Gift Guide, Day 6

December 3, 2010

Bacon Filled Hot Dogs

One of the best memories of my last trip to San Francisco was standing on line outside the Ferry Building, contemplating which hot dog I was going to order from the 4505 stand. Just watching people walking away munching on dogs piled high with crisp chicharrones was a treat. It was topped only by getting my own Zilla dog, which was every bit as delicious as advertised.

The 4505 dogs are uncured and made from good ingredients (the bacon in them comes from Niman); this is, in short, a hot dog you don’t have to feel guilty about. They’ve got the classic snap of a great dog, as well as the tender texture. The big drawback was that the were sold only in San Francisco.

4505 now ships its bacon filled hot dogs across the country. You have to order by Monday, they ship 2-day air on Wednesday, so on Friday you can be giving these great dogs to all your friends. (How convenient that Christmas falls on Saturday.)

I’m planning to wrap them up with jars of kimchi, bags of chicharrones and if I’m really ambitious, home-baked buns. I can’t think of a single friend who won’t be happy to see me carrying this through the door.

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  • my mouth is watering… sounds Delicious! ….shame I’m in Paris ,France ( sobs)

  • Katlily says:

    Wow! Husband might be getting another gift (as long as he shares!)
    Will you post a photo of the finished gift?

  • Allison Cook says:

    Dear Ruth, Thank you for these wonderful gift ideas! I was wondering if you have any favorite sources for satsuma tangerines or meyer lemons?

  • Thejgold says:

    Odd – 4505 is selling the bacon dogs but not its wonderful, and one would think less-perishable, chicharrones online. Maybe we need to descend on the Ferry Market with pitchforks and torches.

  • redhooded says:

    If you don’t get around to the home-baked buns, I bet they’d be amazing with these pretzel buns: yum!

  • Ruth Reichl says:

    Alison: No special source for satsumas, but one of my favorite presents is organic kishus from They’re not in until about mid-January, but they’re so worth waiting for. I have a five year old friend who eats them by the fistful.
    As for meyer lemons, I’m probably the only person on earth who is underwhelmed by them. I love lemons, love their acidity, and see no reason why they’re better when they’re half tangerine. I used to grow them in LA and give them away to friends who felt otherwise..

  • Ruth Reichl says:

    Jonathan, you’re absolutely right. But now you’ve got me on the hunt for great chicharrones by mail. The best I’ve ever tasted was in Chicago, at some taqueria out in Pilsen. We bought them by the bagful, and gobbled them all up before we got back to the hotel. But there must be some great source in LA?

  • Ruth Reichl says:

    redhooded: Those look great – but maybe a little much for the bacon dogs? I’m thinking of ordering some and pairing them with some kind of great weisswurst. Or maybe the garlicky knobelwurst from Katz’s?

  • Ruth Reichl says:

    Katlily: If you go into the archives and look at Thursday, September 23rd, you’ll see a picture of the Zilla dog I ate when I was in San Francisco. I want one right now!

  • Allison Cook says:

    Dear Ruth, Thanks for the suggestion! I will check out!

  • Regine Ibold says:

    Speaking of hot dogs, did you ever try the Coneys, specialty of Skyline Chili in my home town, Cincinnati? Not as healthy as the 4505s but on a bun topped with that special sauce, a cloud of finely shredded yellow cheese and chopped onion – addictive. What Skyline is really famous for are the five-ways – a layer of spaghetti, chili, beans, cheese and chopped onion. Served always on an oval plate with oyster crackers on side. MMMMM: a feastiary.