Saturday, July 07, 2007

Happy Hound, Los Gatos, California

Chili Cheese Dog and Fries

This place was an old favorite of ours when we were growing up (15899 Los Gatos Blvd, 408-358-2444). I had particularly good memories of the burger, and was coming here today with the intent of grabbing that, especially since I haven't had much luck getting a real greasy burger in Singapore (over there they are oftentimes made of unnecessarily thick patties, all the while lacking the artery-clogging taste that a good burger should exhibit).

Yet for some reason, I ended up getting a chili cheese dog instead, probably because it seemed fitting to get it when the place is called the "Hound." The shredded cheese on top was just as comforting as I remembered it, but I was rather let down with the chili, being pale in comparison to Pink's in LA. Don't get me wrong; it was still a decent chili that was by no means bad (and maybe my memory of the food here has been distorted by my many years of absence), but I was also slightly let down by the dog itself, which didn't really feature much snappiness in the casing.

I'm still glad I came though. On its own merits, it was still a very tasty hot dog, and certainly much better than others I've had recently. The crowded countertop environment was still the same, and the light yet tasty fries were better than I remembered them. I do want to come back again and get the burger. Hopefully that one still tastes like that magnificent beast that I remember from back in the day.


mel said...

i'm currently a singaporean schooling in chicago, and i've got to say, kudos to you! most of the singaporean food blogs i read now prefer reviewing hoity-toity restaurants rather than hawker centres ... which is really the best food by far. now if only you could give me some tips on where to eat in chicago.

bma said...

Oh that's an easy one, especially since you placed your kind words in a hot dog-related post. Try hitting up Hot Doug's, one of the few places in the world that have totally blown me away (in fact, please do go on a Fri/Sat and tell me how those duck fat fries are).

Chicago has tons of other great local eats, like "Italian Beef" and of course Chicago's famous pizza. But if I only had time for one meal in Chicago, it woule easily be Hot Doug's.

You're also within range of Potbelly Sandwich Works, another one of my faves, so give that a try too. None of this remotely resembles Singaporean hawker food though, so hopefully you don't mind a substantial change in taste.

Kathy said...

It's funny how one's childhood foods taste much better in memory than at present.

Old chang kee curry puffs used to taste very good when fried in a wok by the uncle when it was just one stall in the vicinity of what was the old Rex cinema.

Sometimes we wonder if it's memories playing tricks on us, or if we are jaded by all the good things we are eating now, or they just don't cook like they used to.

Thank you for reviewing the authentic local eats all over the world. It is truly refreshing and certainly beats any Zagat or Michelin guides imho as it gives this facet of local life not usually seen by tourists.

By the way, will you be poping by Popeye's or In & Out? Do they still serve biscuits in MacD's for breakfast?

mel said...

thanks for the tips. there's a potbelly just a few blocks from where i stay and funny enough i've only ever been there for their ice cream sandwiches and haven't tried their hot food yet! i love chicago-style pizza, which is funny since so many non-chicagoans find it awful, but i haven't yet made my way down to Uno's.

i will definitely have to try hot doug's some time. the duck fat fries sound incredible. you always seem happy to find a good sandwich place in singapore. it's too bad i didn't chance upon your blog earlier because i knew of a good one. definitely not authentically stacked-high like in new york, but still good. there was a sweet little deli in tanglin shopping centre (not steeples) but it's since closed.