Last week, I was goaded by Ellen Schenk, the co-host of KMBZ 980's Morning News program, to actually eat a unique delicacy that I had been talking about — in this column and then on that show — for weeks: the deep-fried hot dog at Quick's Bar-B-Q & Catering Company (1007 Merriam Lane in Merriam). Every Thursday at 8:20 a.m., I timidly venture into the KMBZ studio (sometimes by phone, if I haven't had enough coffee) to talk about eating in Kansas City with the petite Schenk and her even skinnier co-host, E.J. Becker. Becker, one of those semi-snooty "foodie" types, looked aghast at the very idea of a deep-fried hot dog.
"Are you going to try the deep-fried bologna sandwich too?" Schenk asked me.
"Well, I guess," I said. I could hear my arteries clogging. A fried bologna sandwich sounds even more vulgar than a deep-fried hot dog (and less alluring than a deep-fried Twinkie, which isn't served at Quick's but should be). But I had opened my big mouth, as it were.
So I drove out to Quick's the same night, bringing along Katie and Addison. Addison, who is Southern, claims to have eaten every kind of food that could be possibly dipped into a bubbling fryer — including Beluga caviar — except a hot dog. He roared when the beautiful young waitress brought me "The Big Dog," a half-pound, spiral-cut frankfurter that had been immersed in the hot oil just long enough to create a light, crackly exterior, leaving the inside hot and juicy.
Most of Quick's customers prefer their Big Dogs slathered with chili, onions and cheese, but I wanted mine in all its naked glory.
I sliced the thing into thirds, and we all tasted it.
It was, you know, different. Not as good as a corn dog (Quick's sells those, too) but superior to the fried bologna (a thick, hickory-smoked slab that tasted pan-fried to me). Maybe the Big Dog would have been better with melted cheese.
Now, I thought, if I could just find a local restaurant that serves fried Twinkies. As it turned out, Pitch Music Editor Jason Harper had recently tasted the fried Twinkie at The Brick (1727 McGee). He said he liked it but probably wouldn't order it again. "The guilt," he explained.