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OC Register: Critic’s Notebook: Angel Dog vs. Dodger Dog, who does it better?


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Angels versus Dodgers: Who makes the better hot dog? That’s a loaded question.

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Plain Angel Dog at Angels Stadium (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Neither is great. Let’s be clear about that. Ballpark hot dogs don’t aspire to greatness. Their only aspiration is to taste like hot dogs, something to be enjoyed equally by kids and adults.

There’s honestly not much difference between the basic wieners or the buns at the two parks. You should know, however, that you don’t have to settle for either team’s most generic dog.

And, no, I’m not talking about “gourmet” sausages here. Just the regular weenies. (I previously sampled the “gourmet” sausage dogs at Angels Stadium and decided they were among the worst foods at the ballpark.)

Rather, the biggest difference between a Dodger Dog and an Angel Dog comes with execution — and knowing that not all concessions are equal.

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    Angel Dog at Angels Stadium (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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    Grilled Dodger Dog at Dodgers Stadium (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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    Grilled Dodger Dog at Dodgers Stadium (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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    Chili cheese Angel Dog from the Crafty Dogs concession at Angels Stadium (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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    Chili dog, hold the cheese, at Dodgers Stadium (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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    Crafty Dogs at Angels Stadium serves the best Angel Dogs at Angels Stadium (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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    For the best Dodger Dogs at Dodger Stadium, look for the limited “grilled” concessions (Photo by Brad A. Johnson, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Take Dodgers Stadium. The core Dodger Dog comes in two styles — regular (steamed) or grilled. The latter is what you want. You’ll find the steamed Dodger Dogs everywhere you look, but the grilled Dodger Dogs are available only at select concessions, which are clearly marked.

The grilled Dodger Dogs have far more flavor, a better texture and, based on my random samplings, haven’t been sitting around suffocating in their wrappers as long. Either way, you’re going to have to dress it yourself, and your choices for toppings are limited to bright yellow mustard, florescent sweet pickle relish, weirdly pulverized onions and ketchup, all of which you must manage yourself, probably with just one hand.

It’s a similar story at Angels Stadium, where the basic Angel Dog is steamed. There is, however, one concession where the wieners are grilled. That’s the Crafty Dogs concession on the ground level near section 127.

This is where you can build your own Angels Dog, starting with a wiener hot off the grill (technically it’s a griddle at either ballpark). The best part is you don’t have to do any of the work, and you don’t have to settle for florescent toppings. Your hot dog comes off the other end of a friendly assembly line ready for its perfect Instagram moment. This is also the one stand that will construct a chili cheese dog.

Both parks offer a chili cheese version. At Dodgers Stadium it comes with the same yellow goop they pour over nachos, and the chili is so soupy that the only way to eat it is with a spoon, or a funnel.

The chili cheese dog at Crafty Dogs, on the other hand, can be made with real cheddar (although goop is available). The chili might come from a can, or maybe they make it at the commissary here. Knowing the answer doesn’t change the way it tastes, but that’s not the point.

The point is this: The chili cheese Angel Dog at the Crafty Dogs concession is the best-tasting hot dog at either ballpark.

So there you have it.

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