Monday, September 6, 2010

Checking Out Lefty's Hot Dogs - Mission Hills

Mostly hot dogs but some sandwiches and few slices of pizza.. The post is a bit long but here I go and hope you enjoy. And just a FYI, most of these hot dog photos are going to look more or less the same, haha... ;)

First up of course a Chicago Hot Dog. The poppy seed bun is steamed moist and fluffy and the natural casing Vienna Beef wiener, in this case boiled, had a mild but nice snap, good meaty flavor. Toppings are all the expected suspects of slices of tomatoes, sport peppers, dill pickle, chopped onions, mustard, celery salt and that so unnaturally bright colored neon green relish. :)

As good as the dog is, the best part for me is that it's great to know you can have an authentic Chicago Dog in this city as a meal with fries for only $4.25..

The Maxwell Street Polish Dog ($5.50) was from the recommendation of Jenne.

A nice grilled Polish Sausage where you can see it starting to split. The Polish was juicy and the grilling definitely helped in additional flavor. Topped with grilled onions, sport peppers and mustard. My new favorite dog at Lefty's!

I had a slice of deep dish sausage pizza ($3.25) one day. I've ordered a whole Meaty Pie once and it had the same yummy naturally sweet tomato sauce. The slice is not as deep and filled but for the price I thought extremely fair. The reheat from the oven as a single was great, the crust was much crustier and stiffer than what we had with a whole pie.

I had the Char-Cheddar Burger ($6.50) once..

Was pretty good where (if I remember correctly) the 1/3 pound patty was a medium coarse ground. The patty was on the lean side and maybe packed too tightly, decently moist but I thought it could be a lot more juicy judging how thick it was. Shredded lettuce in my burgers is not my thing but all the veggies which included red onions and tomato were all extremely fresh.

Little things here and there that I could easily ignore but I think what bugged me the most was the cheddar cheese where the flavor was quite sharp and had a waxy texture. Ironically it was good quality cheddar, just thought it distracted from tasting the beef. Sometimes the good ol' yellow Processed American just does the job best. But that's just me.. ;)

The slice of the sausage thin crust ($2.25) I had had a nice lovely crusty bottom. Might not be able to tell by the looks of the photo but these are pretty darn hot to hold..

I've been noticing my metabolism tanking eons ago but I feel I'm starting to become sensitive to sodium as well these days and I thought while the slice was good it was overall a bit too salty for me. Tasted great cold the next day though.. ;)

Perhaps a salad intermission is a good idea here.....

The House Salad Small ($2.75) was super fresh. A romaine iceberg mix with cucumbers, red onions, black kalamata olives and cherry tomatoes. Simple but good. Had it with the Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Next up the Char-Cheddar Dog.. ($5)

*Oink Oink*

Essentially the Chicago Dog but with a grilled dog instead of boiled with some nice lovely char and a good slather of melted cheese.

The cheese had the smooth creamy consistency similar to the Whiz, and I mean that in a good way. These would be so great say, while watching a Baseball game??.. Actually any of these would be a huge leap from the currently produced by Wienerschnitzel at PETCO Park. Otherwise great stadium.

The Chicago Polish Sausage ($5.50). A fat Polish Sausage with all the bells and whistles you'd find on a Chicago Dog.

The boiled kielbasa here I thought could've had a bit more flavor and be juicier. Still very good but once you try the grilled Maxwell Street version it's hard to compare.

Down to the last two. Not a hot dog but the Homemade Italian Sausage Sandwich.... ($6)

Lovely grilled onions and bell peppers. So lovely.

The highly toasted super flaky bread acted like a defensive barrier for me to get to the yummy contents but once I got past the first few bites I did pretty well. Overall the balance was a bit too heavy on the bread but you could always tear some of it off I guess. Sausage had a nice but mild fennel flavor. It didn't quite reach the level of Pete's Quality Meats down in Little Italy but definitely not a bad option to have close by in my part of town.

And last but not least, the most simply named Char-Dog ($4.25).

