I was somewhat at a loose end on Tuesday lunch time this week having arranged to meet up with my usual lunch time companion, J, who then rain checked at very (grrr) short notice blaming a business meeting in Gloucestershire at 2 pm (phah).
As a result I had not bothered to make my usual packed lunch of whatever I could find in the fridge and larder. By 12.30 I was famished not helped by the fact that I had spent the previous late afternoon/early evening at an event in London nibbling on the tiniest canapés I have ever seen (they were more pinky finger nail food than finger food), not getting back to Cardiff until gone 10.30pm and going to bed without any dinner (being too knackered to eat). This sort of thing makes me grumpy (or as Mrs. SF would say grumpier)
I had planned a burger and candied bacon fest at the Urban Tap House, Cardiff, but didn’t fancy dining solo so the question arose as to what to have for lunch.
Now in the absence of a sit down meal my choices were limited as proper hardcore street food hasn’t really come to Cardiff (despite my pleas @meatwagonuk has no plans to come – so they have told me in response to my begging tweets – and the excellent Bar 44’s airstream tapas caravan – @tapas44elboqueron – has not been on the streets of Cardiff for a while, other than in Porters on Bute Terrace on the occasional evening) and I wasn’t in mood for a sarnie.
By chance, on looking at twitter, I noticed that the rather lovely sounding The Rollin Hot Dog Co. had resumed its pitch at the Cardiff Fashion Quarter (CFQ) on Womanby Street, Cardiff and this seemed like the perfect remedy for my increasingly vocal grumbling stomach.
The Rollin Hot Dog Co takes a bit of finding, as CFQ is at the top end of Womanby Street towards the Castle end and there was no signage (that I could see – I am, however, not the most patient re looking when I am hungry) indicating hots dogs inside. Bit more prominent signage would help guys.
I wandered in and lol and behold a classic NYC style hot dog cart was positioned directly opposite the entrance.
After a chat with the very pleasant lady who runs the cart (sorry I didn’t asked your name) I decided on the rather fine sounding Bronco. My original choice of the BBQ slaw dog was not an option as the slaw element had run out (business was apparently brisk, which was good to hear). The other option on the chalk board menu for the day was a classic dog with onions. I understand that on other days other options are on offer, including ones with bacon bits (mmmmm).
The Bronco was a fine looking beast consisting of a large soft proper hot dog roll, deli meats (garlic sausage and salami – these were OK, if a little pedestrian) and of course a large authentic hotdog sausage (can’t be doing with a so called hot dog which involves a standard UK banger – that people is a sausage sandwich not a hotdog). It also came with onions, a nice fresh salsa and a generous portion of good pickled jalapeños peppers. I was told that mustard went really well with this dog (ketchup was also on offer), but in my excitement at taking that first bite I forgot to put it on. It would, I am sure, have made a great dog even better.
All in all, this made for a very satisfying lunch time meal, with the added bonus that it was easy to eat on the go. Come the summer and hopefully less inclement weather (we should be so lucky), I can see my lunch time walk around Bute Park involving a regular stop to pick up one of these dogs to eat on the go.
Price wise the classic dog with onions was £2.80, the BBQ slaw £3.20 and my Bronco came in at £3.30. Based on the size and quality of the dogs I thought this was a fair price.
Speaking to the owner, the dogs are sourced from a company called Saarlander. On investigation (I am naturally nosey) Saarlander’s website refers to their hot dogs being traditional German brockwursts made, in the Lower Saxony region of Germany, to a recipe complying with strict German laws as to what goes in them (no fillers or artificial colouring etc. here, as such things are a non starter under German food purity laws). The Germans take their wursts very seriously indeed, so this is a good indicator of a quality product.
My dog was all it should have been, deliciously meaty with a slight smokey favour (they are smoked over beechwood chips). I like brockwursts and this was a good tasty brockwurst.
This was not a two bites and it’s gone dog (I was told it was the largest size they could source and what you get is a dog coming in at 31 cm and 120 grams based on Saarlander’s website). With the extra toppings etc. on the Bronco, it was easily enough to satisfy my lunch time hunger pangs. I could, however, had quite happily eaten another.
I really enjoyed my hot dog from The Rollin Hot Dog Co. It is a delightful piece of Americana come to Cardiff, including the lovely cart and the charming and enthusiastic owner.
Would I go back? Most definitely – it was a top dog which was perfect to eat on the go whilst mooching about Cardiff. Ooh I could eat one right now. Mmm BBQ slaw dog next time, I think.
Bravo The Rollin Hot Dog Co and long may you roll.
The Rollin Hot Dog Co
Cardiff Fashion Quarter