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July 3, 2009

The smoked elk hot dog



I was thinking of doing a post asking everyone to tell us how you're celebrating the Fourth. But frankly, I don't think yours could compete with guest poster Bucky's. EL

Tomorrow is Independence Day, and this year we will engage in one of our semi-traditional activities, going up into the mountains to have lunch at the Coney Island Boardwalk Hot Dog Stand in Bailey, Colo. ...


I say “semi-traditional” because it isn’t something we plan our Fourth around.  But if we aren’t traveling and if we aren’t having a neighborhood block party and if Bucky Jr. isn’t having one of his combination cookout/horseshoe pitching tournaments, that’s what Kaikala and I do on the Fourth of July.
None of those other diversions will be present tomorrow; we’re going to Coney Island Boardwalk for lunch.
As you can see, the Coney Island Boardwalk Hot Dog Stand is a building designed to look like a hot dog in a bun.  That is its primary attraction.  It also makes it a sort of fun place to eat.
We’ve discussed before in the blog about the “proper hot dog” and the “proper hot dog condiments.”  I don’t think anyone has ever opined on a smoked elk hot dog with jalapenos and cheddar cheese.  (Picture of menu included just so you know I’m not making it up.)   But that’s very likely what I’m eating tomorrow.
And just to be contrary, I think I’ll put ketchup on it. 


Posted by Elizabeth Large at 9:26 AM | | Comments (37)


Why haven't Esskay and Nathan's tapped into the lucrative Elk Hot Dog market?

Well, I have guests in town from Iceland and they brought me three large packs of lamb hot dogs, complete with the proper sauce (remoulade)and crispy fried onions. While they eat steaks grilled this weekend, I'll be enjoying my grilled hot dogs! Yum.

Baltimore is in need of some good game! Especially baseball, lately!

Joyce, there was a good game on Tuesday.

Sadly, the last elk in Elkridge was shot around 1917.

So, Bucky, what does an elk hot dog taste like? I've never had elk.

Laura Lee asked what does an elk hot dog taste like?

See, I never know how to answer the "what does XXX taste like" questions.

Elk tastes more like beef than it does ham or mutton; it is gamier than beef or buffalo, but not as gamey as moose, venison or antelope. I can stand to be in the kitchen when elk is being cooked; I can't when venison or antelope is cooking (gamey is a smell, too.)

Does that help?

Þylsur! You are so lucky, B'More Cat Lover!

Bucky, I am jealous. I want a cheddar jalapeño elk dog.

And I want þylsur now.


How'd you get the tilde in jalapeno, Lissa?

I have this spell-checker plug in for Firefox that is so awesome, it put in the ñ for me.

Also, I use gnome, and it has this really cook character picker tool. I use it all the time.

(Translation for those who don't speak geek - "Lissa has some computer thing she thinks is really cool but would bore the hell out of any sane human being. She uses this to do detailed useless stuff. Just act impressed, so you don't hurt the poor socially inept dear's little heart. You might need her to fix your computer some day, after all')

Oh, Lissa with her new technology. She thinks she's so cool.

You know, I have computer skills as well. If anyone needs help with his/her Commodore 64, I'm your man.


Still got it.

Oh Lissa, bless your geeky heart! Yes, how you "do that voodoo you do" might bore us. That doesn't make you socially inept -- it just (maybe) makes you more "ept" at computers than socializing is all.

RoCK, you win. I didn't start until DOS 3.3 and an 8088.

Hal probably beats both of us. I think he built his first computer out of flint and rawhide.

no rocky mountain oysters?
Not that the elk dogs aren't impressive, esp. for the Fourth.
Bucky, are the elk farm-raised or snagged in the wild?

I'm sure they are farm raised..there are several elk farms that I know of around Colorado now. And probably some that I don't know about.

Is it even legal to sell/serve true wild game commercially? How would the USDA inspect it?

I'm pretty sure that if true wild-shot game was available in restaurants, I would have run across a commercial hunter or two in my time. I never have.

