by Ian Froeb
The "St. Louis Dog" is this year's signature item at the Food Network's concession stand at Busch Stadium, a quarter-pound, all-beef hot dog topped with barbecue sauce, shredded Provel cheese and crumbled Red Hot Riplets. When Gut Check sampled the "St. Louis Dog" last month, we weren't impressed, especially given its $11 price tag:
At any rate, the hot dog is, well, a hot dog: not great, not terrible. The Provel -- in its inoffensive, generically tangy unmelted form -- makes it a cheese dog. The Red Hot Riplets make it food porn for five year olds. It's a novelty item, nothing else.
Turns out we're not the only ones to take notice of the "St. Louis Dog," as the national food blog Serious Eats has included it among its list of the "Craziest Major League Baseball Hot Dogs of 2012."
Serious Eats' slideshow features sixteen hot dogs available at MLB stadiums this year. The specific page for the "St. Louis Dog" merely describes the hot dog, including an explanation of what, exactly, Provel is. (It "sort of looks like white Velveeta.")
However, in the introduction to the slideshow, the author does applaud the "St. Louis Dog" for incorporating local flavors.
As far as Gut Check's concerned, the slideshow is more intriguing for how much crazier -- and, frankly*, more delicious-seeming -- some of the other hot dogs look. For example, on the other side of the state, Kansas City Royals fans can enjoy the "Island Dog":
A grilled, all-beef Farmland dog topped with ham and pineapple, Mandarin orange sections, Hawaiian slaw (not sure what that means) and teriyaki sauce.
And a hot dog topped with potato chips has nothing on the "Polish Hill Dog" that Pirates fans can try:
A grilled, natural casing National Deli frank, topped with mini pierogies (!), cole slaw, and fried onion straws served on a potato roll....
You should check out the entire slideshow. Especially if you're involved with concessions at Busch Stadium.
* - Yup. Intended.