South America's Hot Dog Holy Trinity
Victoria Bekiempis Chile's frank offer.
The simple hot dog suffers from an identity crisis. Perhaps Frank has recently seen too many mumblecore movies, and has decided that his normal routine -- a squirt of ketchup, a dollop of mustard, a spoonful of pickle relish, even sauerkraut on fancy occasions -- has stifled his creative side.
Dissatisfied with city life and a failed relationship with a vegan sausage, he loads his iPod with Pitchfork picks and hops on a plane to South America, where he plans on re-reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being and doing some soul-searching, kind of like a meat-slurry version of Elizabeth Gilbert. He backpacks through three countries -- Chile, Colombia, and Brazil -- and winds up learning very little about himself, but a lot about the continent's unique approaches to hot dog making. Because Frank's travel memoir isn't out for a few more months, we at Fork in the Road decided to see for ourselves what's so special about these countries' varieties, which come overloaded with all sorts of marvelously unexpected ingredients. Below, behold the South American hot dog holy trinity!
San Antonio Bakery 2
In Chile, restaurants serve up gutbusters called completos -- plain hot dogs and white-bread buns buried under tomato, sauerkraut, guacamole, and mayonnaise. At San Antonio, in Astoria, patrons have the pleasure of gorging on an authentic, and mouthwatering, version of this Southern Hemisphere staple. The weak of mandible shouldn't indulge in this offering. Condiments tower over the expanse of the link -- rather than a North American's restrained drizzle of dressing -- making polite, small bites outright impossible. If this $3.50 pup strikes you as too cool, spoon on some of the eatery's excellent aji -- a cilantro, garlic, and onion-heavy tomato salsa that has a slight kick. 3620 Astoria Boulevard, Queens, 718-777-8733