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 Post subject: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:53 pm 
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Location: Bucharest, Romania
I had to stay for several days in Washington DC, and recently returned. BTW, the flights to and from the USA were difficult to bear.
Since it was my first visit to the USA, I wanted to do an 'American thing', specifically to buy and eat a hot-dog.
This proved to be a lot harder than I thought. I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, and it's true I didn't have a lot of time to search for hot-dogs.
But I looked at the menus in food-shops and food-vans (if this is a correct term), and none seemed to sell hot-dogs, only sandwiches and Mac-related stuff.
Eventually, just before departure, I found a 'pretzel-dog' at Auntie Anne's in the Dulles airport. Wasn't particularly tasty, but it was the closest to a classic hot-dog that I could find.
So, is it true that hot-dogs are difficult to find in Washington DC, or I was just unlucky?


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 Post subject: Re: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:22 am
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Location: maine
hot dogs are not all that popular...
in fact it is a poor persons food.

some things linger in other places, about america, for reasons unknown.

I do find hot dogs in all the markets, and there is some nice brands.. but for the most part, it is a food to question integrity.

I used hot dogs, a particular brand, at a time when I needed a crazy amount of protien.. and then stayed away from them.

gotta be careful about the hot dogs. most are not good, unless a local market, small place making their own, and they will have pride about ingredients.. most do not, and it ruined the hot dog.

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 Post subject: Re: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:50 pm 
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Location: USA
Tzupy wrote:
So, is it true that hot-dogs are difficult to find in Washington DC, or I was just unlucky?

I don't think hot dogs are difficult to find if you do some Internet browsing to find out where the good hot dog venues are located. You would have to be a little lucky to find a good one just walking around. I am not from Washington, but I know that "Five Guys" has hot dogs (and hamburgers) and they have many locations in Washington. Five Guys also has killer fries (fresh-cut and twice cooked in peanut oil).

Seven-Eleven (and many other convenience stores) sell (cooked) hot-dogs, but I have never had the courage to try one there.

BTW, hot dogs are basically sausages, and were started in areas where there were a lot of German immigrants in the US. The Midwest (Chicago especially) probably has more hot dog restaurants than Washington DC area.


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 Post subject: Re: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:56 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Tzupy wrote:
BTW, the flights to and from the USA were difficult to bear.

Tell me more, I will be going there later this year. Unfortunately I find air travel unpleasant at the best of times.


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 Post subject: Re: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:30 am 
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Location: Bucharest, Romania
Thank you for the inputs. It seems I was a bit unlucky and not persistent enough.
The 'Five Guys' is supposed to have a location in the McPherson square, which is close to the hotel.
And also in the Dulles airport, but I somehow missed it. Well, maybe next time I'll have a hot-dog at the 'Five Guys'.

Now about long-distance flights, here is what I plan to do if I have to fly to the USA again:
- start early in the morning, but well-rested.
- have the shortest long flight possible: instead of going through Frankfurt or Zurich, I'll ask for connection through London.
- ask for aisle seat, in order to be able to go and stretch my legs without bothering others.
- ask for seat in the very back of the plane, as far away as possible from the engines (I already did this); the front-most seats would be even better, but my company won't provide me with a first / business class ticket.
- bring and use my own Sennheiser 350 headset, for better sound comfort; active-cancelling headsets might be forbidden.


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 Post subject: Re: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:44 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Washington DC
m0002a wrote:
Tzupy wrote:
So, is it true that hot-dogs are difficult to find in Washington DC, or I was just unlucky?
I am not from Washington, but I know that "Five Guys" has hot dogs (and hamburgers) and they have many locations in Washington. Five Guys also has killer fries (fresh-cut and twice cooked in peanut oil).


Exactly. Five Guys is definitely the best place in town for hot dogs -- I wouldn't order them anywhere else except perhaps Fuddruckers (haven't had one there, but I've seen it on the menu). The best way for someone from another country to experience them is to go to a baseball game and have a hotdog while watching the Nationals lose.

Active noise cancelling headphones are fine for use on U.S. airplanes. The only thing you can't use is GPS. Lots of flights even have wifi now.


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 Post subject: Re: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:04 am 
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Location: Boston, MA, USA
If you are ever in New York City, you need only walk around a bit and you will find a man with a cart selling hot dogs. Some of the guys selling them are pretty interesting to talk to. I think Chicago may also have hot dog carts, but I am not sure about that.

Five Guys is an excellent chain for "American food" (ie greasy fries, burgers, hot dogs). Many delis also serve hot dogs (again, I am particularly familiar with New York delis). But what I think of as the true hot dog experience is finding a random cart selling them. Carts are easiest to find in places with lots of foot traffic, like parks and museums. :D

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 Post subject: Re: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:52 pm 
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Location: San Diego
third result on google...

http://www.yelp.com/biz/manouch-hot-dog ... shington-2


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 Post subject: Re: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:18 pm 
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m0002a wrote:
Seven-Eleven (and many other convenience stores) sell (cooked) hot-dogs, but I have never had the courage to try one there.

That's because you (and I) aren't even sure of what year the dogs were placed on those rotating rack things.

That and the fact that I like to eat food with fewer wrinkles than these particular hot dogs. For example raisins come to mind.

In NYC I would try to buy from someone who's Jewish or even Arabic. They won't handle pork products, which means your hot dog will contain hooves and snouts of much higher quality.

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 Post subject: Re: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:13 am 
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Location: Boston, MA, USA
aristide1 wrote:
m0002a wrote:
Seven-Eleven (and many other convenience stores) sell (cooked) hot-dogs, but I have never had the courage to try one there.

