sauce in the country here on Hot Dog of the Week from Cincinnati to Detroit, New York to Alabama. But one glaring omission from my regional meat sauce knowledge was Rochester Beef Hot Sauce, an integral ingredient of Rochester's famous Garbage Plate, and also an essential topping for Rochester's local Zweigle's Dogs, split and flat-grilled, covered in sauce and known as Texas Hots or simply Hots. More

A Sandwich a Day: The Overboard from Ippolito's Fish Market in Philadelphia

Ippolito's is a neighborhood South Philly fish market (that also supplies a lot of restaurants) not too far from where I live. I've stopped in to pick up fish to cook for dinner numerous times but hadn't tried any of their sandwiches until recently. I expected them to be pretty good, and at least 10 times fresher than the sketchy corner store fish hoagies I like to write about—but this thing was incredible. More

Hot Dog of the Week: Pennsylvania Farm Show Hot Dogs

@Saentis
Nice, thanks! Sechrist looks really good. Since writing this I've tried some house-made butcher dogs from Zerns and Q-mart, both of which were just OK. (Reiker's outside of Philadelphia remains my favorite PA-made dog so far). I'll have to check this place out at some point.

Equipment: The Best Chef's Knives

I'm gonna throw in a vote for my F. Dick 1905 series. A good weight comparable to a Wusthof but a little more affordable and they tend to hold an edge longer. I've gone through a bunch of different brands both as a line cook and at home and I seriously love these things. The 8-inch and Santoku are around 70-80 on Amazon, so sort of middle ground between the Wusthof and the Henckels.

Also have to admit I'm a bit of sucker for the olde-tyme look to them.

Soda: Grapico, A Rich Taste of Alabama

Love Grapico, first time I ever had it was at Pete's Famous Hot Dogs (RIP) in Birmingham.

I don't even really drink a lot of soda but there's something about obscure regional sodas that really make the obscure regional hot dog experience complete - see Moxie, Cheerwine, etc.

Philadelphia: Navajo Frybread Tacos at the Shiprock Pop-Up

and thanks @Humberto

Philadelphia: Navajo Frybread Tacos at the Shiprock Pop-Up

um.. but if you ARE looking for a taco topped with Chicago Relish, just head over to Frank in Austin.. looks amazing

Philadelphia: Navajo Frybread Tacos at the Shiprock Pop-Up

@DesertDryad
@magtured

The Frybread taco in the photo is in fact topped with freshly made salsa verde, not green chile or "disgusting hotdog relish".

The painting was done before the kitchen tests, and meant to represent an Iconic Frybread Taco, not that our version is straying that much.

Please forgive any ignorance on the subject at hand.. Monday night we will have Marcie Espinoza, owner of Navajo Hogan in Utah, in the kitchen with us to make sure none of that ignorance makes it out of the kitchen.

Dunkin' Donuts Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich

I eat these at least once a week. On a biscuit instead of the muffin.

We Eat Every Hot Dog at Pink's in Hollywood

Great article guys. On matters of authenticity, I think Pink's is enough of an institution (like Papaya King on the east coast) that we can just consider what they do "Pink's Style". Also their dogs always look amazing, and personally I'm a big fan of "longer than the bun" style, at least if I'm only eating 1 or 2...

Reality Check: Santa Fe Steakburger from Steak 'n Shake

Yeah that "photo" on top is borderline psychedelic. Kind of awesome that it was actually good.

What's the Best Rochester Beef Hot Sauce for Hot Dogs?

@Yuppicide
Awesome that you tried these all out man. Yeah I agree on the Steve T, it's WIERD stuff. I think you'll really like the Plate Sauce, it's much closer to the NJ Texas Wiener sauce you're probably used to. I really liked the Don's too but it tastes more like a pasta sauce that hot dog sauce.

Never had Charlie's but I've been to both Gus's and Famous Lunch in that area. The sauce/chili at those Albany and Troy mini-dog places is almost as strange as the Rochester stuff but for a totally different reason. Chock full of what tastes like raw spices. Gus's especially was so strange, it was like eating spoonfuls of paprika but still sort of lacking salt. Fascinating to try a few times, but definitely not what I would choose to eat at home.

