The Legendary Burger Dog

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I don’t shy away from getting creative in the kitchen. It’s actually the one place where I almost always feel I can let my creativity flow. So a challenge to make a hot dog-shaped cheeseburger? I’m all over it.

Not only will I make it, but I’ll incorporate touches to make it my own. Blend the beef with my favorite seasonings. Top it with some fresh spinach and tomato, and a mix of cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. The final product is pretty tasty—and probably slightly more health-conscious than its famous inspiration. But I’m certain it’s no famed “Burger Dog” from Hot Dog Bill’s at the Olympic Club, a golf course in San Francisco and the oldest athletic club in the United States.

Way back in the early 1950s, “Hot Dog” Bill Parrish started serving his Burger Dogs there in California. Today they’re a tradition for anyone who plays Olympic, and Parrish is known as a food truck industry pioneer. The sandwiches themselves, let alone the golf club, have become a hallowed institution. As an occasional golfer who lives on the East Coast, I’ve never played Olympic myself, but I imagine a round on the course doesn’t actually count unless you have a Burger Dog during or after play.

Pro and amateur golfers have scarfed down countless Burger Dogs. American presidents have enjoyed their share. Entertainment celebrities, too. It’s such a popular sandwich you can even order your own Burger Dog meat mold online to help shape yours at home!

I’ve eaten many cheeseburgers in my lifetime, but I’ve never had one quite like my homemade Burger Dogs, which I made by cooking the hot dog-shaped beef in the oven, placing each piece in a toasted bun and adding the toppings. As I said, I’m sure they pale in comparison to Hot Dog Bill’s, then and today.

My creation in the #FoodieScore kitchen turned out pretty well, though, enough for my wife Molly to say: “Any time you make burgers and we have hot dog buns but not hamburger buns, these are all right with me.” I’ll take it! And who knows, if I make Burger Dogs as long as Olympic has served them, someday mine might be on par!

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