Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Yesterdog (Grand Rapids, MI)

1505 Wealthy Street Southeast, Grand Rapids, MI 49506, T: 616-336-0746

Yesterdog is an institution in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and deservedly so. It looks like a pub, inside and out, and is located in a gentrifying hipster area in the east of the city. The people who work here look like they are all aspiring rock stars, full of tattoos and attitude.

Yesterdog sells six types of hot dogs... that's all. You can get them with a bag of crisps and a drink; including a homemade lemonade. I ordered two yesterdogs ($1.80 each) and a lemonade for $5.30 in total. The lemonade was ok, but a bit too sweet for me. The yesterdogs, on the other hand, were amazing! The snappy if tiny wieners come on a freshly steamed bun with ketchup, mustard, chili, onions, and fresh pickles. Absolutely heavenly!

VERDICT: 96/100
If hot dogs is all you want, you'll find few better places than Yesterdog. I had two and had only one wish: one more (wish I also had).

Trolly's (Nashville, IN)

11 Gould St E, Nashville, IN 47448, T: 812-988-8333

Trolly's is a trolley-like snack hut in the center of Nashville, a small touristic town in South Indiana. It has the usual (hot dogs, ice cream, etc.), but also it's own smoker.

I ordered the smoked bbq sandwich, which in essence is a pulled pork sandwich, not expecting too much. As was to be expected in such a touristic town, the sandwich was quite pricey ($6.95). However, it was also very tasty! The pork had a nice smoked taste to it, but was also quite juicy. There were various different bbq sauces available to spice it up a bit.

VERDICT: 87/100
Tolly's looks like your average snack hut in a touristic town, but it's pulled pork sandwich definitely goes well beyond this.

Krispy Kreme (Mishawaka, IN)

5615 North Main Street, Mishawaka, IN‎, T: 574-271-7099

Krispy Kreme is one of the two biggest chains of doughnut stores in the US; the other being the clearly inferior Dunkin' Donuts. Most people buy their KK donuts in supermarkets or gas stations, but anyone who has a real KK store nearby, should definitely go there... when the red light is on! As this means that the original glazed donuts are fresh!

The Mishawaka shop has a policy of giving customers a fresh original glazed for free when the red light is on. I bought another one as well as a (new) banana caramel donut ($2.01 in total). The original glazed donuts I ate directly, while still hot. It's difficult to describe the sensation... it is like sucking warm doughy sugar. Divine! The banana caramel donut was fairly crumbly and chunky.

VERDICT: 84/100 (96)
Overall, Krispy Kreme provides decent donuts, definitely better than Dunkin' Donuts. However, if you have the opportunity to buy the original glazed donuts fresh and warm, you are in for one of the best donut treats ever!

Hot Dogs Plus (Niles, MI)

2303 South 11th Street, Niles, MI‎, T: 269-684-2633

Hot Dogs Plus is a small hut on a busy road north of South Bend, just across the border of Michigan. It's been around for a while, and probably hasn't invested a cent in its interior since opening. This notwithstanding, it seems to be popular among the locals, as it has loyalty cards and some loyal patrons (mostly very old, rather poor, white people).

I order a Chicago style dog ($2.19), a chili dog ($1.89), French fries ($1.95), and a soft drink ($1.69). The chili dog (typical Vienna beef dog) comes on a steamed bun with chili, fresh onions and mustard. Unfortunately, the chili is not very remarkable, which makes the chili dog overall fine, but not remarkable. The Chicago dog comes on a poppy seed bun (unfortunately, not well steamed) and has on it a pickle, tomato, onions, green relish, hot peppers, and mustard. It's ok, but the bun is partly dry and old. The crinkle fries, finally, are nice and crunchy.

VERDICT: 84/100
A nice old-school hot dog place with nice fries and decent, but not remarkable, hot dogs.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

De Snackbar (Curacao)

Caracasbaaiweg, Nst. Gasora, Curacao, Dutch Antilles, T: 599-9-767-6700

Small Dutch-style snack bar run by Antilleans, next to a gas station, which is mostly frequented by, it seems, expat Dutch. I ordered a frikandel speciaal (deep-fried meat), broodje kroket (meat croquette sandwich) and a frietje met (french fries with mayonnaise) for just over 16 Antillean Gulden (ca. $9).

The frikandel speciaal was delicious, made with mayo, curry ketchup and fresh onions. The broodje kroket was nice too. The fries were good, but a bit undercooked, while the mayo was nice, for Dutch standards.

VERDICT: 83/100
Not the best Dutch snack bar, but certainly one of the best outside of the Netherlands (proper).