I didn’t know what to expect when I went to DC-3 for a sneak peek tonight. I love me some encased meats – I dream about Hot Doug’s in Chicago – but I didn’t really know how the Matchbox/Ted’s team would interpret the hot dog. I knew the American classic was in good hands, I was just curious to see what they’d do with it.
I ordered the Chicago 7 — it seemed like the way to go on a menu full of regional specialties ranging from a Jersey Bacon Wrapped Ripper to a NY Coney to a Rochester White Snappy Griller (and yes, they use Zweigle’s white hots) to a Maine Red Snappy (yup – Kayem Red-Hots). When it arrived I smiled because there before me was the poppy seed bun, the Vienna Beef hot dog, the sport peppers, the tomato, the onions, the pickle spear, the yellow mustard, the celery salt and that unnaturally green relish (and no f*%#ing ketchup!). It certainly looked right (I could almost hear the Wieners Circle ladies shouting obscenities at me), so I dug in right away and was rewarded that snap, that crunch and that barrage of flavor. I finished it without even offering my companions a bite! Looking around at their choices, the Jersey ripper (so named because it’s deep fried and the skin rips apart in the process), the vegetarian California Left Winger and the Tuscon Sonoran I had zero ordering envy. While I look forward to working my way through the menu, it’s going to be hard to resist that perfect Chicago 7.
We also ordered some Frips (neither fries, nor chips – but really they’re really thin waffle fries and they’re good) and the fried pickles (tasty, but too much batter for me). The corn dog also got high marks. We washed down our dogs and sides with beers — I saw PBR, Allagash, Smuttynose and 21st Amendment available in bottles and cans. No one had room for dessert, but there’s soft serve and cotton candy for the sweet tooths (teeth?) out there.
I know a lot of you are going to scoff at the prices (about $5 for a dog) but I left full and look forward to going back. After all, these are a step or twelve above your average cart-on-the-Mall fare.
I asked if they were going to stay open late to cater to the after-bar crowds, and got a definitive no. They’ll be keeping roughly the same hours as Ted’s – which is definitely a good thing for the waistlines of Capitol Hill.
One caveat — I still smell like the deep fryer, and I’ve been home for a few hours. Not that that’s going to keep me away, but it’s something to consider.
I’ll see you there this weekend — and hopefully I can have the “willpower” to try to the I-talian Beef (one of the non-encased meats on the menu) instead of opting for another Chicago 7!
DC-3 is located at 423 8th Street SE