When we last met, the brigade agreed that we ought to make sure our outings were truly varied, and not just by the type of cuisine. So, for example, if we went to a place that had waiters, tablecloths, and cappuccino one week, next time we should be standing in a line at a metal counter, eating off of greasy waxed paper, and getting our condiments out of communal squeeze bottles. After all, 9 times out of 10, that down and dirty meal would seriously kick the little bistro lunch's butt.
Unfortunately for us, on Tuesday we found the 1 out of 10 that sucked.
Episode 7 - Spoc's Not So Hot Dogs
Seemingly eminently qualified* as our diamond in the rough, Spoc's Sausages looked and smelled like the real deal. Great puffs of meaty smoke billowed up into the clear blue sky. The menu listed subs and sausages that all sounded great, creating an agony of indecision among our group. Guys trapped behind a mesh screen took our order then turned around in the cramped space to slap meat and dogs down onto a grill a minute later. We waited on our vinyl stools in the sunshine, starving and almost weak with anticipation. We had opted to try the hot link, linguica, and cilantro dogs, all with fries, and a carne asada sub.
The food came out. It looked pretty darn great. The hot dogs were on the small side, both absolutely and relative to the crusty bread, but the sub was huge. A few fries were missing from our order, but we merrily piled on the sauerkraut, onions and other accessories, lined everything up on the counter and dug in.
FG1: (Mouth shriveling instantly, all saliva evaporated) This hot link is a little --ack!-- too salty, even for --cough-- me.
FG7: (speaking through oddly pursed lips): It is unbelievably salty. How's the linguica?
FG1: (Guzzling her diet coke) The --gasp!--same.
FG5: I am a known oversalter, and even I can't eat that.
FG8: (chewing sheepishly after acknowledging a salt addiction) I actually can tolerate this, but I agree it's not something a normal person would eat.
FG1: It's beyond not normal. It's like a crime against hot dogs.
All four pause to drink deeply and then try the fries. These are sadly undercooked and also a bit heavy on the you-know-what. The group concedes the sub is fairly tasty, but decides there is no reason to come to a dive hot dog bar in Westwood to get an OK Mexican sandwich. We make the best of it by going back frequently for drink refills and soaking up the sun as we talk.
We then retire to F8's house for a much needed palate cleansing raid on the extensive stash of ice cream in her freezer**. Spirits and tummies refreshed, we pronounce the afternoon redeemed. Thank you FG8!
FG Final Verdict? Spoc's is OFF the list!
Pricing information: Dogs $2, Subs $4, add $2.50 for combo with fries and a drink
FG Value Rating: Fair deal
* Hot dog menu had come out of a home printer, with magic markers covering up items they were out of. Also a homeless guy stopped by to chat while we were eating.
** Proving yet another FG axiom: 10 times out of 10, ice cream can fix anything.