Thursday, January 26, 2012

J Dawgs

Let me just begin this post with a huge disclaimer: I HATE HOTDOGS. I always have, all growing up. The idea of them grosses me out, the flavor of them grosses me out, and I'll only eat the breading if you force me to eat a corn dog. So when my then boyfriend/fiancee raved on and on about this hotdog joint that was out of this world, I just smiled and nodded and thought to myself "No way am I ever going to spend a single cent on any kind of hot dog. Not going to happen." But then somehow, magically, the very first J Dawg came into my life.

Where: J Dawgs, 858 N 700 E, Provo (just on the SE corner of campus)

Who Went: Chelsey & Owen, Monica & Devynne

Number of Visits: Too many to remember

What We Ordered: Beef Hot Dog, Polish Hot Dog, all with a variety of toppings

What It Cost: $3.00/dog ($4.00 for dog + drink)

What We Thought: 

This is me, the very first time I ever ate a J Dawg. It was at the Stadium of Fire pre-party hosted by Qualtrics (where my husband works, aka the coolest company eva) and we had free J Dawgs. That kind of pure joy cannot be faked my friends. Shock and awe. Those two words can barely graze the surface of how I felt. This was a truly eye-opening culinary experience, and I have been a J Dawg die-hard fan ever since.

This is a place that is famous for a good reason. Their food rocks, is cheap, and it rocks. Simple as that. Where can I even begin?

There are three important characteristics of a hotdog.

1. The Bun - I would eat these buns plain all day long. Soft, so fresh, and a light buttery flavor -- these are the perfect compliment to this wonderful masterpiece. They fold around the hotdog and toppings just right, but aren't too soft that they get soggy with the Special Sauce.

2. The Toppings - Though this location does not come equipped with the complex varieties that other hotdog joints may boast (i.e. Hot Dog King), it doesn't matter at all. They supply you with the freshest and best options to compliment this flavor sensation. I've tried all of the different toppings with all different combinations, and have found my favorite mix: smattering of fresh onions, 3-4 banana peppers (no more, no less), plenty of Special Sauce (this is basically your typical BBQ sauce, times a million) squeezed in along the sides and in the scored dog itself, and a pickle on the side to cleanse my palate. Some people make the mistake of ordering ALL of the toppings on their dog, especially since it does not cost more to get more toppings, but I do not recommend this. The flavor will overpower the simple wonderfulness of the hotdog, and you will wonder what all of the excitement is. I recommend trying a few different combinations of 3-4 toppings and then picking your favorite. You may even like it best plain! (just FYI: Owen's favorite combo right now is sauerkraut, onions, pepperoncini, and Special Sauce)

3. The Dog (or should I say "Dawg") - This was the best surprise of all. I had no idea a hotdog could be so savory, spicy, meaty, flavorful, transcendental, and perfect. This is high quality meat my friends, and even your typical hotdog hater like myself will be blown away. There is nothing about this that tastes cheap or plastic-y or rubbery (my usual complaints about dogs), and it is grilled to juicy perfection. They score the dogs with a criss-cross pattern on top, which allows for the flavor of the sauce and any other condiments you desire to penetrate deep into the meat and take your mouth on a miraculous journey. Do not miss out on this. It is so worth the journey -- oh wait! It's five feet away from campus! And it's so worth the price -- oh wait! It's only $3! It really doesn't get better than this.

One of many wonderful J Dawg experiences, with many more to come. 

What You Should Do: Go right now! Do not delay this experience any longer. If you haven't eaten here, you haven't truly lived (the BYU life anyway). They've opened a new shop on University Avenue that is a little less shack-like, more store-like, so hopefully we will go there next!

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