This is your classic Chicago Dog with a grilled dog with some beautiful (and tasty) charred skin. Personally I prefer it to the original but I also love (and am never afraid of) a good char on my meats. The Char-Dog would be my next favorite to the Maxwell Street Polish Sausage.

BTW, I almost forgot about describing their fries but they're crispy potato-ey, perfectly salted and great. Ketchup on my fries but never on my Chicago Dog! :)

Hope everyone is enjoying the Labor Day weekend. Maybe grilling up some tasty hot dogs even. Cheerios.

Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria (Mission Hills), 4030 Goldfinch, San Diego, CA 92103


caninecologne said...

hi dennis - loved the photo of ferris bueller, cameron and sloan! one of the best 80's movies ever (besides fast times and 16 candles of course)!

the word ver is:

i'll have to try lefty's with bert soon. i like the chicago style dogs but without mustard and the pickle spear. and i'd eat it with ketchup too. yeah, sacrilege i know.

Dennis K. said...

Hi CC, yeah Ferris Bueller's Day Off is such a great 80's movie! I think Ferris was one of the first true portrayal of nerds that are cool at that time.

I used to slather an insane amount of ketchup on my dogs not too long ago. But recently I switched the sweet condiment to relish, but only on my dogs. I still drown my fries with the Heinz.
Anyhow I like Lefty's cause I think the prices are very reasonable. Like how some places forget the affordability of these regional street food is part of the 'authentic experience' too??

Mary said...

At first I thought the Cheddar Dog would have the cheese inside the hot dog. I love getting those at the grocery store. I never put ketchup on anything, I don't even really like it on meatloaf. A little on my hamburger is fine, but that's about it. My boyfriend thinks its un-American. hah!

Anonymous said...

Great price on that Chicago dog. Oh boy, I haven't had one in over a year and I love Vienna dogs. All the dogs look great. I'll have to put this on my to-try list when I'm in the neighborhood.

Dennis K. said...

Hi Mary, yes that is SO un-American of you, shame! Haha Just kidding of course. Funny I have certain burgers I like to slather ketchup on and others I don't and prefer with only a dash of salt. Rocky's= Salt only.. Western and Canada Steak Burger= Gobs of ketchup. I can guess but haven't analyzed in detail why this is so. the nerdy me I'm sure I will soon enough. :)

Hi CAB! We used to have Chicago on a Bun in La Joela and it was great but would cost a half an arm and a toe. I'm sure the high rent didn't help...
You know I never visited the original North Park location of Lefty's yet. Must do that soon.

KirkK said...

Hey Dennis - That Chicago Dog is a bargain.... I've got a Mission Hill's Lefty's photos for a psot buried somewhere. The only thing I find lacking in the Chicago Dog at Lefty's is they use just a miniscule amount of celery salt.

caninecologne said...

me again - if i had a choice, i'd rather put relish on my dog than ketchup but both are fine with me! just no mustard tho'.

after we visited the most awesome mustard museum last fall in the lovely town of mount horeb in wisconsin (recommendation courtesy of wandering chopsticks), my daughter converted to being a mustard fan. that was shocking. but hey, at least someone else in the house besides my s/o will eat the mustard now.

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kirk, I remember your chicago dog comparison a while back. You know I kinda felt the same way here about the celery salt. Do you find this true in only the Mission Hills Lefty's or both? But I'm not at all surprised you have a photo of one stashed somewhere... ;)

Hi CC, you know I'm not a huge mustard fan but I do like a little on my dog to cut the sweet relish. Dang if I'm ever in Wisconsin I'm definitely going to check out the Mustard Museum! :)

KirkK said...

Hey Dennis - Both locations make it the same way.....

Sawyer said...

o my god that looks so good....there is a dog place up here that has a lemon chicken i like but i havent' tried anything else yet. gonna have to go get the chicago next itme.

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kirk, that's interesting. I checked out my COAB pics and I can visually see more celery salt. It took some time to find but was satisfying.. What a nerd, haha. :)

Hi Sawyer, yeah a Chicago Dog seems to have a little bit of everything.. that Lemon Chicken sounds great tho, hope you had a chance to document it! ;)