Its Opening Day, and we’re behind on our blog posts. Since the Nats open the season on the road, I will be watching from the office and yearning for delicious ballpark food.
Today, lets look back on the Monumental Dog, the Spring Training hot dog of choice for Nats Fans.
At first glance, the Monumental Dog impresses. Its around 8-10 inches long and has a good girth. The preparation method is a traditional hot dog roller, meaning that by the middle innings many of them have a good cooked texture and look—the way I prefer.
I wasn’t familiar with the Kayem Foods brand initially, although with some research I found I had indeed enjoyed their fine meat products in the past at places like FedEx Field and the Georgia Dome. Founded in 1909 it is still a family-owned company and I have to say, it’s a good product.
But back to the Monumental Dog!
The bun was good but not great. It was hearty enough to hold up to the dog and its toppings, which is important for reasons we will detail below, but I still felt it was a little too bready and it was a little harder than I prefer.
There were good toppings available: nacho cheese, onions, real chopped bacon, bleu cheese crumbles, buffalo sauce, relish and shredded cheddar. There were a couple others, but as soon as I saw the options, I knew what I wanted: bacon, nacho cheese and buffalo sauce.
The bacon was great, really great. It wasn’t bacon bits, it was real bacon cooked to perfection and shredded/chopped. Looked fresh like it had been made that morning. The cheese was your typical melted “cheese-food” product that we have come to know and love in this age of scientific advancement, something that wouldn’t have been technologically possible when our grandfathers were heading to the park. The buffalo sauce was good too—and hot! It wasn’t some bland corporate version of buffalo sauce, it was hot and when applied to my sunburned lips, initiated a deep, chemical burn.
The gentlemen running the booth immediately saw where I was going with the dog and they gave me a lot of positive feedback. I believe they were Shriners, just there to help the kids.
The first half of the dog I ate pretty fast, which may explain why I developed a chemical burn on my mouth. I was really hungry, hadn’t eaten since a brunch for the ages (post on that soon). Tommy joined me in the order, and we popped a couple fresh Miller Lites to wash the dogs down.
Like I said, the bun was a little bready, but the dog overall was excellent. In fact, I had to prop up the container because the toppings were so generously applied that the dog would have fallen on its side without assistance. The dog had a nice firm skin after cooking most of the afternoon, but was still juicy on the inside. The cheese was great, really great, and bacon makes everything better. I will say the buffalo sauce might have overpowered things a bit, but I wouldn’t remove it. All in all, it was a hot dog I will look forward to again—although I am looking forward to grabbing a Nats Dog at Nationals Park…and so much more!