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BOO 2011

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Photo by Jason Greene

Food and Drink - Staff Picks

Best hangover cure

Big Wheel Provisions' 8-ounce Angus hot dog
Various locations; bigwheeltruck.com

We know what you're thinking: It's a hot dog. How amazing could this thing really be? Well, we'd been hearing about this particular dog from people for weeks. "It's huge," they told us, and it's all Angus beef and it's served with all manner of yummy condiments, all homemade with locally sourced ingredients. Our interest was piqued. But really, it's a hot dog, right?
We headed downtown to one of the Wednesday night food-truck pods in the parking lot behind Firestone Live, where Big Wheel Provisions is usually parked for the evening, serving up ridiculously delicious and decadent fare. On the night we visited, the truck was doling out grass-fed beef meatball sandwiches with local lettuces, pork belly sandwiches with blue cheese from Winter Park Dairy, fried calamari with spicy aioli … and we had committed to ordering … a hot dog. How sad. Until they called our name to let us know the monster dog was ready.

It was about the size of a baby's arm – no kidding – so big that it seemed inappropriate and possibly obscene to take a bite of it in public. But it was topped with a mound of homemade pickle relish and onion jam, and it looked so monumentally delicious that we set our reservations aside and devoured the whole damn thing. Delicious. In fact, we may never be able to eat another hot dog again, now that we know what a hot dog made with real meat actually tastes like.

If you're feeling peckish, we don't advise you order the 8-ounce monster dog – try the crispy, three-cheese fried grit cakes instead. But if you've got a gnawing hunger – the kind you're feeling after a night of downtown drinking, maybe – get the dog. It'll fix you. Seriously.

 

Best survivor

Gabriel’s Subs
3006 Edgewater Drive; 407-425-9926

Surrounded by a dozen restaurants that have opened and closed over the years, smack in the middle of the construction of the shopping-plaza-engulfing Edgewater High School expansion, Gabriel’s Sub Shop sits placidly. The unpretentious sandwich store has been putting cold cuts on bread since 1958 on Edgewater Drive in College Park; originally they were located at the corner of Dartmouth and Edgewater, but after 22 years there (!), they moved down to their current address in 1980. Generations of College Parkers have grown up on Gabriel’s spiced ham and sweet pickles, and generations of the Gabriel family have served behind the counter – that’s one way to interpret “eating local.”

 

Best thing between two slices

Carnivore: ChiMoo at Treehouse Truck
Twitter: @treehousetruck

Herbivore: CU Portabella at Greens & Grille
11325 University Blvd.; 407-373-0123; 4104 Millenia Blvd.; 407-770-1407; greensandgrille.com

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