Philadelphia: Thin-Crust Pies at The Original Tacconelli's Pizzeria

Tacconelli's is fantastic. Great to see it on Slice!

13 Thanksgiving-Themed Hot Dogs in America

@Jim-Bob
Heard about that, sounds SO good..!

@Erin_in_AR
Originally he told me the THANKSdog would be available for a handful of days before and after thanksgiving.. so maybe next week?

Hangover Helper: Home Fries with Hamburger Gravy at Royal Restaurant in Keyser, West Virginia

@Aceman
Not a phone picture. My camera was covered in 5 days of camping filth. Too good not to write about because of sub-standard photography.

@Katrina
So true. Also with creamed chipped beef, even old-school luncheonettes in the city are terrible at it. I didn't like any of this stuff (sausage gravy, creamed chipped beef, etc)until I finally tried it at the right place.

@sdfishtaco
Navy minced beef sounds fascinating. Like a cross between SOS and some sort of hot dog chili.

A Sandwich a Day: Original Italian from Jack's Place in Philadelphia

@perot
That's what I thought the first time I heard about this place. But it's GOOD. Also, Jack's Place is ANYTHING but "fancy".

A Sandwich a Day: Original Italian from Jack's Place in Philadelphia

@derpylobster
By "traditional" I meant in terms of Philadelphia, and specifically South Philly. The meats here are usually not on the bottom but sort of folded over - see here for reference.

Also at old-school delis here lettuce is usually shredded or left off completely - whole leaves of romaine is something that usually only happens at gourmet shops that are using things like baguette instead of local bakery italian bread.

Nothing wrong with this, it's just not what you want if you're looking for a traditional Philadelphia style hoagie, although this place is an exception to the rule, and really really good.

Hot Dog Lovers: Get Yourself to Net Cost Market

This place is mind-blowing, and like I said, the hot dogs are only the tip of the iceberg. I tried a bunch of different Kielbasa, and they have all sorts of Eastern European cured meats, check out these photos I just put up..

Standing Room Only: Fat Johnnie's Mother-In-Law Deserves Fame

Looks amazing. Also I can never get over how beautiful Chicago's hot dog signs & menus are.

Where to Find the Best European-Style Frankfurters in Philadelphia

@Yuppicide
Lighter fluid russian slim jims sounds pretty good. Yeah Net Cost is amazing.

@hotdoglover
Yeah I'd love to know if they are really Kocher's. The receipt did list them as "Long Frankfurter Continental Koch" but it could be inaccurate. Also not the place to ask hot dog questions, unless you speak Russian.

You would enjoy Riekers, it's a great place with great products that I can't believe doesn't get more press or show up in more restaurants.

Spam Hacks: 12+ Things to Do with SPAM

Spam Wellington, amazing. And most of these actually look really good. I would order spam carbonara in a second.

Five Great Hot Dogs in Northern New Jersey

@slightlychubby Jimmy Buff's is great, and also offers a "pushcart style" standard dog and chili dog. I'm sure hotdoglover will fill you in on the details shortly, should be fun to watch.

Five Great Hot Dogs in Northern New Jersey

@kenji @hotdoglover keep me posted. I still haven't been to Max's, Karl Ehmer, Hiram's.. I did pick up some Syd's dogs from Best Provisions the other day.. to be seen on Hot Dog of The Week real soon.

Five Great Hot Dogs in Northern New Jersey

It's also relatively difficult to try several varieties of hot dog from 10 or 15 hot places in a single day.

I've done it and the best ones always seem to come after you're too full / burnt out to really enjoy it. Best to keep it around 4 or 5 so you can really appreciate the food from each place.

Five Great Hot Dogs in Northern New Jersey

Awesome. I'm not against crazy topping / cheffy dogs but I agree these places in North Jersey are really some of the best hot dogs in the world, I would even venture to say this area has more great hot dogs per square mile than NYC at this point.

I was just at Tommy's a few days ago - awesome, awesome Italian Hot Dog. Marci's also looks fantastic.

