Today, let’s talk about a hot dog. One amazing $4 wiener that inspired me to stay late at work, just so I could race across downtown to eat it. That dog is called “The Stanimal”. It’s low brow and high brow at the same time. In this case, the usually low brow hot dog, is fixed up with high quality ingredients by a high-end chef.
It starts with a house-made green chile and cheese sausage served on a parkerhouse bun, smothered in sauerkraut, grilled onions and a tangy pickle relish. There are a couple things I really like about this dog: first, the sausage is amazing. It has little pockets of cheese that ooze out when you take a bite and it’s just enough spice to keep it interesting. Second, catsup is not required. I hate it when hotdogs are simple a vehicle to carry your catsup. I love catsup as much as the next lady, but I don’t think it should be required. But don’t worry if you are a catsup lover, they have some there for your smothering pleasure.
You can find “The Stanimal” at the Portland Penny Diner, which is a relativley new restaurant owned by one of the best chef’s in Portland, Vitaly Paley. He also owns Paley’s Place in NW as well as Imperial, which is in the same building as the Penny Diner. It is on SW Broadway & Stark.
I’ve eaten at the Portland Penny Diner a half dozen times now and it’s always excellent. I’ve tried their homemade sodas, the sweet potato fries, and a couple things off the breakfast menu (they have a bagel with the cream cheese already baked inside!). The staff has always been very friendly and the food comes out quickly.
My only complaint about the place is their hours. They are only open weekdays for breakfast and lunch. So it’s tough for me to get there from the opposite side of downtown. If I worked on the eastside, it would be pretty much impossible. But hey, Blueplate diner does it, so why not? When the Penny Diner first opened, they had ate-night hours and I am surprised it didn’t take off. Portlanders usually love cheap places to eat late at night. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll try longer hours again in the future.
In the mean time, I’ll keep hitting the place up before work, and racing over on my lunch break to grab (IMO) the best hot dog in town.