Friday, July 8, 2011

The Yank's Franks Testing Kitchen Re-Opens

It's been a long while since the Yank's Franks test kitchen has been open, but we had a special reason to unlock the doors and fire up the cooking equipment. As you (hopefully) read in my previous article, we were recently visited by Chubby Werewolf and he came to Yank's bearing gifts.

On the menu for the testing were Zweigle Red & Whites and Skyline Original Chili. Both were products we were excited to sample.

Double Dog Dennis, The French Fry King and I were all present. Unfortunately, Hot Diggity was unavailable as she was visiting her 8 month old grandson, The Hot Dog Cowboy.

As you can see from the photo (above), the Dogs were served on buns that are not typical of Yank's Franks. They were given to us by our baker, Fantini Bakery to test out. Also, what Hot Dog Tasting could be conducted without fries? So, it was homemade Cajun Fries to keep The French Fry King smiling. And, it was One Red and One White Zweigle's for each of us to keep Double Dog Dennis happy. What kept me happy? I started with two vodka martinis. That'll do it.

I had my Red Dog with Cincinnati-Style Chili and My White Dog with my favorite mustard, Kosciusko. The Dogs...both of them were absolutely delicious. To me, the look of the White Dog was a bit scary. While I have tried White Dogs at Heid's of Liverpool, that was over 30 years ago. If you have never had a white dog, give it a try. They are awesome!

Onto the Chili. The Skyline Chili is what I was really looking forward to as I have heard so much about it. The first thing I noticed was the aroma. I have opened several different brands of chili from cans, and have been consistently repulsed by the odor. Not at all true with Skyline. While the aroma was subtle, it was pleasant.

The next obvious characteristic is the consistency. It was very soupy. I didn't know what to make of this as I worried it would be too runny for a hot dog topping. In the ingredients list on the can, listed first is beef (which I think means beef would be the ingredient most prominent). I continue to be skeptical that beef deserves top billing.

And finally the taste. The Cincinnati-Style Chili was delicious. It definitely reminded me of Mexican Mole (which I love) as it has a hint of a chocolate flavor. Good Mexican Mole just has a hint of little that you almost have to concentrate while tasting to get it. The same is true of this chili. After having the Chili on my hot dog, I had more with just a spoon. Awesome Chili! So good that our Annual Cross-Country Hot Dog Tour may include a swing through Cincinnati.

As to whether Cincinnati Chili makes its way onto the Yank's Franks menu is still undecided. The consistency makes it a messy and difficult topping. It also bothers me that people would know if served a chili that spent time in the can. I have always considered chili in a can as wrong. We'll see. Maybe that trip to Cincinnati will give us a different perspective. I'll let you know.

A special Thank you to Chubby Werewolf for this fantastic meal.

Frankly, Yank loves Chili Dogs!

1 comment:

  1. Hey George!..

    I'm a fellow lover of encased meats. I was reading your blog and since I am from Cincinnati I thought I HAD to chime in on this post!

    First of all, I think it's great you love Skyline chili, but you have not had the true experience! Issue number 1 is the canned chili. It's ok, but you have to make it yourself with the seasonings from Skyline which tastes totally different than from the can. In other words, you need to buy a pack of Cincinnati style chili seasoning and a couple pounds of ground beef and simmer it all together on your stove. Totally different experience and taste!

    Second, is the dog. Cincinnati style cheese coneys use a short, roughly 4 inch bluegrass style dog that is grilled on a flat top grill. Not sure how your dog was cooked but the style of dog is very different.

    Third, there is something about the cheese used on Cincy style dogs. It's very soft, room temperature, very finely shredded, and I have not been able to duplicate it after many years of trying!

    The bun is nothing special, just a shorter than average steamed bun.

    Thanks for giving my cities dogs a try. I hope you don't give up after that try though. Try making it yourself or hopefully you swing by Cincy some time for the real thing. You won't be dissapointed!

    Great blog by the way. Keep up the good work!

    -Andy from Cincy


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