Daily Dish

The inside scoop on food in Los Angeles

Category: Hot Dogs & Corndogs

Sampler Platter: Warm ice cream, canned bacon, secret fast-food menus and West Coast vs. East Coast barbecue wars

Pecan-crusted spareribs with Kentucky bourbon barbecue sauce. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Cali-style burgers in Philly, secret fast-food menus, a new barbecue joint in Mid-City West and more in today's food news roundup.

--Unilever is working on producing "ice cream" that can be sold at room temperature. Popsop
--The Smokin’ Joint barbecue restaurant opens at 3rd Street and La Cienega Boulevard. Sweetzer + Blackburn
--Food Marathon visits -- and likes -- New York BBQ on La Brea Boulevard.
--Need a bacon fix but too lazy to cook it? Enjoy some Tac Bac - Tactical Canned Bacon. Think Geek
--How to order off the secret menus from In-N-Out Burger, Fatburger, Jamba Juice, Kogi BBQ and Starbucks. Squid Ink
--Gizmodo says Chipotle's new iPhone app, which allows you to build your meal, add special instructions, send your order to any Chipotle outlet and pay for it, "sets the standard for deliciously unhealthy fast food convenience."
--The New York Times hops on the Mexican hot dog bandwagon.
--Food She Thought reviews Ortolan's Bourdeaux dinner, held Aug. 26.
--Pat Saperstein of Eating LA reviews Allston Yacht Club. Los Feliz Ledger
--P.Y.T., the hot new burger joint in Philadelphia, has people raving about their "California-style burgers" -- even Roots drummer Questlove. Burgatory
--The winner of Ben & Jerry's "Do the World a Flavor Contest" is Toni Gunnison of Mount Horeb, Wis., who invented a caramel ice cream with almonds and a caramel swirl.

--Elina Shatkin

Photo: Pecan-crusted spareribs with Kentucky bourbon barbecue sauce. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Pink's Hot Dogs to open at LAX

PinksLAXWhatever concerns the Pink family has about franchising Pink's Hot Dogs, an outpost of the iconic hot dog shack will open in LAX before year's end. If you're not flying out of the country, you're out of luck: It will be in the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

The airport Pink's will serve 11 of its 21 varieties of hot dogs and no hamburgers (though that's subject to change before the opening). Various accounts have it opening anywhere from late fall to late December.

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: Courtesy of Pink's

Sampler Platter: Hot dogs, cupcakes, tacos & Padma

Wienermobile CrashCheap hot dogs, giant cupcakes, Padma Lakshmi as a sitcom star? A cupcake that weighs more than you do? Wienermobile gone out of control? All this and more in today's food news roundup.

  • The newly revamped Wienermobile crashes into a Wisconsin house.
  • Long Island man claims he's reverse-engineered KFC's secret fried chicken recipe. New York Post
  • California's new law that requires chain restaurants with more than 20 outlets to post the calorie count of menu items is already causing some menu changes. Sacramento Bee
  • An interview with Doug Quint, proprietor of the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. Gothamist
  • Lobster: cheaper than hot dogs? Money
  • I Was a Baby Bulimic: A terrific story from NYT's former restaurant critic Frank Bruni about his somewhat tormented relationship with food.
  • Padma Lakshmi signed a development deal for a half-hour sitcom in which she'll star as a woman working in the culinary world. Variety
  • Earlier today, @BorderGrill's 1,000th follower won 20 free tacos from the new taco truck.
  • "World's Largest Cupcake" award goes to a 151-pound cupcake. World Record Academy

--Elina Shatkin

Photo: Tom McCauley / Journal Times/AP.

R.I.P., Oscar Mayer

Winermobilefuneral

His bologna had a first name. His bologna had a last name. So did he. More than simply a brand name or the punchline to a catchy ad jingle, Oscar G. Mayer, the former chairman of his family's eponymous meat products company has died. He passed away Monday at the age of 95 in a hospice facility in Fitchburg, Wis., reports the Daily Herald.

Founded by three German immigrant brothers, Gottfried, Max and Oscar Mayer, the company began selling sausages in Chicago in the 1890s. The basis of their success was the bratwurst, weisswurst and liverwurst made by Gottfried, a trained wurstmacher from Nurnburg. His sausages proved so popular that the Mayer brothers were soon making deliveries by horse-drawn wagon throughout Chicago, expanding their reach well beyond the city's German enclaves.

They began using the Oscar Mayer brand name in the 1920s, stamping it on the country's first packaged, sliced bacon, which the Mayer brothers introduced in 1924 -- an innovation that earned them a U.S. government patent.

Oscar G. Mayer began working for the family business in 1936, the same year the company introduced its popular Wienermobile. Mayer was named president in 1955 and chairman in 1966. He retired from the company in 1977 after 41 years. No word on whether the funeral procession will be led by the Wienermobile.

