It's Chef Monica Pope's turn in the James Coney Island Houston Chefs and Show Dog series. The Sparrow Bar + Cookshop chef has created one heck of a gourmet hot dog that you will definitely want to make a date to try. Throughout the entire month of October, James Coney Island locations will serve her "Date with a Dog" creation.
If you've kept up with the other hot dogs created by Houston chefs, you know that there are no limits when it comes to crafting a gourmet dog; take the July hot dog, from Chef Hori of Kata Robata, the "Kata Ro-Dog-a," complete with a panko-crusted, deep-fried Hebrew National all-beef dog stuffed into a Slow Dough bun and topped with soft-scrambled eggs, Japanese curry sauce, pickled cucumber, picked red onions, Yuzu Kosho QP Mayo and micro greens.
Just like Hori and the other chefs in the series, Pope didn't hold back on creating her masterpiece.
For $10.99, this dog is not a cheap date, but it's definitely worth every cent.
She starts by stuffing the Texas T Kobe Beef dog with crumbled Frenchy's chorizo and shredded Veldhuizen Red Neck cheddar cheese, giving the beef a smoky, spicy and creamy filling that perfectly complements the juicy, tender dog. And if that's not enough meat, Pope also wraps the entire dog with Nueske's applewood smoked bacon. While this may seem overindulgent, it's not; the sweetness from the bacon balances with the greasy chorizo, reminding you why everyone is trying to wrap everything in bacon.
The inside of the Slow Dough Pretzel Bun is then coated in a sweet and savory date-tomato jam and chermoula, a sauce used widely in Algerian, Morocco and Tunisian cooking. One bite of this dog is truly an incredible flavor combination -- sweet, salty, spicy, smoky and savory.
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Props to the chef for taking two of the biggest (and most overdone) food trends -- wrapping food in bacon and replacing regular buns with pretzel buns -- and turning them into something magnificent.
Whether you enjoy a lot of meat, a lot of sauce or a sweet-savory combo for your dogs, the "Date with a Dog" is just what you need. It's got it all.
Pope's creation is available until the end of October; then it's chef Hugo Ortega's turn.
James Coney Island will donate $1,000 to the Recipe for Success Foundation, Pope's charity of choice.