Imagine my surprise when my Niagara Falls-born cousin and I walked up to a seemingly random vendor at the Ninth Avenue Food Festival...who was selling SAHLEN'S HOT DOGS!!!!
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I was shocked, I tell you. SHOCKED.
In case you are unfamiliar, I should tell you that Sahlen's hot dogs are:
1. The most delicious hot dogs in the history of the universe (and this is coming from a true hot dog connoisseur).
3. An upstate NY summer staple.
What makes Sahlen's hot dogs so delicious, you may ask? I'll tell you: they have a casing that tastes unbelievably spectacular when charred ever so gently on the grill.
And why did a random food stand sell them? The owner (let's call him "Red") lived in Buffalo! There he is at the grill in a sporty gingham shirt. Red said, "There's nothing like this around Manhattan, so I wanted to bring a little taste of Buffalo to town." Well, thank you for that, Red!
Here are some fascinating facts I learned from the Sahlen's website:
* The hot dogs are made from “Old Fashioned” smokehouse ham and turkey breast.
* They are available in 15 northeastern states.
* The company sponsors a professional race car team and a sports park that is home to the Western NY Flash women's soccer team.
* Sahlen’s has been producing premium quality meat products since 1869. (Apparently post-Civil War Americans liked to BBQ while rebuilding the country.)
* Every year, the average American consumes 60 hot dogs! (Not sure I buy this one, Mr. Joseph Sahlen!)
Not only was my perfectly grilled Sahlen's hot dog itself a delight, but Red came up with all sorts of fascinating hot dog combos. Forget the mustard and ketchup--get a BLT dog or a Journey Dog (any way you want it, that's the way you need it). I ended up eating a Baked Potato Dog, which was a hot dog in a giant chewy bun (I choose to believe it was a Wegmans bun) topped with sour cream, cheddar cheese, bacon, potato sticks, and chives. It was a masterpiece.
Sahlen's, and Red, I salute you both.