On my way to Oktoberfest, I was driving through Hallettsville when I saw a sign raving about the sausage at Janak Country Market. It was only 10:30, but since sausage is my favorite breakfast food, I pulled over. After browsing the aisles of hickory-smoked sausage, ham and bacon, I ended up ordering a cup of coffee and Janak’s jumbo hot dog.
This hot dog was made with a skinny, foot-long, coarse-ground Czech sausage covered with housemade barrel sauerkraut on a fresh-baked sweet dough hot dog bun spread with excellent brown mustard.
It was spectacular--easily among the best hot dogs I have ever eaten--if indeed it was a hot dog. I guess it depends on your definition. I don’t think they’d call this a hot dog in Chicago, or New York. And I’m not so sure we can call it a hot dog in Texas either. Isn’t an actual frankfurter de riguer for a sausage sandwich to qualify as a legitimate American hot dog?
But besides the sausage-splitting, Janak’s jumbo hot dog is just too good to call a hot dog. It reminds me of that Dave Hickey quote: “Rock n’ roll is like Tex-Mex. As it improves in quality, it ceases to be what it is.” I think you can substitute hot dogs for rock n’ roll or Tex-Mex in that equation. In creating their jumbo hot dog, the folks at Janak Country Market have improved the quality of each component to the point that the sausage sandwich ceases to be recognizable as a hot dog.
It sure tastes good though. -- Robb Walsh
Janak Country Market, 3116 US Hwy. 90A, Hallettsville, Texas 77964, 361-798-2985
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