One of the best things about frequenting the Washington to New York corridor via Amtrak is the opportunity to indulge in one of life’s greatest culinary delights: the Acela Dog.
Fist the basics: according to its microwaveable wrapper, the Acela Dog is 100 percent Kosher Beef, which I’m sure my rabbi will be delighted to learn.
Here’s something else it’s also 100 percent: pure awesomeness.
Can a hotdog truly be that awesome? Well, have you ever been to a baseball game? I dare you to try watching America’s pastime — whether it be the Amazing Mets or the putrid Yanks or whichever team your heart desires — and NOT eat a hot dog. It’s nearly impossible, and to try and resist its devilish temptations will only render you un-American. I believe Thomas Jefferson said that (and I’ve written books on Presidents, so I should know).
To be clear, the reason why the hotdog is so irresistible is not simply the delectability of leftover mystery meats packed into a sinewy skin, or the soggy bun that accompanies it, but rather the environment in which it’s consumed. For some odd reason, the Acela Train holds the same magical powers as a baseball stadium when it comes to suspending your gastronomic sensibilities and tempting fate by chowing down on one (or more). Unfortunately, I’ve now developed a Pavlovian response upon boarding the Acela train to immediately seek out the Acela Dog, regardless of the time of day (or my hunger level, for that matter).
Will you pay the price later? Of course, in ways too numerous to count.
Is it worth it? Damn straight. To resist it would be plain wrong.
So the next time you’re on the Acela train, make your way to the bar car and tell your host or hostess that you’d like an Acela Dog … and tell them that Nick sent you.