There are only a few places left to get a real street dog. Dallas is a hot dog ghost town while major cities around the country have dogs pinned to sidewalks. There are carts that griddle in the open breeze, squiggle them with mustard and pile on butter-soft onions while we're gasping for hot dog air. You could count the number of true hot dog joints left in the city on one hand.
In East Los Angeles, you'll find one of the great street dogs: Hit the right corner, and you’ll hear the crackle-sizzle of a flat-grilled tube meat, wrapped like a scarf with bacon, packed with burnt white onions into a bun, griddling on the street under nothing but the clear blue sky. Once in the bun, this L.A. dog gets a tri-tipped bottle blast of ketchup, mustard and a mayonnaise all at once and over everything. The best dogs are devoured while standing in the cough-smog air.
Food tastes better when both feet are planted on a sidewalk.
There are only a few places left to order a hot dog in Dallas, but Revolver Taco Lounge has the most emotionally moving street meat in the city right now. It’s road-food art, and you’ll feel a primordial sting when you get it. It’s the same prick of emotion the first people got when they put fire to meats. Smoky bacon spirals around a Luscher’s Red Hot.
It’s glassy-cold on my recent visit to Revolver, and chilly rain falls. The taqueria serves cold weather food — you’ll likely catch garlic hitting a pan as soon as you walk in. Inside, Revolver owner Regino Rojas is whacking meat with a cleaver. The Mexican Dog was inspired by the hot dogs he grew up on, bacon-wrapped dogs with white onions rolling in carts around Guadalajara, Mexico. The sizzle steam is unmistakable. Rojas amps up his version with crema; bright, fresh tomatoes and onions; and a scatter of tender mayocoba beans.
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The Luscher’s dog is near bursting with smoky char flavor. Rojas says his buddy supplied the bun: Hans Peter Muller's bread from Swiss Pastry Shop has the consistency of a fire-licked marshmallow. Rojas says he removed the dog on the menu after it didn't sell much but placed it back out of simple love.
A jalapeño that’s also touched fire comes with it. The basket it all comes in is heavy, which is a good sign. Food that makes baskets heavy will typically aerate a hangover like a lawn tool.
When I arrive, I’m told the dog will take 10 minutes. It’s a joyous 10 minutes — how often are hot dogs and their toppings made to order in this city? One of the everlasting, unrelenting joys of street food is the fire, smoke and wind. You watch food get made in front of you. Street food is home cooking, and Revolver’s dog is straight out of the mind of a chef at home.
Revolver Taco, 2701 Main St.