If you live in L.A. or have ever visited, chances are you've at least heard of the famous Pink's Hot Dogs. And if you've driven up La Brea towards Hollywood I'm sure you're spotted their legendary long line and though to yourself, "what's that all about?" Well, I know I have, but as a vegan I didn't think I'd ever get to find out. But believe it or not, Pink's isn't leaving us plant-based dieters out - I discovered a few days ago that they have a vegan hot dog! So when I found myself in their neighborhood I had to check it out.
My non-vegan friend and I got into Pink's line, which wasn't so bad at 10pm on a cloudy Wednesday night - we only had to wait about 15 minutes, while the average is 30 minutes to an hour (what do they think they are, an amusement park ride?). I have to admit I felt like this experience dubbed me as a true Angeleno because it's like a right of passage when you live in this town. But it was even more exciting to be able to order a vegan dog there. I confirmed with a few people at Pinks (via phone, email, and Twitter!) that they are indeed cooked separately from the meat.
But frankly (pun intended) I wasn't impressed with the vegan frank. I ordered the Patt Morrison Baja Veggie Dog, which was covered and guacamole, onions, and tomatoes - sounds amazing right? Unfortunately it was luke warm, the guacamole was goopy and didn't taste fresh or homemade, I could barely taste the onions, and the bun was bland. The dog itself, made by Yves, was a typical tasting soy dog. Granted veggie dogs are not Pink's speciality, but I expected a little more, at least from the bun - I had a much better frank at Spike's Junkyard Dogs in Boston.
Overall, I really appreciate that Pink's has vegan options on their menu and I'm really glad I had the experience there. It's a great option if you're on a budget (it's less than $4) and/or you're out late (they're open until 2am on weeknights, and until 3am on Fridays & Saturdays). Another big plus - I didn't have too bad of a stomach ache (despite all the gluten and soy), unlike my friend who felt quite sick after her meat-based hot dog (though she admitted it tasted good going down). If I ever go back to Pink's I'd like to give it another try with some different toppings - perhaps just onions, mustard, and relish.
P.S. Pink's in Las Vegas serves the vegan dogs too. : )