I’ve always wanted an authentic, good ol’ American hotdog, covered equally in tangy, yellow mustard and a rich, red ketchup.
There’d be crispy chopped onion sprinkled across the ‘dog’ that would be served in a large, lightly toasted roll that needs both hands to tackle
It’s a culinary itch I’ve yearned to scratch for decades- to experience a proper hotdog, Uncle Sam-style.
These hotdogs have tormented me so many times on US television programmes, often revealing themselves in baseball games.
You know the shows, it’s always the episode where the star takes his or her seat in the stadium with mammoth hotdog in hand, often a prelude to catching a home-run ball while being filmed by the stadium’s TV cameras.
Sadly, in real life I’ve always had to settle for pack-of-six bread rolls from Aldi and their cheap tinned hotdogs. No amount of mustard and tomato sauce has disguised my disappointment or minimised my malcontentment.
But now I’ve well and truly scratched my hotdog itch thanks to Dogs ‘n’ Donuts in the Guildhall at Preston (its entrance is within the Review cocktail bar).
Their 11.5-ins dogs (100 per cent beef Frankfurts) are surprisingly dense and meaty, packing a punch of flavour that wasn’t drowned out by the plentiful condiments on top.
The toasted bread roll was nice and light in comparison but together just one dog was filling enough as a meal. No one warned me what a messy mission these jumbo hotdogs are to eat though. With mustard on my nose and red sauce smeared across my cheeks, I realised it was time to resort to a knife and fork. It made my Classic dog (£6.50) no less enjoyable.
And as I was in THE place for American hotdogs in Preston, I ordered another - the Arriba Arriba (£7.50) which is topped with guacamole, salsa, peppers, homemade chilli, and cheese. Mexican goodness right there.
For those who want to try out their own hotdog creations, there is a selection of toppings that can be ticked off on menu sheets and handed back to the staff - a novel alternative to giving an order verbally.
A dog can have any combination of BBQ pulled pork, homemade chilli, guacamole, southern fried chicken, mac ‘n’ cheese (£1 each per topping). There are also 80p toppings that include smoky bacon bits, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, Mexican salsa, jalapenos, fried peppers, house slaw, and chilli cheese.
Not only can you tick off the type of hotdog you want on the menu, you can do the same for this venue’s second speciality - donuts.
The Mini Ds (£2) arrive with a choice of ice cream (vanilla bean, strawberry & cream, chunky chocolate, or banana and toffee - £1 each) and a choice of sauce (mixed berry compote, toffe, classic chocolate, or white chocolate- also £1 each).
The four Mini Ds are freshly cooked and satisfyingly sweet and doughy, complementing my zesty strawberry ice cream and mixed berry compote that was dominated by blackcurrant and cherry flavours.
Honourable mentions should also go to the starters. The Jumbo Wings (£5) came in a choice of buffalo, BBQ, or hot & spicy sauce and certainly were jumbo - they looked more like turkey wings they were that big.
The Guachose (£3.50) starter of homemade guacamole and fresh creme served with salted nachos would have been enjoyed more if I hadn’t already stuffed down two hotdogs and a plate of the jumbo wings.
As an added bonus, the venue has first-class service and takes advantage of the Review bar downstairs by offering its full cocktails menu. The rum punch was as much fun to look at as it was to drink.
There is also free wi-fi and a retractable roof which added an al fresco feel to eating my good ol’ American dog. I almost felt like I was sitting in the New York Yankees stadium, ready to catch a home-run ball.