More Room for the Ripper
Joe Fabrocini is a scholar of the hot dog, an expert on the dozens of traditions that make up the American frankfurter diaspora. When it is imperative to explore the differences between a Carolina slaw dog and a North Jersey Italian hot dog, a Bald Eagle and a Midwestern-style Coney dog, his Fab Hot Dogs has been the place to go not just to discuss the regional styles, but to taste them in all their Technicolor majesty. Fab even has the elusive "Ripper,'' a New Jersey variant that involves deep-frying the dog until it explodes in the hot oil, becoming crunchier and more intense as it cooks.
It may be a small thing, Fab Hot Dogs finally moving from its original cramped, uncomfortable Reseda storefront, an overheated subway car of a restaurant where the oxygen occasionally seemed to have been displaced by vaporized hot-dog tailings. But the new restaurant, a few blocks down on Victory, is almost spacious in comparison, a long, well–air conditioned room in a large-ish outdoor shopping center, with plenty of parking and hot and cold running tater tots, Philly cheesesteak dogs, BLT dogs and an uncanny version of L.A.'s famous Oki dog. Frito pies too, if that's your bag.
FAB HOT DOGS: 19417 Victory Blvd., Reseda. (818) 344-4336, fabhotdog.com.
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