Saturday, March 17, 2007

Eating L.A. goes to a Throwdown

I'm not sure why I was asked to be a judge on Bobby Flay's Throwdown on the Food Network, but maybe the fact that I'm stuffing a big hot dog in my mouth in my blog picture has something to do with it.
Throwdown
, where Bobby does a cookoff against a regional specialty -- chili, barbecue, etc. -- came to L.A. yesterday to tape an episode at Pink's Hot Dogs. It was kind of an odd idea for a Throwdown, since the dogs weren't made from scratch -- it was about the selection of ingredients, speed of assembly and how well the toppings worked together. Zagat editor and radio personality Merrill Shindler and I were the judges in the blind taste test and after several steamy hours sequestered on Pink's back patio watching the parade of teenage Japanese fashionistas, we were finally ushered to the front of the stand.
A lane of La Brea had been closed off for the taping, and a crowd of passers-by were given free hotdogs in exchange for cheering for their favorite contestants. I think originally the Pink's cooks and Bobby were supposed to assemble three types of hot dogs, but they must have run out of time, so we only judged a sort of Southwestern dog, which was fitting given Flay's Southwestern cooking pedigree.
Each dog bore a guacamole topping, but there the tubesteaks departed considerably. I'm not going to divulge the results of the "competition," but Pink's dog involved two rather flaccid weenies, a slice of American cheese, onions, some of their chili of inscrutable parentage and two juicy but unwieldy slices of bacon. Flay's started with a homemade-tasting roll brushed with butter and grilled, enveloping a thick, juicy hot dog with a clean, meaty flavor. In addition to the guac, it was topped with a liberal sprinkling of pickled jalapenos and a scatter of crumbled blue tortilla chips. You decide. The episode should air in a month or two, and I'll be sure to let you all know.

7 comments:

BoLA said...

Mmm... sounds fabulous! Where was I the other day??? LOL! Can't wait to see you judge Flay's dog! Let us all know the day the show airs... so I can find someone with cable tv that day! ;)

Jessica said...

How exciting! "Throwdown" is one of my favorite late-night Food Network indulgences, so I can't wait to see one of my favorite food bloggers make an appearance! (As far as only judging one dog is concerned: The way the show is set up, each cook/chef makes up to three variations on the subject, and then picks one to submit for judging. That's why you and your fellow judge only had one dog each...) Can't wait to see it!

poopycat said...

Pat--how fun! Sounds like it was a good time, and I enjoy the show. (I can't believe I missed it, though--I live in that area!)

I recently had my own Food Network run in, and was thrilled to bits. They do a great job over there.

gma said...

I'll try this again forgive me if it gets posted twice... I was there too, what a thrilling day for a foodie! Bobby was hot! So were his dogs btw. I think maybe the show may air sometime around the 4th of July as that was the premise Food Network was using for the "Pinks" FN Special. You know, whats more american than a hotdog on 4th of July? anyway, I'll check back here to see if you know when it will be on. Props to you Pat for doing an awesome job!

Kathy said...

I was part of the team Flay so of course I thought his toppings were the best. The show airs sometime in May (I have to check my Tivo again).

roboticbrain said...

i'm in the midst of watching the show at the moment. i'm one of those people who dislike bobby flay enough after his shenanigans on iron chef to always google whether he wins or loses...if he loses, i watch. but really, to me, the hot dog one so far seems a bit unfair. bobby rolled up with all his just bought toppings and went head to head with people that didn't have warning and/or the advantages that he did. i really need to stop watching that show and go back to good eats. alton brown will p0wn you.

gma said...

Sorry Robticbrain, but if there was an advantage here it was the "Pinks" with their crew of 10 or 12 behind the counter to Chef Flay and his 2 assistants. AND his toppings were prepared right there on the spot. I watched him pit the avocados and chop the onions myself. Pinks might have won the speed round and not by much, (and a given) but the taste was hands down a win for the Iron Chef! Bon appetite