When you’re young, it was cool to not like hot dogs. “You know they are made out of pig intestines right?” said every single girl on the playground. There on that playground, in fourth grade, I was denied membership in a club…because I liked hotdogs.
Flash forward roughly ten years and I’m walking through Salzburg Austria, battling through tour groups, in hopes to find the perfect inexpensive afternoon lunch. My brother and I had been traveling through Europe for the past week. Our legs were tired and our stomachs were emptied, as well as our wallets.
I saw it in the distance like a mirage. “There,” I pointed wiping the sweat off of my brow. “Stiegl Truck.” This truck is no way related to Stiegl, the delicious Austrian beer, but somehow the words flew out of my mouth and they stuck. What I wanted was a Steigl beer, to hold in public, and a hot dog. We had arrived at the right place.
Now this is not your grandma’s hot dog. For the price of just 1 euro, you get not 1, but 2 bratwursts engulfed in a roll, allowing for the perfect ratio of bread to meat in every bite. Why this concept hasn’t taken off in the US, I will never know.
My brother daringly ordered the steckerlfisch, which (after a few stiegl beers) I dubbed stieglfish. Steckerlfisch comes from the Bavarian dialect word Steckerl meaning a little stick. It is literally a small fished fried on a skewer.
After two Steigl beers I needed a refreshment. So I ordered the Bavarian traditional Radler. A mixture of lemonade and beer. I understand the mixture sounds odd but it is delicious and the perfect hydration after I have gorged myself with stieglfood.
There is something magical about being able to walk the streets of Salzburg holding a hot dog and a beer without being judged. In fact, if you look around, every one is doing the same. I finally found my people.
I will always defend hot dogs. If only I could go back to the playground in fourth grade with my doublestuffed hot dog and beer and show those naive children the beauty of life. I totally had more fun on the swings by myself anyway…