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: Friends and relatives carry the casket of George Molchan, who died in 2005 after portraying Oscar Mayer's spokesman, Little Oscar, for more than three decades. The procession to the cemetery was led by the Wienermobile. Credit: John Luke / Associated Press.

Pink's goes to Vegas

Pinks-hot-dogs

According to a story The Times ran earlier this week, Pink's hot dogs isn't interested in starting a franchise, but it will allow its signature dogs to be sold outside its stand on a limited basis. One place mentioned in the story is Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.

Pink's Hot Dogs Las Vegas is scheduled to open in August inside the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, at the south end of the property, with direct access to the massive crowds walking along Las Vegas Boulevard. The new 1,900 square-foot location will serve 14 varieties of dogs, offer indoor and outdoor seating and (since this is Vegas) serve alcohol.

The Vegas restaurateur running the new Pink's is Billy Richardson, who also owns LBS: A Burger Joint inside the Red Rock Casino. If cooking up hot dogs and blowing the money you made doing it on craps is your idea of a dream life, check out the Pink's job fair in July. The new Pink's expects to hire 30 to 35 people for positions including bartenders, line cooks and managers.

Owners Richard and Gloria Pink and Beverly Pink Wolf may say they're not interested in franchising Pink's, but this sure sounds awfully similar to a franchise. Reps for the new Pink's even refer to Richardson as the "franchisee." Could Pink's Times Square be next? A call to Pink's hasn't been returned yet.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

At Pink's hot dog stand in Hollywood, keeping it in the family

Pinks

Richard Pink and his wife, right, and sister have no intention of turning the nearly 70-year-old landmark, a big celebrity and tourist draw, into a franchise. They plan to stick to the original location at La Brea and Melrose. Read more here.

Photo credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times

Small Bites: Dinner with Nobu; speed dating night at Tiara Cafe; XIV happy hour coming soon

Nobu

Dinner and Nobu: Nobu Matsuhisa will prepare a seven-course omakase dinner and sake tasting at Nobu West Hollywood on Thursday, May 14. The menu will include courses such as live soft shell crab, bamboo shoots with uni-yuzu dressing, and roasted Wagyu beef with truffle teriyaki. Each course will be paired with a Hokusetsu sake. Nobu also will be signing books. $170 per person. Reservations are limited. 903 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood, (310) 657-5711. www.noburestaurants.com

Kind of lonely, hungry and in a rush? Tiara Cafe tonight hosts Hurry Date's speed dating night. Tiara dining card members will receive a 50% discount when registering.  Click here and enter the code CRUSH786 to sign up. 127 E. 9th St., Los Angeles, (213) 623-3663. www.tiara-cafe-la.com

Happy hour at XIV:Starting next Tuesday, May 12, Michael Mina’s restaurant XIV launches a new happy hour, “6ix on Sunset," from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, available on the terrace ($6 cocktails, $6 terrace menu, $6 valet). Cocktail options include the Bramble (gin, lemon juice, creme de mures and muddled blackberries ) and the M (mango vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice). Pitchers of sangria and vodka ginger limeade are available for $24. Menu choices include black truffle popcorn, lobster corn dogs, tempura prawns and Kobe sliders. 8117 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 656-1414. www.michaelmina.net/xiv

-- Betty Hallock

Photo: Nobu West Hollywood. Credit: Christina House / For The Times. 

Sampler Platter: Hot dogs, burgers & chili fries

Pinkshotdogs

Tuesday food news you can use...

  — Elina Shatkin

Photo: Hot dogs from Pink's spell out the owner's enthusiasm for the Los Angeles Zoo. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

It's National Corndog Day on Saturday

Intrepid reporter Elina Shatkin hoists a 2-pound, 12-inch long Cowabunga Corn Dog at the O.C. Fair. Credit: Rob Takata, For The times Meat on a stick has a glorious, multi-ethnic history, spanning everything from shish kebabs broiled over campfires on Turkish nomads' swords to skewers cooked in Indian tandoori ovens. But none is so uniquely American as the corndog.

This tube of meat coated in corn batter and deep fried has been a fair staple since it was sold for the first time at either the 1942 Texas State Fair or the 1941 Minnesota State Fair.

Let us take a moment to celebrate National Corndog Day on Saturday, the annual holiday that's held the first Saturday of March Madness. Whether you're microwaving a frozen corndog bought in bulk from Costco or noshing on one of Boa's mini Kobe beef corndogs, we can all enjoy pressed meat on a stick.

-- Elina Shatkin

Photo: Intrepid reporter Elina Shatkin hoists a 2-pound, 12-inch-long Cowabunga Corn Dog at the O.C. Fair. (Credit: Rob Takata / For The Times)

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Daily Dish is written by Times staff writers.