That's because you (and I) aren't even sure of what year the dogs were placed on those rotating rack things.

In Boy Scouts & cross country I used to eat a lot of Gate gas station hot dogs in the Southeast USA. They were actually pretty good. Can't speak to 7-11, though. The Gates I frequented were quite clean and well kept.

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 Post subject: Re: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:25 pm 
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Location: Naples, Italy
You can find a hot dog, french fries and other greasy stuff stand outside the National Air and Space Museum (pretty crowded because it's close to the museums), another one should be at the beginning of the Mall, starting from Lincoln Memorial, but it seems that the hot dog stands are definitely fewer than in other cities, especially outside touristy areas.
As somebody told you, you could go to a ballpark and get a hotdog there.

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 Post subject: Re: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 12:16 pm
Posts: 126
Tzupy wrote:
- ask for aisle seat, in order to be able to go and stretch my legs without bothering others.
- ask for seat in the very back of the plane, as far away as possible from the engines (I already did this); the front-most seats would be even better, but my company won't provide me with a first / business class ticket.
- bring and use my own Sennheiser 350 headset, for better sound comfort; active-cancelling headsets might be forbidden.

I agree about the aisle seat.

With regard to seat location, it's a good idea to check the type of plane, and avoid the disaster of a rear seat on a plane with rear-mounted engines.

I bring a pair of Sennheiser 280 headphones, which help with the noise. Also, I bring a pair of simple foam sound muffles, like you would get for operating loud equipment.


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 Post subject: Re: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:03 pm 
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Posts: 2831
Location: USA
Tzupy wrote:
...active-cancelling headsets might be forbidden.

I have never heard of active-canceling headsets being forbidden on flights. I bring my Sennheiser PCX-300 active noise canceling headphones all the time. I frequently see others with Bose active noise cancelling headphones. Once I was flying Business Class on a United Airlines Boeing 777 for an overseas trip (don't recall which destination), and Bose Active Canceling Headphones were included in the Business Class seats (the controls to turn on/off the noise cancelling feature were built into the seats).


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 Post subject: Re: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:56 pm 
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Location: ontario
strange, but now that i think of it, i dont remember really seeing hot dog carts anywhere other than NYC, maybe a random vendor here or there, but nothing like nyc.

about the flights: i always book an emergency exit seat. and grab the window. i'll pick a flight based upon the availability of those seats. so much more legroom.

there shouldnt be any restrictions about using noise canceling headphones, but you might want to pack some good ear plugs in case you get bored of listening to whatever.

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 Post subject: Re: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:16 am 
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Location: Mississauga, ON
i love hot dogs from street vendors. i make it a point to try street meat wherever i go in north america (i didn't see too many hot dog stands in europe, :P)
personally, i think the hot dogs from toronto are by far the best. obviously my bias comes from having grown up near toronto, but i'll give my reasons for my preference below with comparisons to some of the hot dogs i've tried in american cities

TORONTO:
the selection of condiments at a toronto hot dog stand is amazing. being such a multicultural city, it is common to find stands that have vietnamese hot sauce (sriracha) next to jamaican hot sauce and german mustard. basically all the hot dog stands in toronto serve the same hot dog, grilled and on a yellowish bun. the only thing that differentiates each stand is price and condiment selection, condiment selection being the most key factor in choosing a hot dog. if you want mayonnaise, you'll have to nudge and wink at the vendor to get it from under the cart, as having mayonnaise out apparently violates some health code. if you're lucky, they may also have cheese sauce in their cache of condiment contraband.
generally your basic hot dogs will cost $2.50 - $3.00 on a typical street corner, and if you're near a touristy area or in a sports stadium, be prepared to be robbed of double that amount. street vendors will also have vegetarian, italian and polish sausages for a bit more.

NEW YORK:
been to new york and i'm not a fan of steamed/boiled sausages. meat is smaller than toronto, and sometimes the water from the sausage makes the bun a little soggy.

CHICAGO:
chicaco style of hot dog is apparently made unique with a standard selection of condiments. i believe it is relish, onion, mustard and celery salt. no ketchup. not bad, but again, i'm not a fan of the steamed weiners and they're quite small.

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 Post subject: Re: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:30 am 
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Location: Colorado, USA
OP: Hope you had a good trip and hope the American people you met made a decent impression on you.

Five Guys is usually good quality.
Our local Major League Baseball team has good american hot dogs at their venue, Coors Field. All-Beef "Hebrew National".
There is a national chain called Sonic that has some pretty good hot dogs. I like the extra long cheese coney- it's smothered in beef chili and cheddar cheese.

That being said, I usually prefer Brats to hot dogs. Usinger's Brats made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are good. Also there is a local place called Caninos that makes some excellent brats.

Quality varies widely, as probably anywhere.

Some of the best breakfast sausage I've ever had was one we visited Ireland.

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 Post subject: Re: No hot-dogs in Washington DC?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:06 pm 
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Location: USA
I am not sure why anyone would think that hot dogs are an American Icon. Hamburgers outsell hot dogs at restaurants in the USA by at least 10-1, and probably much higher. The fast food chains with the most outlets (McDonald's, Subway, Burger King, Wendy's, Taco Bell, KFC, etc), don't even have hot dogs on the menu.

Best deal on a hot dog is at Costco Food Court. A large hot dog with drink (free refills) is $1.50. Membership may be required, but you can usually go into the food court area without a membership card (but some cashiers at the food court may ask for card). Expired cards are fine, since they don't swipe them. If I was still in college, I would probably eat there every day.


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