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(warning: possible spoilers)
(and i’m only like 2/3 of the way through)
I had my last Hot Doug’s dog a few weeks ago as part of the 6th Annual Eliot Fishman Memorial Hot Dog Tour. an annual charity bike ride/encased meats extravaganza. It was a Game of the Week sausage, and it was very good, and all of us in our matching neon orange shirts will probably be in the Hot Doug’s movie, which is a thing that is happening.
On the last stop of the tour, another gourmet meatery in Andersonville selling hot dogs with lavender fennel and braised pork belly and other such bourgeois delights (not gonna lie it was pretty great though), my tourmates discussed it being a potential replacement for Hot Doug’s. And yes, they do the gourmet sausages and exotic toppings, but let’s be real—nothing can replace the Doug.
And Dan Sinker totally hits the nail on the head. It’s wasn’t the duck fat or the standing three hours for meat that made Hot Doug’s special. It was Doug. He was a great friend of the Hot Dog Tour (as was the late Phil Ashbach, owner of
Fatso’s Phil’s Last Stand, the successor to Hot Dougs’ space), always accommodating and friendly and supportive of the tour and its mission. The one year Doug’s couldn’t participate the day-of, Doug invited everyone for a follow-up celebration three weeks later. That’s on top of the qualities Dan mentions: his work ethic, his creativity, his way with people and commitment to service, even after that three-hour wait.
Anyway, I’m glad the dude is doing what he feels is best for him right now and I’m excited for whatever he does next.