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.
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.