You are correct, Bucky. Wild game can't legally be served in restaurants unless it is farm raised. Same for sold raw.

I wonder how the seafood restaurants that buy from local fishermen get around this?

All wild game sausage I have eaten has been cured and smoked. To tell the truth I can't tell the difference between reindeer, venison, elk, etc. sausage and good quality beef or pork smoked sausage.

Geeks--gotta love them! We'd all be in big trouble without them, right?

Right you are, Dahlink. And the best ones live here on D@L.

I have been to a festival that served wild game. I think they got around the law by giving it away. Then again, the festival was in West Virginia, so it wouldn't have been the first law that Mountaineers have disregarded.

Lissa & RoCK -

In 1968, while working for a Fortune 500 company (Bell Tel before the breakup), I signed up for COBOL programming class. When I submitted the reimbursement paperwork, I was simmoned to a preety high level of HR (then known as Personnel) where I was told that only Fortran would be reimbursed because (big, vehement voice) THERE IS NO BUSINESS APPLICATION FOR COMPUTERS!

Eve, what's really funny about that story is that COBOL is still being used today (whether it should be is another question), while I don't think there's much FORTRAN going on. At least I hope not.

In my business it's best to avoid letting anyone know you can write COBOL, for fear that they might try to make you actually do so.

Eve, it was a baby bell that asked me how to spell Unix.

(Unix was invented at Bell Labs.)

The left tentacle knows not what the right appendage is doing.

(And, yeah, COBOL is still out there, and COBOL programmers made a mint around 1999.)

OK, I've gotten a couple of emails from D@L readers here in Denver chastizing me for doing a post on the Coney Island and ignoring Biker Jim's Hot Dog Cart in downtown Denver.

My bad.

Biker Jim's is not your normal street food cart. His has a gas grill, his brats and dogs are grilled to order and he seves exotic brats, dogs and sausages like reindeer, elk, buffalo, wild boar and something I eat called Alaskan Italian sausage. I've never asked him what it was made from, fearing the answer might be baby seal. That would break my heart almost as much as that Sarah McLaughlin adopt-a-dog commercial.

Anyway, there you go. If you've always wanted to be a street food vendor, I've given you the perfect concept (and we all know who I'm talking to here). Or, if you are making a list for the next time you visit our dusty ol' cowtown, Biker Jim's should certainly be on it.

That would break my heart almost as much as that Sarah McLaughlin adopt-a-dog commercial.

That one is a bit over the top.

Bucky: my family knows that when that commercial (Sarah McLaughlin) comes on, the tv immediately has to be changed. I cry every time.
We have 4 cats and 3 dogs so we certainly can't adopt any more, but it breaks my heart every time.

I'm definitely expanding the menu. I was nervous because gator fritters were the only sort of exotic game I had.

Cosmos Girl - the odd thing about that commercial is that it is so effective, it is ineffective. It is supposed to tug at your heartstrings. It does that so well that I don't know anyone who watches it. They all click over to another channel when it comes on.

What good is a commercial that nobody will watch?

Dude, the guy puts cream cheese on his brats. Why didn't you mention he's a genius?

jl - you're right. I forgot. (I never have cream cheese on a hot dog or brat, but I do go for his caramelized onions and, once in a while, jalapeños.)

Hey! It worked!


OK, jl, that takes NYC out of the business plan.

No kidding.
They make you get permits to drive around and feed people?
We don't need no stinking permits. Our famous Rattlesnake Remoulade will be our permit.

Bucky and Cosmos Girl - I am so with you about that Sara commercial. If I can't change the channel, I will leave the room. It gets me every time.

Funny you went there. Just yesterday, 7/5/09, I saw a special on hot dogs in America on PBS and your Coney Island was one of the featured.
I particularly liked when the old man owner said, "I don't have to do no advertisin'; people just drive by and see a hot dog shaped building and have to stop and have some!".

Lone Lady - Yeah, it's a kind of landmark hereabouts.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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