“Nah, this stuff isn’t getting to me, the shootings, the knifings, the beatings, the old ladies being bashed in the head for their social security checks… Nah, that doesn’t bother me. But you know what does bother me? You know what makes me really sick to my stomach? It’s watching you stuff your face with those hot dogs. Nobody, and I mean nobody, puts ketchup on a hot dog.” — Dirty Harry Callahan, Sudden Impact
June is full upon us; Tara Reid — along with a gaggle of other discount-bin celebrities escaped from that carnival of aberrance known as Fan Boy Expo — has come and gone from the stage of Scruffy City Hall. July Fourth, and the stagnant heat of mid-summer in East Tennessee, lie in wait, simmering just around the bend.
And nothing says “summer” quite like a hot dog, Jake. That’s right — the classic All-American Hot Dog, everyone’s favorite phallus-shaped carcinogenic fat-and-sodium-laden processed meat-like snack food, staple of J-4 cookouts and ballpark concession stands across this great nation of ours.
Matter of fact, July is National Hot Dog Month here in the good ol’ U.S. of A., just in case you were wondering about that.
Which maybe you weren’t. But the point is: in recognition of our nation’s proud hot dog heritage, and of the humble dog’s defining/central role in the cultural landscape we call Americana — and also with the sincere hope of making an extra dollar, or three — the Pub and Scruffy City Hall are rolling out their very own Hot Dog brand, the Scruffy Dog.
Which will taste a whole lot better than it sounds. You can trust me on that one, Jake.
Sometime this summer, when all the plans and permits fall into place, and everyone and his mother-in-law has signed off and extracted his pound of flesh, the Pub will roll out its newly-acquired hot dog cart, and vend a variety of delectable dogs, sure cures for late-night munchies or the exigencies of a lunch-on-the-run.
According to Preservation Pub/SCH manager Cullen Kehoe — also doubling as de facto Dog chef, at least for the time being — Scruffy Dogs will feature variations on three essential themes: The classic all-beef kosher hot dog; the spicy red hot; and the veggie dog.
But those options will evolve over time. “The plan is to get really creative — think gourmet dogs, more than just the standard hot dog fare,” Kehoe says.
The early menu calls for a geographically diverse line-up of dogs — hot dogs inspired by the culinary traditions of select regions/states of the union: A New Yorker, with sweet onion relish and mustard on a plain bun; a Deep South Dog, an andouille sausage garnished with jalapeños and cucumber salsa; a Carolinian, served with cole slaw; a Traditional (sauerkraut. mustard. bam.); and an Old Country, featuring red sauerkraut.
Also on tap is the indigenous Smokey Dog. “We tried to think of a Knoxville-style hot dog, and this is what I came up with: A smoked sausage, with ‘maters and ‘taters.
“If it’s done right, it’s delicious.”
When the Scruffy Dog operation is up and running — again, we’re aiming for sometime in July, though August might be a better bet, allowing for usual allotment of bumbling and foolishness, and the damnable unpredictability of such affairs — dogs will be served up hot and fresh every day around the lunch hour. Then they will fire up again for the late-nite crowd, 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Order up, and hold the @#$ ketchup.