The End of Average Hot Dog: The Mighty Dog and Acai
The evolution of a favorite American quick fix has experienced a rebirth…find out why!
What if Frankenstein’s career in the horror business didn’t work out so well and he took an indefinite vacation to Brazil along with a huge appetite, met a Brazilian woman, ate and cooked new things, came back to the United States and put together an unfamiliar hot dog of “monster” proportions? I’m pretty certain you would have The Mighty Dog and Acai, that obvious “monster”colored green food truck easily worthy of a visitation that you will find frequenting the streets of D.C. and the Maryland suburbs.
Actually, my life changed today. I see things in a much more clear light. I collapsed to the ground in sweet surrender to the fact that a normal American style hot dog topped with ketchup and mustard is embarrassing. As I type this, I am also ashamed that I have many, many, times before enjoyed a simple hot dog topped with ketchup and chili…I think I will type the rest of this article from underneath my desk, so no one can see me.
This is why I think Brazil does the hot dog right, verbatim from the Mighty Dog: “A hot dog that is cooked in a tomato based sauce and coated with a mashed potato spread and our special sauce. Then topped with our pico de gallo vinaigrette, ketchup/mustard, corn, Brazilian soft cheese, and crowned with tiny fried potato sticks and served in a sweet bread, pressed and served”. This is their “Brazilian Dog”, one of the four remarkable options of pure love on a bun at your service to romance. If you find yourself in wonderment of expectations for such a different concept, please take my word and go with what I am presenting to you. Keep in mind, that I did spend hours watching the hundreds of customers throughout the day lining up to satisfy themselves. As I spoke to and made chat with the hungry people reading the menu even before their ordering, I realized many of them were a bit more of the experimental type. A sense of journey in their decision making. They read the description on the menu and contemplated for a moment, then realized it sounded like something they wanted to try as they smiled an adventurous smile, waiting for that adventurous bite.
“Mighty” Matt Nunez, a former real estate broker (and nightclub DJ in the late ’90’s), needed to find a good way to supplement his income around 2008, when it was essentially not the greatest of years financially for a lot of people. Being of South American background himself, he had always had a love for our southern neighbor’s style/twist on food, especially the Brazilian hot dog. Considering the large South American flavor of the Washington area to boot and the usual and constant love of Hispanic/Latin foods in the United States, Matt gave it his best. A few years later, The Mighty Dog and Acai have found themselves sponsored by Nathan’s hot dogs which has become a major achievement for them coming from such a classical and respected hot dog producer. Matt believed that in such an international city as ours, this was exactly what needed to come together. “Why are we not biting into other culture’s simple pleasures?” Mr. Nunez said.
When you take a visit, I would not be surprised if find yourself thirsty, so also available is the “Bull Dog Drink”, a mixture of passion fruit, guava and red bull that easily satisfies a tropical taste bud. So many of us desire that ‘palm tree lifestyle’ and this is a safe bet, plus a slap of energy too. Also available that cannot be forgotten, is the Brazilian tradition of acai, that being similar to an acai berry smoothie served in a bowl and topped with granola and bananas. Many consider it to be a perfectly healthy way to cool off in the summer, or great conclusion to a good meal. Other offerings at the Mighty Dog are “The Chicken Dog”, the “Beefy Dog” and “The Porky Dog” all crafted wonderfully with toppings as well. For quick example: The Beefy Dog is a hot dog surrounded with shredded marinated beef, rice, black beans, and topped with a fried plantain. With that said, you can find that green truck by following Mighty Dog and Acai on twitter.com/MightyDogAcai for precise location updates or search for and like them on Facebook as well.
I wouldn’t particularly recommend spending another day eating a hot dog on a bun with those few garnishes and condiments we all know too well. It’s time to surrender the normal. Make your next hot dog more than that. Visit the Mighty Dog and Acai and taste what Brazil figured out while we were extra busy opening mustard packets with our teeth and squirting them in our eyes in front of friends.