While returning from our cross-country drive to Yellowstone, Sam and I stopped in lovely (and un-heart-healthy) Madison, Wisconsin to visit my lovely sister Nicole and her husband Kent. Every time we visit Madison Sam returns to gloomy ol’ Massachusetts with the promise that we’ll some day move to the greener pastures of Wisconsin and to the crunchy, environmentally-mindful city of Madison. Then I remind her of the average annual snowfall (43 inches!) and she temporarily gives up on the idea until our next visit.
Just before we got to Madison we made a quick detour and found a store, the likes of which you can only find in the great, crazy Midwest. It was a gas station/grocery store/restaurant/bank/liquor store — great for industrious stick-up guys who want to get everything in one stop. That and people like Sam & I who wanted to gas up the car, grab a quick snack, and further add to my collection of microbrew beers found to be delicious and thirst-quenching (which had grown to something like two cases at this point in our trip). Just as we’re walking up to the counter to pay Sam’s eye was caught by this crazy bag of hot dog buns. I guess it’s the answer to all our prayers, for those of us who absolutely must eat a hot dog while driving and can’t do so without leaving a trail of condiments from the nape of our neck down to our beer belly that’s overlapped our belt. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to the GoDog bun!
My absolute favorite part of the GoDog bun wasn’t the bun itself but rather the giggle-inducing and the Beavis and Butthead-like comments that follow reading the serving instructions. “Heh heh, you said ‘meat link.'”
Having bought our weight in non-GMO, pesticide-free food products from the weekend Farmer’s Market in Madison, we decided to get a little crazy and make a new hot dog. This one isn’t too involved–just grab a couple of cheddar cheese curds and pop ’em in the GoDog bun, then toast them in the oven for 5 minutes or so (just enough to make the curds a little soft).
Then you squirt your condiments down the wall of the bun, like so . . .
and insert meat link, gently twisting so as not to tear the walls of your GoDog bun.
Voila, you have yourself a genuine Sconnie! We used all organic beef hot dogs and paired it with some homemade coleslaw, peas shelled fresh that morning, fingerling potatoes with garlic scape pesto, and a few curds on the side.
It was a mighty fine dinner, which we followed up with a trip to the most amazing place I’ve ever seen in a public university: the Memorial Union Terrace, situated on the shore of Lake Mendota, which has the most amazing beer garden. We settled down on the steps of the terrace, bellies full of Sconnies, and indulged in pitcher after pitcher of Spaten Optimator while watching the Fourth of July fireworks. We made some new friends with the club girls we shared a cab back to the house with, woke up with severe hangovers, and most important of all came up with a new hot dog. We love you, Wisonsin!