Jennie Tai
American Barracks Row Capitol Hill Hot Dogs

DC-3: Back to Simpler Times

{ Fried Pickles | Chili Cheese Fries }

If you know me at all, you know that I’m a fanatic of carnival foods. From popcorn, to cotton candy, to cheese fries – I’m really not that hard to please. Whether it’s cotton candy being swirled into a pink cloud of sugary floss, or catching the scent of fresh buttered popcorn as you teeter the top of a ferris wheel – I get a little excited when I see these items on menus outside of the carnival lights, because they bring back these memories. A craving that has followed me from my childhood though, has always been for hot dogs. Whether it’s smiling over a quick trip to the hot dog truck with my dad, or suffering the wait of a three-hour Sunday haul at Costco – just for that Nathan’s hot dog I’ll get to enjoy on the way home – I don’t exaggerate when I say that I get pretty damn happy when I see hot dogs anywhere. A few months ago, I wrote a review on how excited I was to see frankfurters on the menus of Lyon Hall – so you can imagine how I nearly hyperventilated when I saw the dozens of hot dogs on the menu of Matchbox Food Group’s ode to the American Hot Dog – DC-3.

One of my (many..) quirks is that my palate is a bit of a snob. I get bored quickly with my food, and frequent between sweet and salty to keep my taste buds interested – otherwise I stop eating all together. Luckily, DC-3 doesn’t just offer hot dogs. They also have delicately battered ‘fried pickles’, hand-cut ‘chili cheese fries’, fresh ‘cotton candy’ – and even ‘fried oreos’ to keep your taste buds dancing.

Unfortunately, I was too busy gawking at the giant picture-menu, ordering all the hot dogs, fries, and fried pickles my cash pocket would allow – and never made it to dessert. Needless to say – I can’t wait to be back.  I’m ashamed to say I left without having a fried oreo, or even noticing it on the menu after swooning over the list of hot dogs waiting for me to try.

{ Tucson Sonoran | Chicago 7 | Q’s Seoul Bulgogi & Kimchi }

The Tucson Sonoran is the biggest head turner of the three. You can’t see it in the photo, but sandwiched between that butter-grilled frankfurt loaf, and underneath that drizzle of deli mustard, jalapeno relish, white spicy mayo, bed of onions, diced tomatoes and pinto beans-  is a bacon-wrapped all beef hot dog. Let me just say that a little slower for you, because I don’t think you understand.

They browned that thick slice of bread on a buttered grill.

In butter.

They wrapped that hot dog in glorious bacon.

In bacon.

And then topped it off with a hand full of sweet, sour, and savory flavors that will make your taste buds sing.

As for Q’s Seoul Hot Dog? They pretty much did the same thing, except topped it off with the combination to a Korean hangover cure. Sriracha, heavenly thick slices of sweet bulgogi, and the devilish pickled cabbage – otherwise known as ‘kimchi’. As ashamed as my jalapeno popping mother would be to read this – I admit that I don’t normally withstand spicy food for more than half a minute. However, I finished this entire concoction – with a burning throat, sweaty forehead, sniffly nose and all – enjoying every minute of it.

{ Tango }

DC-3 also makes their own soda, and even serves ‘ice cold beer’ now. However, when I saw the colorful plastic animals of vitamin-kid-drinks sitting in the window, I couldn’t help myself. DC-3 flew me back to my childhood with a spin on one of my favorite carnival treats, and a charming little lion filled with fruit juice that I named ‘Tango’! Take a flight to Matchbox Food Group’s ‘vintage hot dog joint that takes cues from the glory days of American aviation, when stewardesses looked like beauty pageant contestants, pilots were heroes, and flying was a real adventure.’ Back to simpler times, when all it took was a good hot dog and bottle of soda to make any day perfect.

423 8th St SE
(between S D St & S E St)
Washington, DC 20003
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill/Southeast

(202) 546-1935

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