Who the hell is Hawk Krall and, other than being a hot dog lover, what qualifies him to write a hot dog piece on Serious Eats about the quintessential Seattle dog? "Seattle has many hot dog joints..." Say wha? Compared to where, Spokane? First off, a city so uptight and hostile toward food carts -- and ergo, hot dogs -- can't possibly achieve enough critical mass for tubular meats to have its own signature variety of dog. Secondly, cream cheese? Relish has flavor. Mustard has flavor. Even, blech, ketchup has flavor. Cream cheese is the whitest food around. OK, maybe that makes a certain sort of sense.
So I found myself at the Reverb festival, extremely hungry for some reason, with Dante's Snacks! (5219 Ballard Ave. N.W.) beckoning stage left. Billy the Fridge, who had just killed with a short food rap during the Grynch's set (does anyone have this audio?), called the store to my attention, looming near its entrance much like the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor. Seeing the sign for a cream cheese dog, I road-tested it. Meh. Cream cheese is bland incarnate. The strips of bacon helped a tad, but I still had to doctor it up with some crumbled Funyons. Cream cheese on a hot dog... Pfffft.