Food & Petrol Below the Mason-Dixon Line: Hotdogs & BBQ

Posted Monday, October 22, 2018

Sneaky Pete’s hot dogs & Full Moon BB-Q n’ Hotdogs. Birmingham, Alabama and surrounds

Ok you mirepoix challenged chain lubers. Has it ever occured to you that hot dogs should be one word? It is for us Skooks. That would be Schuylkill County PA. In the heart of the anthracite (hard) coal region in eastern central PA. Hard Coal, Hard Core is the saying with a raised R & R fist. RE: HODDOGGS. So there.

Back to it. As I was indulging the Petrol side at The Barber Motorsports park Vintage Motorcycle Festival. More reports on trackside food later, I did need an occasional tubular repast. Hours of sleuthing, NOT! Thanks to Uncle Google, I found 2 likely spots.

First up: Sneaky Pete’s. A local joint with several locations. The aroma of freshly chopped onions and chilli greeted me. A symphony, nawww, lets try raucous funk greeted me. Pavlov’s puppies salivated less. The cooks & counter folk, all women cooking were fast, sassy with a great dose of humor. They knew their regulars. Helping an elderly patron with his dogs and drinks as to not spill them. Nice. Ah, don’t you love a place that one does not actually order? That upon entering your “I’ll have the usual” is unspoken but on the counter ASAP? Hallelujah and I saw several there at SP’s on my singular visit.

I pondered, imagined, I ordered 3. Famous chilli, Pete’s Slaw & The Original Sneaky Pete’s.   The deets: Steamed rolls, classic style. I gotta say that a grilled New England Frankfurter roll or a steamed classic roll really helps make a weenie. Suffice to say I have not seen a white sided NE roll for a while. We are a bit south of there! The Chili dog, competent, on the marks, as one would hope, mustard, onion, a repeater to enjoy the flavor later. The Pete’s slaw: Nifty take on what I have come to know as a Carolina style. That said, I am in Birmingham, AL. This style  is slaw & mustard with the addition of a sweetish chili powder infused BB-Q style sauce. Nice touch. The OSP. First the name, Sneaky Pete’s. Is this a marketer’s clever attempt at the over used “Authentic”? I think not. As for the dog, they say it best “The foundation of it all, the cornerstone of Sneaky Pete’s fame, is the famous Sneaky Pete’s Hot Dog Sauce. One taste of the Original Sneaky Pete – a tender, juicy hot dog covered with tangy kraut, onions, a little mustard and topped with the famous Sneaky Pete’s sauce – and you’ll see that “the secret is in the sauce.”  Amen.

All in all a worthy addition to Food & Petrol. I do however have one major lament. If you oder 4, you get five. I somehow missed this missive. Now to be frank, I would have to have been removed with a hand truck or at least provided with nap space. Nonetheless, I woulda gave it a shot. You now have the knowledge. Once you know, you cannot unknow. Check it out on Facebook or their website.

Second. Full Moon Bb-q. Yes, a local chain. I typically do not make you gormands & gearheads suffer them. As this was recommended for both Q & dogs by locals, I gave it a shot.

“The Best Little Pork House in Alabama” Cute. This repast turned into one of the 7 deadly sins. As Warren Zevon said of those infamous 7, and I paraphrase, “I have no time for sloth” so guess.

Now a BB-Q joint with solid dogs may be the best of these perspective worlds. In my case on this night, yes. Worn out from serious Petrol laden motorbike races, displays & convo, retreating into the food part of my life was welcome if not excessive. The two standouts were The Moondog. Topped with chow-chow & BB-Q sauce. This Chow-Chow deserves a bit of ‘splainin Lucy. A pickled relish of sorts with mustard, vinegar & spices is top dog on a dog. This has little in common with my Grandma Connie’s Chow-Chow which is like a Italian Gardinara with turmeric and lots of cauliflower as I recall. Both fine acid foils for fatty goodness. Add BB-Q sauce. Great!

Chilli dog? Can’t miss although cheese is not my preferred on a CD. Side of fried okra, yesirree, living the life, building my cholesterol in fine style. These were rounds of Okra not the spears i had experienced other places. Thoughts from the Petrolheads?

On to the BB-Q. Oh my, choices. I went for the sausage, brisket, fried okra, vinaigrette slaw, toasted Texas toast & fried green tomatoes. OMFG. Bursting my trouser seams, I finished it all. Yes. It took 2 hours. Endurance eating. Helping me out was the Louisiana Tabasco peppers in vinegar. Yes the vinegar was great but I opened the bottle and fished out the peppers. Yum. Is that ok table manners? The slaw had a sweet tinge as do a lot of the southern vinegar things I have tried. Oh yes, chow chow too.

Overall a worthy experience for F & P. A bit more on the FM. Take out with a drive thru (!) which had a looong line this Sunday night, catering and of note, the Q is made on premises in each location.

So for this Food & Petrol my fellow comrades of cumin, my caretakers of chili, my bearers of the beans, I say Bon appetit y’all from Birmingham. Chef Kerry

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