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LROS on Tour: Hot Dog at Baejarins Beztu Pylsir, Reykjavik

8 Dec

LOCATION: Baejarins Beztu Pylsur, Reykjavik, by the harbour. You’ll find it.

PRICE: 380 ISK (£1.96).

BREAD: Hot dog bun.

FILLING: Hot dog, diced raw onion, crispy fried onions (CRONIONS), ketchup, remoulade, sweet mustard.

PROS: This is a tale of 5 hot dogs, truth be told, because that’s how many different combinations of condiments I tried before I was satisfied. This doesn’t really fit into a pros and cons format either, so I’m just going to pretend it isn’t happening and shoe horn some text in regardless.

I started with ‘the works’ which, admirably, includes two types of onion. The first is finely chopped raw onion, of which I am a huge fan; I love how the Dutch put it on chips, and I loved that the Icelandic put it on this hot dog. It was, however, a little lost under the slightly acrid but nevertheless pleasing powerhouse that is CRONIONS. These are deep fried onions which the Icelandic seem to use like salt.

I go back and I ask for another but with double raw onion. Better. But wait, what is this strangeness? There is brown goo on my hot dog and boy, does it take some getting used to. It is described as mustard but I just can’t get behind that…sweet n spiced goo? Sticky slicky brown sauce? Weird ass savoury icing? It’s unusual, and odd, so I ask for a third, but without.

It doesn’t work. I miss the mind bending sauce. This surprising turn of events unnerves me but I soldier on, drunk and insatiable. I haven’t mentioned the remoulade yet, which should be horrible, being as it is a mixture of mayo and relish. I try one without. Doesn’t work.

Finally, I try double raw onion, single CRONION, remoulade and double ketchup but this makes the dog taste too American. What I want now is the original dog, in all its over sauced, unfamiliar glory.

So there it is. I got drunk and ate five different hot dogs only to conclude that the first was the best. This is a public service.

CONS: I was very full.

SCORE: 7/10

Bacon Sandwich at Love Walk Cafe, Camberwell

21 Aug

LOCATION: Love Walk Cafe,

PRICE: £2.95.

BREAD: Brown.

FILLING: Bacon, butter.

PROS: It was edible and the bread would have been okay, had it been used to make a different sandwich.

CONS: This is without doubt the worst bacon sandwich I have ever eaten, and I have eaten a lot of bacon sandwiches. There are a number of offences here, namely:

1. I asked for white bread, obviously, because IT’S A BACON SANDWICH. Eating a bacon sandwich with brown bread is just wrong wrong wrong. Sure, there are different ways to go with the white bread. One might fancy a St. John style ‘proper’ white bread sandwich – a kick ass sour dough for example. Then again, you might be in the mood for a pappy cheap white bread greasy spoon style bacon sandwich – also a time and a place. You might fancy a bap. Fine. Whatever. THEY ARE ALL WHITE. ALWAYS. I have since learned from Twitter that these people at Love Cafe are ‘brown bread enforcers’. Totally unacceptable. You give me what I ask for, because you are providing a service which offers the choice and I am paying for it. Simple as. I went again a week later to get a smoked salmon bagel (this is happening, by the way, as Cafe Bay are closed for their annual holiday and there is nowhere else to go) and they said they don’t have bagels. Fine. I said, ‘please may I have white bread instead?’ and they said ‘yes no problem’. I get to the office. It’s fucking BROWN. It was all I could do to not leave my desk right then to go back and give them an earful but you know, I have a job. I like brown bread, really, but only when it’s appropriate and when I have asked for it.

2. From giving me a brown I don’t want to denying me one that I do – they have omitted the brown sauce that I requested. A bacon sandwich without sauce?! Argh! Whatever your preference, brown or red, it should be in there, because a) you asked for it and b) it’s a bacon sandwich! So there was a measly spread of butter, not even applied with any care or attention. So obviously the sandwich was dry.

3. The amount of bacon inside was insufficient to say the least, so mostly I was eating dry brown bread. Wicked.

4. The bacon is flabby. It’s been pre-cooked and I’m not even that bothered but seriously, you can’t even REHEAT it properly? There is no crisp fat, which everyone knows is the best bit of a bacon sandwich. There is a lot of flabby white fat on the puny bits of bacon that are in there.

