The hot dog is dead. Long live the hot dog.
Having walked many times to Old Street station, I often spotted the hot dog vendor by the side of the road, and one day vowed to return (with money) to purchase one of his delicious treats.
Last week, that day finally dawned.
On a rare sunny day, I headed over to the Big Apple Hot Dogs stall to talk to the owner about what makes their hot dogs just so bloody good, having recently seen reviews in such publications as Metro and Time Out.
Firstly, it’s got to have something to do with the quality of their sausages. Most peoples’ first thought of a hot dog is slimy, thin creations you see in the supermarket in glass jars full of brine that resemble something made of plastic, let alone meat. Big Apple Hot Dogs are prepared properly in accordance to an original Polish recipe. They are made specifically for Big Apple, and include a halal beef sausage, as well as the Big Dog, made with free-range pork.
To cut a long story short – I went for the Big Dog – and oh my is it a good hot dog! At only £3.50 it is also a bargain, and from now on, everyone can expect to see me eating one in proper Simpsons-like fashion.
Furthermore, I cannot review Big Apple Hot Dogs without mentioning the man who runs it, Abiye Cole. You know those people you meet and are instantly taken in by their friendly and welcoming personality? Well, this is Abiye all over, and what definitely makes his stall so unique. He was happy to chat to me, and the sheer number of passers-by that came to say hello to him was overwhelming. Undoubtedly it’s this character of his that has attracted help from so many people, with one customer even having designed a website for him free of charge.
Abiye traces his popularity to his attention to the quality of his good, and timing, as street food in general is definitely having a ‘moment’ right now. Established in October of 2010 (there are rumours of a one year birthday party), Big Apple Hot Dogs was launched to counter the negative image of the stereotypical greasy hot dog street stall one sees in say, Leicester Square at 3 AM. As Abiye puts it, ‘we are reclaiming the hot dog!’
Securing his prime location, right next to the Road Trip bar was, as Cole mentions, down to ‘more luck than design’, being given the green signal after making a pitch to the council. On being shown the site he was originally disappointed, but soon realised that being this close to Shoreditch and its bustling vibe was only going to be good for business.
As Cole remarked, ‘hot dogs are known as the ‘one night stand’ food … full of regret after one too many drinks’.
If this is true, then this is the one to wifey!
Big Apple Hot Dogs
239 Old Street