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Happy Belly Dog (Kimchi! Kewpie!) in Golden Gate Park

Melanie Wong | Aug 31, 200801:16 PM     32

After yesterday’s lunch at the Thai festival (which continues today), we made a swing by the Academy of Sciences to see how the work was progressing. Before leaving the park, we tried to find one of the hot dog carts on the north side operated by Namu restaurant. Near the Conservatory of Flowers we spotted a small stand and alongside it, a table for self-serve condiments and a folding table and chairs.

Hot dogs and sausage choices are all beef, lemon chicken, and Louisiana hot links for $4. The stand also sells ice cream, soft drinks, and “extras” such as chips and tamales.

A small white board offers a handwritten menu of daily specials:

“Belly Dog: $6.00
Choose any of our delicious, local hot dogs or sausages to be topped with spicy, Korean kimchi and sweet, Japanese mayo!

Special Toppings:
Kimchi, $1.50
Mayo, $0.50
Sauerkraut, $0.50

Homemade Pastries: $3.00
Try the Brownie, Blondie, Raspberry Cake, or the vegan Oatmeal/Raisin Cookie

Sandwiches: $5/6
Ask about our freshmade sandwiches from Namu Restaurant!”

The “Belly Dog” had our name written on it though FN wasn’t too certain about the mayo part. I asked if they used Kewpie, and yes, they do. Mayonnaise is a much underrated hot dog condiment, in my opinion, and when the curlicues of Kewpie are as cute as the ones garnishing this dog, better yet.

Belly Dog -

This was a big hot dog, actually poking out of both ends of the bun. Fully packed with minced kimchi, this achieved my ideal of bun to dog ratio with barely enough bun to hang onto everything. The skinless hot dog was juicy and nicely spiced, but would have been even better with the snap of a natural casing. Kewpie mayo’s actually not that sweet and its richness combined with the tangy kimchi and beefy flavors was a fantastic mouthful.

After experiencing Happy Belly’s kimchi, it’s going to be impossible to go back to plain ol’ sauerkraut on a weenie. My mouth was very happy with the Korean flavors on this hot dog, and my belly too.

Happy Belly
John F Kennedy Dr and Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA

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