Do you know what the worst thing was about this sandwich, though? The real kick in the teeth? It’s that this sandwich was made by someone who does not give a flying toss about sandwiches, or even, I would wager, food in general. I can smell that rat from a mile off. It is clear in the way the sandwich was made and it makes me sad, and actually quite angry. You can probably tell. The very last thing a bacon sandwich should be is worthy. It should be fatty and utterly lacking in any nutritional value.

This bacon sandwich would do nothing for a hangover and to make it should therefore be a punishable offence.

SCORE: 1/10

Jalapeño Cheese Pretzel Dog at Auntie Anne’s, Hammersmith

16 Aug

LOCATION: Broadway Shopping Centre, Hammersmith Broadway, W6 9YA [map]

PRICE: A few quid. No prices on the website. Yes I know I should be writing it down.

BREAD: Pretzel, topped with cheese and jalapeños.

FILLING: Hot dog.

PROS: I’m not proud of this, okay? I don’t even think this qualifies as a sandwich actually but bloody hell, I need some closure so here we are.  The main point to get across is that I’m not proud, though.  I’m the opposite of proud, you hear me? I feel ashamed. Soiled. Dirty. I learned about this terrible creation from a mate who shall remain nameless. It is, apparently, a favourite late night snack of his, and I can tell you right away that this is certainly in that category – I’d say only in that category in fact. Ever. This, this, this…THING. In order to eat this, one should be inebriated – no doubt about that. I am indeed the queen of guilty pleasure and this was almost too much for even me; a proper lock ’em up and throw away the key sinner.

So obviously I ate all of it.

CONS: The meat is beyond ‘mystery’. I include a close up below. I know. Again, I’m so ashamed.

At first I thought it must be deep fried but with hindsight I think it was baked; I don’t want to be rude about the people that served it to me but, well, I’m not sure there was a vat of extremely hot oil behind that counter, you know what I mean? Man, was this thing greasy. I don’t mind that when I’m drunk, really I don’t. I don’t mind the fact that it’s a dog wrapped in dough with cheese on it. It’s a fat laden calorie bomb of disgusting proportions. No problem. No, the issue here is the meat. It’s hard to go back once you’ve seen one of those blenders full of pink slurry, you know what I mean? The images, they haunt.

It’s good to also know that the nutritional facts about this monster are published on the internet for all to see HERE. Oh, happy, happy joy. You know what, though? I thought it would be worse. I was genuinely pleasantly surprised when I saw those vital statistics, which says a lot about the way I treat my stomach.

SCORE: 2/10

Hot Dog at IKEA, Croydon

2 Dec

LOCATION: IKEA, Valley Park, Croydon, CR0 4UZ [map].

PRICE: 60p.

BREAD: White hot dog bun.

FILLING: Hot dog sausage, ketchup, sweet mustard.

PROS: These hot dogs cost 60p. You can’t buy them in the normal cafe bit of IKEA, only from a counter at the end. They represent salvation at the close of what is, generally, a traumatic experience. I once cried in IKEA.

There’s a bit of snap to the sausage; not a lot, but it’s there. It also boasts an amusing shape; particularly the pinched bit at the end which I couldn’t actually eat because well…use your imagination. The dog is plucked from its water bath and into your flat pack pumelled hands within seconds; then it’s time for you to navigate towards the Maccy D’s style DIY sauce area where you do some kick ass silly self-saucing. I’m still working on writing my name.

CONS: Okay so it’s definitely 100% mystery meat. It has that unmistakable honk. I’m down with that but you might not be. Think about it though…it costs 60p. It hits a spot, albeit the spot is small. I’d like onions but hey…did I mention that it costs 60p? IKEA is stressful and the meatballs are overrated so here’s what you need to do: when you get to the checkout, get someone to grab you a beer from the shop, down it (two if it’s a Saturday), breeze through the payment trauma slightly inebriated, then hoof down a hotdog or like, five. It doesn’t matter, they only cost 60p.

SCORE: 4/10