AmericanWiener, Tampa

Since the daily food truck placement at work began, we have seen about a dozen regular participants with a new option here and there. Kudos to Tampa Bay Food Trucks, who coordinates all of this with USF, for starting to mix things up. This week and next, it seems that we're starting to see a 'veteran' truck paired with a new to USF option. It's smart marketing, giving us a familiar name to get us out there if the new guy's offerings aren't appealing that day.

Another thing that has changed is that the original schedule was one truck Monday through Thursday, then things got so busy that they quickly realized two would be better. The most recent modification has been to add one truck on Friday. As two of the four colleges of the medical school either offer morning classes or no classes, it makes sense to plan for less traffic. And so it was that a new contender arrived today, AmericanWiener.

They're old school, simple looking van, big graphic that reminds me of the vintage drive in concession stand commercial, and a simple menu. They take Alton Brown's rule of 'keep it simple, offer few items' and actually improve upon it. Hot dogs and fries. That's it-and a bunch of cool toppings.

Ed was kind of surprised I didn't go for the Cincy chili dog, but considering I'd just sent a friend a link to a site with crock pot recipes for vegetarians, I had pickled cabbages on the brain. The New York Dog sounded perfect. It very nearly was, ample kraut, tasty grilled onions and a good spicy brown mustard. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if the skin on the dog popped.

The fries, oh my, the fries. Something changed when I hit my 40s, in that I typically can consume less than a dozen and leave the rest untouched. However, fresh cut fries that are just the slightest bit overdone, lightly salted, and I will eat those suckers cold. Bonus for having a bottle of malt vinegar available. I ate them all. (Just as well, the coworkers I'd usually pawn off excess fries to aren't eating them nowadays!)

I did suggest another option for those fries and if they do it, it'll make me happy. Those amazing fries from Dimitri's in Daytona Beach are a must add. (Feta, garlic, parsley and olive oil. Yum)

What's cool is that I was prepared to microwave a meal because I wasn't sure what I'd find-and this ended up being really good. Sad to say, for less than I'd pay at Mel's Hot Dogs just over a mile away, I had a far superior hot dog and fries.

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