The ultimate haute dog

The New Otani Hotel - Tokyo

The Ryotei Gotenyama - Kaiseki cuisine in a tranquil Japanese setting

I first ate Kobe beef  in Tokyo nearly 10 years ago. A client treated me to dinner at a picturesque Ryotei restaurant serving kaiseki cuisine, the most formal of all Japanese dining experiences. The highlight of our meal was a serving of the highly prized marbled beef about the size of a deck of cards. We shared it; the tab for the meal was equivalent to my weekly grocery bill.

My second time was last week — with a hot dog. A frankfurter billed as “the ultimate haute dog.”  I picked up a pound of American-Style Kobe Beef frankfurters as part of a grand opening promotion of Metropolitan Market (a dreamy grocery store with lofty prices off-set by value-priced teasers like fancy hot dogs). The marketing ploy worked.  I felt compelled to tee up our hot dog dinner with a certain flair:

“These hot dogs are made with a special style of beef called Kobe Beef.”

“But isn’t Kobe Beef in Japan,” Son #1 asked.

“Yes, but this is American-style.  And they’re using it in foods like hog dogs.”

“That’s weird,” Son #1 noted.

And not all that different from any “premium” hot dog, from what I could tell.  But the Kobe effect did inspire me to take the sides up a notch beyond the usual baked beans and coleslaw.  This time we opted for Trader Joe’s Cuban black beans over rice plus diced mango.  It worked.  Clean plates all around.

YouAteThat photo

Kobe beef "haute dog"

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