We bustle to the Hustle

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Hot Dog Hustle, 252 Ballarat Road, Braybrook.

Well golly and gosh – haven’t we been very good boys!

CTS HQ has been awash with vegetables, salads, legumes, unmeaty pasta dishes and all manner of righteous eating for what seems like weeks.

Now I reckon it’s time to go a bit crazy.

I say to Bennie: “C’mon buddy – we’re going!”

Says he: “Where???”

“It’s a surprise – one you’ll like!”

Hot Dog Hustle, a Braybrook-based food truck operation, has been on our list for yonks – it’ll be a pleasure to tick this one off our to-do list.

It’s a dim and drizzle early evening, so we are happy to find some rudimentary – and covered – seating is available for our dining pleasure.

Bennie orders the “Furi” ($12) and its teriyaki sauce, caramelised onion, jalapeno, spicy mayo, Hustle mayo, chilli flakes, furikake and shichimi peppers.

Two mouthfuls into his meal and the Bennie verdict is in.

It’s supremely unequivocal.

“This is truly great,” he enthuses.

But he is a little envious of my bulgogi cheesesteak ($15) and its sliced steak, caramalised onion, grilled capsicum, melted cheese and Hustle mayo.

And so he should be.

This is magnificent!

It’s an awesome fast-food feast packed with a variety of intense flavours.

The sliced beef is tender, easily devoured and tasty.

A “free” fried egg is included with each of hot dogs and the fries and onion rings ($5 each) are good accompaniments, though the latter constitute a rather small serving.

The hot dogs themselves are far from the top-notch smoked kind we have at home, bought from Andrew’s Of Yarraville, but they’re quite adequate for the food here.

Seeing the Hod Dog Hustle pics on FB, I had been wondering how customers eat such creations when the toppings outweigh the dogs and buns beneath.

And the buns are the real fluffy hot dog kind – a far cry from the Vietnamese banh mi baguettes we use for hot dogs and kranski at home.

With their hands?

Nah, don’t think so – I reckon they do what we do and go the knife and fork.

Check out the Hot Dog Hustle website here.

Meal of the week No.37: Littlefoot

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We missed the first few weeks of Littlefoot’s Wiener Wednesdays.

But now we’re in the house and eager to see how it all stacks up.

The big question: Will one apiece of the $5 hot dogs suffice – or will we need two to do?

We love how Littlefoot (223 Barkly Street, Footscray) has become such a cool part of the inner-west furniture and we love hanging there.

And we dig their hot dogs.

The core of the matter is pretty much your standard frankfurter – but they’re fine.

But it’s the deft mix of ketchup, mustard and onions – all slathered on chargrilled soft rolls – that make them winners.



Saving us ordering more, we get a large of serve of the Littlefoot chips ($8).

Oh boy – these knock us out!

They are crispy tremendous – the best we’ve had in quite a while.

They’re seasoned, we’re told, with a mix of paprika, parsley, taragon and a little cumin.


Cop that, chicken salt!

Couple of hot dogs, fantastic chips, Cokes – all the major food groups covered; we’re happy!

Cross-cultural hot dogs


We do love hour hots dogs and frankfurters.

Most regularly we keep a bunch of beef dogs from Al Amena in the freezer.

Sometimes we splash out on the smoked – and much more expensive – versions from Andrew’s in Anderson St, Yarraville and elsewhere.

Problem is, we find when eating them in traditional style – in a roll – the balance of meat to bread is out of whack.

No matter what kind of bread roll we use, there is too much of it compared with the frankfurters, making two of them quite a big ask even when we’re really hungry.

So routinely we split the bread rolls lengthways and scoop out the soft middles, leaving hot dog receptacles that look like canoes.

Load up with franks and our choice of extras and condiments, and we’re happy.

However, our most recent hot dog frenzy took a different turn initiated by the happy presence in the fridge of a bag of fresh pita breads.

Place hot dog on half a pita bread; dress with homemade roast red capsicum, dijon mustard and dill pickle; roll up so it’s like a big fat cigar; eat.

(Roll up one end as you would with a kebab so the goodies don’t ooze out!)


And with a bread/meat balance pretty much attaining our ideal.

(We had an earlier version in our hot dog dinner that had the above ingredients PLUS chopped tomato. Turns out the halved pita bread is very moisture sensitive. Turns out, too, the mustard, capsicum and dill pickle provide enough flavour lift and moisture to do the job without the doggy wrap falling apart before its eating is completed.)

We sometimes also avoid the Bread Problem entirely by having our dogs with our version of spud salad – roughly mashed or chopped skin-on potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper and a handful of chopped parsley.

I googled “cross-cultural hot dogs” and was surprised to find the results mainly concerned with curry powder and franks of various kinds, along with some interesting results obtained through introducing Japanese elements such as bonito flakes.

Funny that – I had a hunch that a universal dog may’ve had just as much cyber action as, say, the many variants on deep-fried dough or the countless genres of fried rice.

Hot dogs: What works for you?