Street Food & Mean Streets. Update on LA's Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog. No Street Snack for Old Men.

Public Enemy in a Bun.

Vending a few franks from a shiny, happy cart on the street or in a park may seem to be one of the safer, more innocuous, even wholesome, ways to scratch out a living. I would go as far as describing this trade as uniquely American in the idealized Norman Rockwell tradition. The man under the umbrella sporting a paper hat while he fills fluffy buns with snappy sausages and then hands one to a smiling little boy. It’s as American as the Patriot Act.

This scene is suddenly set ablaze when bacon is introduced to the equation. The strip of pork belly snuggly strangles the wiener like Javier Bardem on a sheriff's deputy. Now, add the occasional undocumented entrepreneurs who sell the illicit bacon-wrapped wares that have been outlawed by local Los Angeles health officials, and toss in law enforcement who are looking to make an example out of these pig-on-pig vendors, then, finally, for good measure, throw in a few gang members looking to make an extra buck by extorting a street “tax” from the hapless bacon-dog sellers and you have a recipe for a danger dog in more ways than one. (And I thought selling cannoli to the Corleone family was a risky transaction.)

Daniel Hernandez, a reporter for the LA Weekly, interviewed me a while back about the infamous weiner and has put together a thorough and compelling piece about the bacon-wrapped hot dog, its allure as well as perils, both in its consumption and distribution.

This is most definitely not your daddy's hot dog.


Juliet said…
I thought you were kidding when you said it was illegal. Not that I would want to eat one myself, though. Not my taste.
It's messed up that the hot dog can't be grilled, though. You don't even need any extra oil to grill a hot dog, as I recall.
Allison said…
thank goodness you can now buy pre bacon wrapped dogs at the supermarket now "just like tijuana"! no, seriously I'm sorry to hear about this. i love those bacon wrapped hot dogs, but i'm scared to tell you my favorite in case she's raided by the popo.
Anonymous said…
At first I thought you were joking, but obviously America isn't the land of the free. Especially not of free choice.
Good to be in Old Europe where you can put on the grill just whatever you want.
Anonymous said…
great concept for a blog. I love it!
Heather said…
Doesn't the LAPD have anything better to do??? Leave the bacon alone!!!
Eddie Lin said…

i wish this was an april fool's joke or something, but, alas, it's only february. you can always cook it at home. it's super easy and, in my opinion, better.


have you ever had one of those grocer's freezer's version? i never have. plus, the mark up is ridiculous. if i recall, a pack of 5 or 6 bacon dogs with pre-sliced onions and peppers will run you about 6 bucks or more (buns not included). if you buy all the ingredients separately - including buns - it can be as cheap as 4 bucks but you get about 10 bacon dogs out of it!!! i ain't no mathematical wizard or nuthin' but that sounds like a better deal. fo' sizzle!


outlawed bacon dogs. i blame george.

always hungry,

you too?? i'm starving right now! i think i have a gland problem. very happy you love my blog. luvya back.

bacon heather,

ironically, the LAPD and bacon dogs are a perfect combination. do you smell bacon? oink, oink?
Anonymous said…
i was surprised to hear that this is illegal in L.A. Then again, it's total LAPD m.o. to lay the smack down like that.

you should come to the Yay Area. bacon hot dog men are on every corner in the Mission District. it's even infiltrated hipster culture here.

i'm a huge fan of the blog. keep it up, yo. big ups to L.A.!!

check it (yowza):
Anonymous said…
From Daniel Hernandez's article:

"I probably saw my first one while I was trying to pick up 18-year-old girls at Florentine Gardens," says Eddie Lin, a food blogger at, who has rhapsodized about the bacon-wrapped dogs on local public radio."

[The numbers have been changed to protect the innocent...

Eddie Lin said…
colonel andre,

i still like to think of myself as being a part of the Yay Area. I lived up there for three years and it was some of the best years of my life.

thanks for the props. F the police!


what daniel hernandez's article doesn't tell you is that i was only sixteen when i was tappin' that 18 y.o. action. ooops.