Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gourmet Hot Dogs? - You Better Believe It!

~ Art Koenig
San Antonio, Texas

“Gawd man, I have never done drugs, but this must be what cocaine feels like.” So said me, the guy cramming another bite of one of Chef Kris Martinez’s Rocker Dogz into my mouth.

Never in a million years would I have thought such a thing existed - out of a club vendor’s food cart no less, but that is exactly the way it went down Friday Night at the Lava Lounge on N. St Marys Street in San Antonio, where I was doing photographic coverage on the wild and crazy Beyond the Canvas Body Painting event.

Heaven on Earth ~ A Rocker Dogz (Thai Kickboxer Rocker)
At first, I was just trying to get the lay of the club while waiting for the painter’s models to show up, and after I made the circuit, I wandered back to the front, where I struck up a conversation with Kris Martinez, who turned out to be the owner of Rocker Dogz.

He was dressed in a white chef's-jacket, looking like he just stepped out of one of those Food and Wine magazines, and he was standing in from of his stainless steel vendor cart. At first, I wondered what that was all about - I mean usually when I see a club vendor they are dressed pretty much like me when I think nobody is looking. (Think tatters and tears with grease spots on the tee shirt.)

Being a curious sort, as we street scene photographers are, and asking what kind of "drug" he was pushing from the cart, and looking for a shot (photograph opportunity), he replied “Gourmet Hot Dogs”. Aww come on, I thought, a gourmet hot dog? That was like me telling viewers on my Facebook profile that I look like Tom Cruise.

We talked a bit and while doing so, Chris offered to fix me up one of his Rocker Dogz. I declined, saying that I did not want to get all filled up before the photo shoot at the club. He insisted, saying that he would do it just to show me what it looked like. I replied OK, go ahead and I can see if it makes for a street scene shot.

As Kris goes about making my dog, (Thai Kick Boxer Rocker ) the first thing I see is a bun that has toasting marks on the outside of it . Hummmm ... This looks like a good sign is what was going thru my head. Next, he lays in a plump dog having some sort of glaze to it, and then what does he do but start putting on some Thai red cabbage slaw, some pickled things that turned out to be pickled Serrano peppers, and then laying into the top of it with some sort of dressing.

Presenting it to me, all wrapped in its foil boat, he said "Here it is the Thai Kick Boxer Rocker". Seeing as how he had gone to all that trouble .......I took it, sat my camera aside, wrapped down the foil a bit, and plowed ahead.

What struck me was an unbelievable combination of tangy sauce, the crunch of the cabbage and then the taste of the dog spices and glaze. After that first bite, I took another, and just then I was starting to feel the heat from the pickled serranos. Thereafter, the tastes got even better.Holding that dog and looking at it, shaking my head, and licking the drool off my chin I blurted out to Kris the lead to this story ...“Gawd man, I have never done drugs, but this must be what cocaine feels like.”

Big smile on his face he says ... I told you so. Man was he right.

Rocker Dogz by Chef Kris Martinez

To be found outside Lava Lounge Friday and Saturday night and also doing corporate events and perk parties for staff.

Rockerdogz business number is (210)467-8066.

ROCKERDOGZ “GOURMET STREET DOGZ" page on Facebook under category of restaurant/cafĂ©.

Menu Follows

Thai Kick Boxer Rocker
All beef hot dog glazed with sweet chili sauce, topped with sliced tomato, pickled Serrano peppers, mustard, Thai red cabbage slaw drizzled with mint and cilantro lime sesame vinaigrette

The "Chicano style" Rockero
All beef hot dog with savory homemade chili, roasted poblano queso blanco, pico de gallo, caramelized Spanish onion with fresh thyme, chile de arbol salsa roja and a drizzle of Mexican crema

Italian Stallion Rocker
Grilled Italian sausage topped with grilled peppers & onions, parmesan cheese, mustard and drizzle of balsamic reduction and chopped Italian parsley