The bacon wrapped hot dog is a staple of Los Angeles street food and everyone from daytime shoppers to late-night revelers seems to enjoy these so-called “heart attack dogs.” The traditional way of serving these dogs in L.A. is to top them with onions, mayo, mustard, onions, green peppers, ketchup and a grilled green poblano chile.

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There’s only one problem with these bacon wrapped hot dog’s that everyone loves: they’re illegal. In Los Angeles, the law says that hot dogs sold by street vendors must be either steamed or boiled. For the bacon-wrapped hot dog to cook properly and taste delicious, it needs to be grilled. But grilling a hot dog is a violation of the L.A. health code for street vendors. Sadly, this is not a law that goes unenforced. There have been a number of different reports of food vendors being raided by cops.


(Note: photos via hexodus)

A recent article in LA Weekly shared the story of one woman who has finally stopped selling the bacon wrapped hot dogs after getting thrown in LA county jail. Now she attempts to sell her hot dogs without the bacon. Unfortunately, many potential customers pass on by after realizing she is offering only plain dogs, not the popular bacon wrapped ones.

So my question now is….why? Why can’t people eat hot dogs off a grill if they want? Why should a food that is such a part of a city’s culture be forced to operate in the shadows and back alleys?

Have you ever compared a grilled hot dog head-to-head with a steamed or boiled hot dog? When it comes to taste, there is no comparison. That’s without even including the bacon. People want grilled dogs, and they are being denied their street food of choice. Give the people what they want L.A.! Change your health code!

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: if bacon wrapped hot dogs are outlawed, only outlaws will cook bacon wrapped hot dogs.

27 Responses

  1. MC Spanky McGee

    If lovin’ grilled hot dogs is wrong, then I don’t wanna be right.

    I think all husky people should unite behind this cause to repair this irrational health code!

    WE WANT BACON, DAMNIT!

    Reply
  2. shatraw

    and like 99% of hot dogs are fully cooked out of the processing plant anyway. so what, they’re preventing a smidgen of food poisoning and no deadly parasites.

    don’t even get me started on the taco trucks in this town.

    Reply
  3. Melissa

    Frankly, I don’t want to live in a world where grilling hot dogs hugged by bacon is illegal.

    Reply
  4. charlie

    dammit these are the best. wtf. i remember visiting LA one time to party with friends and family and we had some of these heavenly delights afterwards. the cops came and the vendors took off, leaving their carts which the cops started hauling off. i asked for one, and they said no. i thought they were just being greedy.

    Reply
  5. Liz

    I think the reason the grilled dogs are illegal is due to the grease left on the grill. It would attract roaches to the carts when they’re stored overnight. It’s a portability issue. I’m sure you can get a legal grilled dog in a restaurant. They have to clean the grill and I’m sure the exterminator comes every six months to keep the bugs away. But those carts….eek!

    Reply
  6. Francois

    They used to have these in some of the taco carts around here in Phoenix, but I haven’t seen one in years. They cracked down on that awhile ago. It began with just pre-cooking the bacon off-site and then assembling it, but a year or so back the bacon disappeared completely.

    I’m all for street carts, though. And because of that, my immune system is practically reinforced titanium alloy.

    Reply
  7. Jerome Watkins

    I’ve never seen a poblano chile served with a hot dog before. Do you even know what a poblano is? Those things are as big or bigger than your hand. The chile featured in your photo appears to be a serrano, but its possible that its a jalapeno. idiot.

    Reply
  8. Nicolas

    That’s so Bizarre.

    In Australia we always have our Sausages Grilled. I can’t remember the last time I had a Boiled hotdog – Mostly because sausages are closer to a butcher than factory processed frankfurters generally used in hotdogs.

    Water can only reach a temperature of 100 deg celsius where as grilling gets to over 260 deg celsius which would be safer?

    Reply
  9. gnat-dawg

    these are the best…i can’t say i have one every day… but once in a while i will crave one…

    once i had to follow along a lady with her cart carrying her soda fridge as we ran away from the cops…

    it was the best bacon wrapped hot dog i ever had!

    Reply
  10. Vinnie The Pooh

    I eat these thing every week! the only health concern i have with them is that the have crack inside. I wake up at night feinding for heaven on a bun (heaven always comes in weenie form ;) . I have never once got food poisoning from these beautiful works of culinary progress! In fact I feel that it provides more sustinance than a pinks hot dog and 5 out of 10 times i preffer street meat over wurstkuche. wow! you can regulate all you want but it wont make a difference, the only place and time I got food poisoning was from In-n-Out! dont want to talk shit I still love that damn place, but im just sayin thats a really regulated establishment. And besides, who the fuck boils or steams a hot dog, its not human.

    Reply

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