Late into October 2012, Big Tex lost his jaw. It was a grim warning: Standing tall in the sky, unmoving, the lower half of his face erupted in roaring flames. Black smoke poured from his hat and into the sky over Fair Park. It was an omen. For what?
In 2018, sitting at the Cold Beer Company’s bar, the first chilly wind tumbles into the dining room. It does not mean it’s autumn. Other cities experience the season non-Texans refer to as “fall,” but Dallas experiences a change in weather patterns that announces something else. Lock, then slash your front door with blood: It is the time when restaurants compete with the bat shit foods of the State Fair with bat shit foods of their own.
The kitchen at Cold Beer Company is small. It’s the size of a studio apartment on a mime’s salary, and it’s hoarded-up with enough equipment to fire-up dishes like a meatball sub with melted Provolone cheese, delicious Wagyu cheeseburgers on Tuesdays — they blend bacon, cayenne pepper, garlic, salt and egg right into the beef — and a smoked turkey sandwich that’s as big as a Star Destroyer. They don’t have much room, but they find room. They have found room for a new, bizarrely delicious creation: A footlong hot dog in a poppy-seed bun, littered with spicy pickles and pulverized potato chips, and — help us all — peanut butter.
There is creamy peanut butter on a hot dog, and it’s great. It’s ingenious acid, heat and spice. The salty juices of the hot dog find creamy peanut butter, and you’ll shake your head in disbelief. Are we supposed to find it delicious? Are we OK? The hot dog beckons, answering “yes, my child” to both things.
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It’s like a bizarro chili dog or a drunk roommate’s version of the peanut butter Elvis. I downed half, the peanut butter warming and fused to the bun. The sensations come together: Crunch and salt and creamy with bright, hot pickles. The Funky Coney Dena — that's its name, because we must be able to name our destructor — is slathered with Jif creamy peanut butter and topped with Jenkins Jalapeno Jelly. Sharp, strong, spicy pickles are scattered everywhere like a Chicago Dog served by the Joker. Hot dogs aren’t serious, so why should we treat them seriously?
“You can do anything to a hot dog,” says Rick Shew, Cold Beer Company’s marketing manager.
The Cold Beer Company has let the hot dog loose on the menu alongside Atomic Tots, which are tater tots served next to a habanero salsa, and a Macheesmo, a pastrami melt dripping with beer cheese. Forget the fair. Sit at a great bar, and eat a salty-sweet hot dog that will make you happy.
Cold Beer Co., 3600 Main St.