Beef Hot Dog Battle: Pink’s vs. Nathan’s vs. S&ROctober 28, 2017
We’re talking about beef hotdogs here so any graphic representation you interpret is only because your mind is in the gutter, you filthy person.
Sabrett’s closure in Manila has left a gaping hole in our stomachs for American-style beef hot dogs. Not a blend of different kinds of meat. Not pork. Not chicken. All beef. This was harder to find than expected as it turns out, many of the new local hot dog joints seem to go for a pork and beef blend. We narrowed it down to three brands that boast of their imported American brands: Pink’s, Nathan’s and S&R.
Pink’s Hot Dogs in BGC doesn’t have a plain option, so we went with what looked like their most classic dog: The Hollywood Legend. Given that this hot dog cost PHP 280 (their cheapest PHP250), we were underwhelmed by the dog. Taste-wise, it was just fine—there’s only so much you can expect from something as artificial as a hot dog after all—but we found it too thin, flimsy and soft. What stood out the most about Pink’s was the thick, yellow, buttery bun that had an almost cake-like texture to it. While one taster did not support the alternative bun choice (Hot dog buns are supposed to be soft, fluffy and white, this taster remarked), it was the best part for us.
Currently parked in Eastwood, the Nathan’s food truck offers their plain dogs at PHP170 a pop and offer you the most basic options of mustard and ketchup. A step up from the flimsy Pink’s dog, Nathan’s offers a thicker and juicier sausage at a more reasonable price point (though with much simpler toppings, but on that note, we weren’t impressed by Pink’s Hollywood Legend toppings either). It has a skin that offers a nice snap to its juicy center, and a robust bite. The famous Nathan’s dog sits on the classic soft, fluffy, white bun that our fellow-taster loved and proclaimed the best of the bunch.
The most affordable hot dog compared to the rest, S&R’s PHP 109 had the biggest dog of the bunch too (note their hot dog is only PHP 99 inside S&R stores, where you need to be a member to purchase). We helped ourselves to all the toppings available at S&R’s condiment station: mustard, ketchup, onions and relish. Their dogs have a toasty taste to them—we assume they toss it on the grill after boiling for longer—that gave their flavor more depth. Though the bread was squished and had a “steamed” effect to it given they served it to us with the dog wrapped in foil, this in no way deterred our enjoyment of it. More hot dog buns with sesame seeds on them, please.
It’s undeniably S&R for the win. They not only had the best tasting dog, but it offers the most bang for buck. It’s just the right price and size for a quick lunch, and with more S&R New York Style Pizza places opening independent of their warehouse stores, it’s thankfully easy to grab one when you’re in the mood.