Biker Jim makes Every Day With Rachael Ray's hot dog March Madness bracket

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Biker Jim, Denver's favorite wiener wrangler, was one of 64 hot dog vendors across the United States whose dogs are on a roll to win America's Best Hot contest, a March Madness-style bracketed battle co-conspired by Every Day With Rachael Ray and a few frankfurter freaks from Seriouseats.com, who claim to have traveled more than 3,000 miles, ingestion be damned, on a quest to determine the country's top dog.

And Biker Jim, who's now building a brick-and-mortar in the Ballpark District and taking over the Silver Spoon Airstream Trailer at the Vallagio at Inverness, made it past the first round.

Then he got bounced.

The contenders, who are separated into regions -- East, West, South and Midwest -- include plenty of big dogs, including Pink's, the iconic hot dog stand in Los Angeles. And it was Pink's that nudged out Jim, who made it to the top 32 before getting booted from the bracket. "I don't mind losing out to Pink's," confesses Jim, "but they're all about the toppings. They do one hot dog eighteen different ways, whereas we do eighteen hot dogs one way." Jim, who's eaten at Pink's, maintains that while it's not a bad dog, it's ordinary. "If you want a plain dog, Pink's is great, but if you want an oddball sausage, then yay me!" jokes Jim.

Nonetheless, our local wiener warrior isn't disgruntled. "Fuck, yeah, it's cool to be included, and it's an awesome lineup with some heavy-hitters," he admits. Of the sixteen contenders who remain, Jim is pulling for Hot Doug's in Chicago. "If it's not going to be me, then I want Doug to win," he says. "He's a classically trained chef who decided to open a hot dog place, and while I think that the sausages we source are every bit as good as his, that fucker knows how to accessorize."

And, on that note, good luck to the remaining rivals, who also include Papaya King in New York City, Gene & Jude's in River Grove, Illinois, and Nu-Way Weiners in Macon, Georgia.

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4 comments
offdisc
offdisc

Um, Pink's already lost in the next round, and Papaya King went in the round of 8. http://hostedmedia.reimanpub.c...I used to love Papaya King, but only at 1 AM in between bars. Otherwise, there were several better hot dog places around the Village and Midtown. I credit Seinfeld for making PK such a big name. Personally, my Round 1 would be "anyone using Coney Island in the name, without being IN C.I. or being FROM C.I., you lose" (funny how they all were based in the MidWest bracket). Also, if you are calling yourself "Famous" but no one outside your state has ever heard of you, Lose!

Jeff
Jeff

Agree with Aceranchero. It's gonna end up Pink's v. Papaya King, which was probably a foregone conclusion from the time they made the bracket. I've been to half a dozen places on the list (in addition to Pink's and Papaya King) and I would take any of them over those two. The both use good dogs with a nice snap, but that's where the fun ends. When it comes to chili cheese dogs, I'll take a half-smoke from Ben's Chili Bowl, or a coney from Skyline or my beloved Coney I-Lander in Tulsa over those two any day. And when it comes to great sausages, great buns, and perfect simple toppings (cream cheese, coca-cola onions, plus a bit of sriracha for me) Biker Jim's simply can't be beat.

Aceranchero
Aceranchero

Too bad for BJ as I think's PInk's won on reputation and not fact. My most recent visit, last July, found Pink's to be a sidewalk carnival with Disneyland-style line management, an overly complicated menu, and chili far greasier than I remembered it to be in the 80s and 90s. One bright note: they're still using those snappy, natural casing tube steaks.

DC
DC

Ben's Chili Bowl half-smokes: wildly and completely overrated

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