Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bodean's, corner of Poland St. and D'Arblay St.

Bodean's BBQ Smoke House has been in Soho for a few years now and is known as the place to go if you want US-style barbecue ribs. What I didn't know was that they also sell hot dogs - and pretty good ones too.

Like Ed's Easy Diner (the only other place I know of that does American hot dogs), Bodean's is a US-themed restaurant but that's where the similarities end. Bodean's was founded by a man from Kansas called Bryan Tyrell who - according to the restaurant's publicity - has been a world BBQ champion twice and BBQ meats (ribs, chicken, pulled pork, 'burnt ends' beef brisket) are the main feature of the Bodean's menu.

I was only here for the hot dogs though...

Bodean's sells two sausage and bread combos - a Cumberland sausage sandwich and a 1/4lb 'Chicago' all-beef hot dog.

Tempting as the Cumberland sausage was, I felt I had to try the beef dog. I ordered mine with chilli and jalapenos on top. Pickles and a handful of fries came free with it. The pink blob on the side is some kind of mayo. It didn't taste great.

This is certainly the closest thing to a true American hot dog (such as those championed by the guys at that I've found in London. The sausage was nicely charred on the outside and moist on the inside. A really nice hot dog sausage.

The chili was a little wet for my liking and once it again it had beans. I have mental image now of what kind of chili would be perfect in a hot dog - it would be quite thick in consistency, dark, with a hint of sweetness as well as the chili kick, and the beef would be quite fine. The Bodean's chili wasn't quite like that but it still tasted pretty good and had a freshly-cooked quality to it. The jalapenos helped to add more of a bite. Other toppings you can get include sauerkraut, cheese and grilled onions and there are a variety of sauces (BBQ, ketchup etc.) on the table.

The bread roll was the weak point as it was somewhat tasteless - kind of an afterthought.

Overall, this was superior hot dog and there are plenty of toppings to choose from to maximise your hot dog experience. The only thing that could be improved is the bread.

4.5 out of 5. The best American style hot dog I've had in London so far.

Bodean's website.

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