If you’re a hotdog fan, the names Nathan’s and Sabrett in the Big Apple or even Pink’s in LA would be familiar. But in Jeddah there’s a new place, actually a food stall, at the food court of Mall of Arabia: 1901 Hotdogs (right beside Greek) with its Benetton-esque slogan “Food for Friendship.” This international chain I learned is surprisingly not American, but originated in Asia (Malaysia actually).
The basic ingredient is a steamed beef or chicken hotdog served on a sesame seed hoagie bun (also called a sub, Philly or hero sandwich across the US). The hotdog sits on a V-cut down the length of the hoagie bun with your choice sauces and trimmings. As this was a new and untried place, we cautiously went for the basic Chicago Beef meal (beef hotdog with ketchup, mustard and pickle relish with crushed black pepper) plus a choice of fries or mashed potato and a cola drink for SR 14 (regular set). The larger set, which I suppose is just a bigger sandwich, costs SR 16.
We also picked up a meal platter called the Harmony Platter: a combo meal consisting of 2 franks (beef and chicken) garnished with black pepper sauce, a side of sauerkraut and mashed potato with gravy, a bun, coffee and OJ all for SR 19. This was a breakfast item as I understand but nonetheless, was on offer for the whole day.
The Chicago Beef dog was tender, well done and not salty as I expected, and as your teeth pierces through the casing, the unmistakable crunchy bite of a beefy frank is reassuring to the palate. I just wished though that the buns were less soft, which I surmised was the result of being chucked into the microwave before serving. The platter was no less engaging – the black pepper sauce was mildly spicy while the side of sauerkraut just had the right balance of tartness and sourness which kept the whole meal from being a bore. The mashed potato could have been a bit smoother though while the OJ was not fresh juice, but was a commercial-grade, watered-down concoction.
Nonetheless, it was reasonably-priced and satisfying meal and I would even come back on other days for the novelty of it to try their various offerings. Give it a shot and let’s hear your comments after!1901 Hotdogs ,
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