Hot Dogs???? in Japan???

Hot Dogs in Japan???

Normally, sushi, Manga, or Harajuku girls come to mind when I think of Japan.  But at 53 3/4 in 12 minutes, I’m tellin’ ya, now hot dogs and Japan are like white on rice;  thanks to Takeru Kobayashi (whoa! Check out those abs!), this year’s (and the past five) hot dog-eating champion.
Boy, was it ever humid Tuesday morning standing out there in front of Nathan’s with my Chili Cheese Dog and Bacon Cheese Fries on romantically dank Coney Island. But apparently neither I nor close to 30,000 watchers minded. Air conditioning? Wha? And miss the ESPN-broadcast of the 91st (????) Nathan’s Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest? No way! Pass me another beer please. If we’re going to get dehydrated, might as well do it right.
And it was well worth it to watch grown men and woman down approximately 7 hot dogs per minute. Ewwww… Seriously, who could pass up a chance to see that??
And, yes, Kobayashi continues his reign as number one. Joey Chestnut finished second with 52, and 37-year-old, 100lb. Sonya Thomas with 37. For more info on this and other eating contests, check out I.F.O.C.E. (International Federation of Competitive Eating)…no, seriously. And, please don’t talk with your mouth full.

Not to take away from all the glitz & glory of the wiener eaters, but I must tell you about this gazpacho that I had yesterday. I was hanging around Grand Central for a meeting, going to Kinko’s, the Bank, etc., and as the time inched nearer, I desperately needed to find a place to watch the France-Portugal game. And voila! Where better to go than an Irish pub? The waitress was stupendously bitter Irish, and sat me at a little table behind the TV. I started to protest when all of a sudden she whipped the screen around, and there I was…front and center. What a great gal!
Not in a rush, as I arrived 20 minutes before the game even started (just to be on the safe side), I ordered a Guinness and then proceeded to check out the menu. Lotsa great stuff, and so I settled for the Gazpacho, Fish & Chips, Guinness, and Coffee. The fish was crispy on the outside and flaky in the middle (very much yum), and came accompanied by lemon wedges, tartar sauce, ketchup, and of course, vinegar. Game was great, met some people, blah blah blah. Now, on to the Gazpacho: a nice-sized bowl of chilled tomatoes loaded with crispy bits of onions, cucumbers, and jalapeños. Oops, can’t forget the cilantro. How refreshing! And it’s funny, but it had a seriously pleasant kick to it. And I say seriously, because I am…serious. At first, I needed a glass of water so as not to down the Guinness in one gulp. And it kind of roughed up the back of the roof of my mouth a bit. You know…when you eat tomatoes or lemon, etc? I was a little worried about that at first, because it was really delicious…and I would rather my throat not have swollen up at that moment. I wanted to eat my gazpacho! Then low and behold, my wish was granted, and I didn’t even need the water. Crunch, crunch, and then a sweet and savory flow down my throat…bliss. A very nice day indeed, great gazpacho, crispy, flaky fish & chips, satisfying Guinness, and France wins the semi-finals. Not too shabby indeed. Check out Annie Moore’s at 50 E. 43rd Street at Vanderbilt, across from Grand Central.

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