Philadelphia: 10 Amazing Hoagies You Should Eat

@HoagHead the bread is a big part of it, especially here in Philly (and even Jersey) where it comes daily from bakeries that have been doing it the same way for generations (not new artisan bakeries, which are great but not right for hoagies)

Where do you live though? There are areas all over the country with semi-hidden Italian American bakeries that probably make something similar and/or delicious.

Scenes from the 7th Annual Great Hot Dog Cookoff in NYC

We had a Vietnamese summer roll dog in Philly too. (slideshow coming soon) Maybe next year the champs from both cities can battle it out in Jersey for the ultimate crown?

Hangover Helper: Scrambled Egg and Sausage Hoagie at White Dog, Philadelphia

When you get me started on places to eat in Philadelphia, I get excited pretty quickly. When you ask me about brunch in Philadelphia, you'll be hard-pressed to shut me up. Going to college in this fine culinary city meant I was an expert on brunch; specifically, the places with brunches that could really cure a hangover. There were plenty of solid greasy spoon options (Bui's food truck, I'm looking at you), but White Dog was a little more classy—and right near campus. More

Snapshots from India: The Best Vegetarian Street Food

If you read a lot of Indian novels, you'll know that people sometimes use "veg" and "nonveg" as shorthand for "tame" and "sexy," respectively. But as we ate our way across Mumbai, through Rajasthan, and into central India, we discovered that when it came to food, the opposite was true. The vegetarian fare we ate was so much better, so much fresher, and so much more interesting than the nonvegetarian offerings. Here are some highlights from a month of eating around India: chaat, pakoras, samosas, papad, and more. More

Sausage City: Kurowski's Sausage Shop in Avondale

Walking into Kurowski's and ordering "kielbasa" would probably get you laughed out of the store. Because that's like walking into Baskin Robbins and ordering "ice cream." Kielbasa really just means sausage, so to navigate Kurowski's, you'd better come prepared with some more specific instructions. More

A Sandwich a Day: Joe's Special at Joe Jost's in Long Beach, CA

Since 1924, Long Beach locals have been flocking to Joe Jost's, a mellow bar that serves up beers at 29 degrees (they even have a thermometer showing the current temperature) by the schooner along with pickled eggs, chili peppers, peanuts, pretzels, and a delicious little sandwich called the "Joe's Special." For $2.95, bartenders will give you a Polish sausage wrapped in a fresh slice of rye bread, served with Swiss cheese, a pickle and mustard. More

Hot Dog of the Week: RJ's Hot Dog Stand near Philadelphia Airport

After two years of writing this column, I get asked fairly often if I'm sick of hot dogs. But there's so many regional nuances and new places opening that, no, it doesn't ever get boring. One thing that definitely keeps it exciting is discovering super bizarre old-school hot dog stands that I've never heard of tucked away in some forgotten neighborhood at the bottom of Philadelphia, like RJ's. More

Tulsa: Claud's Hamburgers

While Ron's is certainly thriving, the burgers, though quite good, just aren't the same. Thankfully, the crown has been passed to Claud's. Drive down Peoria past the glitzy part to a neighborhood of cleaners and tire repair shops and you'll see a small white building just like the mom and pop roadside diners described 70 years ago in chapter 15 of Grapes of Wrath. Inside, little has changed since the day it opened. More

Guide to Grilling: Planking

For all that I've grilled (150-plus recipes and counting), there's always plenty of uncharted territory. One of those areas: planking. There aren't usually many planking recipes in cookbooks, save the ubiquitous planked salmon. Put simply, planking is cooking food directly on a piece of hardwood. When cooking this way, the surface of the food touching the wood picks up some of the plank's natural flavors. More

Gourmet Dog Japon at Seattle's Pike Place Market

There's no denying that the Japanese have some seriously bizarre food treatments, particularly when Western food gets involved. Deep-fried hamburgers filled with potato salad? Apparently sticking two American things together makes it extra American. At Gourmet Dog Japon, they serve beef sausages, meatballs, chicken sausages and Polish kielbasa with a slew of Japanese toppings, like bonito flakes and pickled red ginger. More

Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Schlitz Classic 1960s Formula

I was quite excited when I heard that the Pabst Brewing Company was fixing to replace the stuff I'd been drinking with a re-creation of the original Schlitz formula. I grabbed the new-old Schlitz and also a few other beers of its kind, so as to conduct the blind tasting that would finally prove that my preference wasn't based on packaging, euphony, or false nostalgia. More

Scandinavian Streetfood: Rød Pølse, the Essence of Danish Hot Dogs

Hot dogs. Probably the world's most popular fast food, and by far the ruler of Scandinavian street food. The three Scandinavian countries all have their own varieties and local traditions, but they all have one thing in common: They absolutely love hot dogs. From boiled to grilled, with or without condiments, homemade or bought at the local hotdog pusher; Scandinavians jump on every chance they get to grab a dog. More

Scott's Bar-B-Q in Hemingway, South Carolina

Scott's only serves whole hog barbecue on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. During those three days the stores sells 15 to 20 hogs' worth (between 2,000 and 2,800 pounds) of smoked pork, attracting visitors from miles around. The rest of the week, Scott's is not much more than a half-stocked, rustic convenience mart with doors that seldom open for regular business. More

Hot Dog of the Week: Dapper Dog Cart in Philadelphia

The Dapper Dog cart comes out for lunch a few days a week, and every Friday and Saturday night on the bar-choked corner of 2nd and Poplar Street in the city's Northern Liberties section of Philly. The menu is total drunk food, the kind of thing I might try to make at home after 12 beers and maybe a funny-tasting cigarette: hot dogs topped with pepperoni, tomato sauce, asparagus, mac and cheese, fried eggs. They also do all sorts of specials, such as the mashed potato dog above or a "Greek hot dog" which is basically the contents of a Greek salad piled onto a hot dog. More

Cook the Book: Albóndigas

These Albóndigas or little meatballs, fried and braised in a saffron scented tomato sauce, are a tapas bar staple. They are much lighter both in texture and flavor than their Italian-American counterparts but the basic preparation is very similar. The meatballs are made from a mix of ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, parsley, and white wine, then coated in flour and deep fried. More

Tasting Tour: Portland, Oregon: 5 of the Most Interesting Street Vendors

Street food can just mean hot dogs or shawarma in many cities, but in Portland, Oregon, sidewalk chefs are reinventing this formerly humble food genre as we speak (or eat, as the case may be). Name a food and it's probably being hawked from a cart, truck, trailer, or even bike. While other cities have onerous laws preventing vendors from securing a permit and setting up at a specific location on a regular basis, Portland is all about the street food culture. There are "pods" all over the city, essentially food courts in parking lots and other open spaces, just devoted to street food. There are far too many to pick from, but here are five vendors that really caught my eye. Obviously there are plenty of others with inspired, cheap, and delicious food—chime in with your favorites. More

NYC: Arturo's Coal Oven Pizza with a Bunch of Type Nerds

[Photograph: Adam Kuban] Nick Sherman. [Photograph: pizzarules.com] Before I draw down the wrath of the formidable type-design community with the headline above, let me just say that I wrote it with love after recognizing in them a certain amount of kinship. Why am I even talking about letter headz? Because where the worlds of pizza geekery and type obsessives intersect you'll find Nick Sherman. Pizza freaks may know Mr. Sherman as the dude behind Pizza Rules! Font freaks likely know him from Woodtyper, his recent overhaul of the design at MyFonts, and his new job with Font Bureau. Anyway,... More

A Sandwich a Day: Hawallan Tortas at Puebla Mini Mart

The Hawallan torta at Puebla Mini Mart takes its tropical name from a thick slice of grilled pineapple that lies within the center of this massive sandwich. It's surrounded by slices of griddled ham, spicy carne enchilada, quesillo (think Mexican string cheese), refried beans, chipotles in adobo, tomatoes, onions, avocado, and pickled jalapeño all stuffed into a soft bollilo roll and pressed until warm and crisp. More