It's funny how some movies you loved when you were a kid hold up really well over the years, and others you watch again and say "How the hell did I ever like that?" You remind yourself there was a time when you also liked eating Twinkies and you could entertain yourself for hours on a hot afternoon with a garden hose (perhaps not the best examples; those things are still both true for me) but you cannot fathom how you ever enjoyed some of these movies. A couple years back I tried to watch Goldfinger one night. I think I made it twenty minutes before I fell asleep. My friend David and I would joke for hours on end about the movie Undercover Blues. I watched that on Netflix a few months ago. My God, it is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I won't even get into Hudson Hawk.
But some movies still make me laugh. Last weekend I watched The Princess Bride with my young cousin, Emma. I loved it just as much as I did twenty years ago. I still watch Doc Hollywood when it comes on TV, which it does with great frequency. And not long ago I watched The Hard Way for the first time in probably 18 years. Michael J. Fox plays a high-maintenance actor training for a role, so he follows James Woods (who plays a cop) all over the city, trying to understand what it's like to be a "real" cop.
There is a scene I always loved where they go to a disgusting food stand and James Woods orders a "frog dog," which of course Michael J. Fox does as well. It's a regular hot dog that they dump their fries on, cover with ketchup and mustard, and chow down. (You can watch the scene here.)
We were having hot dogs for dinner Wednesday night. I've been in a mood for them since baseball season started (technically this is true, however it's somewhat misleading: I'm always in the mood for hot dogs.) The Angels got their first really impressive win of the season, over the Yankees, so it seemed like a good evening. Not to mention the last
Ugly Betty Lakers game.
Elizabeth wanted a dog with cole slaw on it. That was fine with me, I am always happy to eat one of those. But I was in the mood for something else, too, and with my recent adventures at The Slaw Dogs, I was inspired to branch out a little beyond relish and mustard. I thought back to The Hard Way. A "frog dog" sounded good to me.
I grilled some Nathan's Famous hot dogs on the indoor grill. For Elizabeth's dog I cooked a can of chili, added a small sluice of it to the dog, and topped it with a nice scoop of cole slaw. For my first hot dog, I took a couple pieces of breaded mozzarella sticks and fried them, then topped the dog with them and a slug of marinara sauce. I am not going to lie: I was expecting this to suck. But it did not. Not even a little. It was, in fact, delicious.
My second dog was the aforementioned frog dog: I placed the wiener in the bun, topped it with a handful of fries, and squirted ketchup and mustard on top. This wasn't quite as good. The whole was definitely less than the sum of its parts. I missed the familiar sourness of something like relish or pickles or A.1. sauce that I usually put on my hot dogs.
I would not complain if I had to eat these again, but I doubt I will make them. There are far too many other toppings with which to experiment.