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Friday, March 28, 2008

THE GOURMET HOT DOG COMPANY: IN THE LAND OF THE SINGLE BUTTOCK





A few weeks ago, when I first arrived in India, I made the suggestion that the Ashoka Chakra on the Indian flag be replaced with a single buttock to show just how half assed everything is in that country.

I was being unfair. It seems that our own country is making a good stab at claiming the Buttock D’Or, the award for miserably inept concepts, service levels and general mediocrity.

First up, of course, we have the chaotic opening of Heathrow’s Terminal 5, rapidly descending into a combination of Lord of The Flies and a Whitehall Farce.

Next, on a personal level, our intermittent Internet connection provided by the bearded wonder boy, Sir Richard. So lousy a service that I am longing for the dial up internet cafes I used in Goa

Finally, as if to confirm that every thing we touch in the UK turns to crap, a visit last night to The Gourmet Hot Dog Company on Berwick St.

The concept is a good one. So good in fact that, when I got back from the Chicago leg of the EAT MY GLOBE trip and was recalling the wonders of The Weiner’s Circle and Hot Doug’s, I even pondered speaking to some potential investors about the idea of opening something similar in London. Fortunately, I came to my senses and left the idea of restaurants to those with more money and less sense than me.

Well, the Gourmet Hot Dog Company obviously had the same idea. Unfortunately, blighted by levels of mediocrity that are endemic to the London restaurant scene. It has been created with franchise roll out in mind and set up so that it can be staffed by Eastern Europeans on low wages and with minimal training. Good economically, but leading to a grim, but mercifully short, eating experience.

The Hot Dogs too are lowest common denominator. They trumpet the good ingredients used, but the tastes of the two dogs we tried were of cardboard and plastic not of prime pork or beef. They were also cold despite the server prodding one of the grey looking specimens, on the display of encased meat spinning disconsolately on rollers, to see if they were cooked.

The choice of options is not well thought out either. The “Chicago” dog would be thrown down in disgust by anyone from The Windy City consisting, as it did of a grey sausage topped with slop of no discernable provenance and bacon bits heated in the microwave.

There is no licence, which is fair enough but a beer to wash the taste away would have been welcome. There are also no fries on the menu, the concept of a Hot Dog and chips being served together having obviously escaped the owner’s roll out vision.

We entered, ordered, ate and left within ten minutes and I begrudge every last second of it, as, indeed, I do the £9 it cost for the two offending items.

A good idea, appallingly executed. Being London, I am sure it will be a great success.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Chris said...

There's only one part of the vast Virgin empire that's any good - the planes. The rest (internet, trains, wines) are crap. Ditch cable and get ADSL from plus.net. They're great and reasonably priced and if you sign up via the link from my blog I get 25p a month :)

Friday, March 28, 2008 12:35:00 pm  

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