The race started Friday at lunch with Spoonfed Grill off to a quick start. Saturday, Pineda and Guzman were neck and neck while Dreamcake hit pit row for repairs. Stay tuned to see how this collection of kitchens on wheels finish the race.
This blog really started as a self taught website experiment. Then it became a fun way to promote my favorite places. Now it is a quest to find a place worthy of a post. Today I decided to find a good hot dog in Birmingham. That sent me to Urban Spoon, then Google and I ended up at this post: Hot-Dog-Time-Machine A very impressive run down of some great Birmingham Hot Dog places. In the post is a link to a video from Southern Foodway Alliance: Hot Dogopolis
If you read that blog and watch that video I guarantee you will be in Downtown Birmingham with a hot dog in one hand and a Grapico in the other for your next lunch. Its more than food – it’s culture. It took us less than 45 mins to pack up and head downtown. We parked by the McWane Center and had a short walk to see Gus at Pete’s Famous, then over to see Andrew at Lyric and finally, for desert, we stopped in with George at Gus’s. They were all there working away at their grill selling their hot dogs. All three dogs were different but I can’t say which one was the best. Gus’s sauce was a little more sweet and Lyric’s special meat had more flavor. After 3 hot dogs I did decide the “special” was not for me. I like the regular dog all the way, I also had rather have a Coke than a Grapico. All three joints sport Golden Flake chips which are the greatest chips in the world – go dill pickle chips!
My recommendation – Grab your kids, grab your wife and take a walking tour of some of the best hot dog joints in the world. Right here in Birmingham.
Pete’s Famous – I did the special dog. I was somewhat puzzled when he asked me if I wanted for here or to go. I quickly said to go. The lady behind me asked where the dining room was, he said “you’re in it” with a grin. This is a true eat while standing place. The special dog has kraut, onions, mustard sauce and seasoned meat. It was very tasty, since these were to go they did not photograph as well as the others.
Lyric Hot Dog and Grill – This was our second stop and we at in, they have a dining room, and ordered a sampling of 3 dogs. One Special (w meat), One Slaw Dog and One regular all the way. The regular all they was dog allows you to appreciate the sauce uncomplicated with the meat. Both are good but when comparing the restaurants the sauce is one of the major differences. Lyric also has enough room to serve fries but who needs fries when you have so many hot dog to try
Gus’s which is run by George. This was our last stop and we decided to share one hot dog. The choice was a regular dog all the way. The sauce at Gus’s is much sweeter than Lyric or Pete’s. At first it was a surprise but it really added complexity and made Gus’s dog stand out. I really need to go back by Pete’s and have a dog without the special meat so compare.
My goal with this blog is to share lunch foods that I return to a restaurant to enjoy again and again. Some restaurants make this task difficult by having too many great items on the menu. Urban Cookhouse falls into this catagory. Too many good things to choose. Its also very busy at lunch and more of a chick place. Two characteristics which normally would keep me away but I just keep going back.
Although I classify it as a chick place they have some man style food. The Chipotle Braised Pork is hearty and the yeast rolls they use to make the sandwiches rock. This was my first meal at Urban Cookhouse and it is responsible for my many returns. The Broccoli Salad is a great way to enjoy the nutrient rich veggie. Combine these two and you feel like you ate a healthy meal. If you don’t care to feel healthy order the Hot Cheddar Pasta instead of the Broccoli Salad. It’s some great stick to your ribs mac and cheese, delicious.
You already have enough reasons to go but I want to recomend another healthy combo, the Turkey Crunch w/ Roasted Veggies. Its unlike anything out there and it feels healthy. The sandwich has a hot-sweet mustard on it which gives it a kick. The turkey is jucy and smokey, I love it. The roasted veggies have a wonderful garlic flavor and are served al dente. These two locally grown options are awesome together and will have you returning for more.
Urban Cookhouse is cool, very local and sustainable. I call it a chick joint but that probably is not fair, it’s not a tea room. They have a great menu of all types of items that will appeal to anyone with taste buds. They are prepared for a long line and they make it move fast. This place is well worth the fight for parking and a little time in line to eat. If those issues turn you off; go eat at 11:15am, just before the rush begins.