Now that the article is out, I can tell a brief and possibly amusing story about the level of my Slaw Dogs devotion.
I managed to show up with to Slaw Dogs the first time... uh, about a month ago? The very day of the Official Grand Opening. It was crowded as hell, and they were serving free wine, and there were balloons everywhere. I was with a tough-minded New York chick, who grew up in her family deli and sternly warned me that she was *very particular* about her hot dogs, and occasionally gave me menacing eyebrow motions suggesting that if Slaw Dogs disappointed her, that was going to be it for our friendship.
The first dogs I ever had there were the original (chili + slaw) and the thai cole slaw. I think when the first bite of the Original went into my mouth I sort of went into AutoSlaveringMonster mode and took down four-fifths of the hot dog in a few sort of insane, wolfman like bites, and by the time consciousness returned, I only had a single bite of chili dog left, and I'd taken no notes.
This turned out to be an excellent justification for ordering a second chili dog.
Anyway, I rushed home, and with still-greasy fingers, tapped out an e-mail to my editor, begging to be allowed to write about this place, quickly negotiated a deadline, and figured out that I had four days to eat through the entire menu.
So I did it. I managed about six more meals there in four days, often taking down two dogs at a time. This is a familiar process by now, and often by the time I've eaten most of the way through an entire menu in a compressed period of time, I'm a little sick of the place, the cuisine, the whole process of eating, etc., and want nothing except salads and smoothies for a month.
So I filed the story on a Sunday, I think, went to sleep thinking about salads and steamed broccoli, and I woke up on Monday morning, and the only thought in my head was: MUST GO BACK FOR ANOTHER CHILI DOG.
Let me reiterate: I ate their 7 times in 5 days, often having two dogs at once, and once I discharged my obligation, all I wanted to do was DRIVE BACK AND HAVE ANOTHER CHILI DOG.
So I did.
In the month since, approximately every other day, I wake up and my first thought is, I WANT TO GO BACK TO SLAW DOGS AND HAVE ANOTHER CHILI DOG. Or maybe a chili dog followed by a caesar salad dog and maybe a market dog.
But that slightly tangy, slightly sticky, deep-layers-of-meat-sliding-on-top-of-each-other, that crystal clear *ring* of chili on sausage, that burning ultra-meat-tang - it calls to me, I can hear it from the back of my brain. The desire is unrelenting.
(P.S. The New Yorker's comment was that she wanted to "hug Ray for making a hot dog with his whole soul.")