I’ll wager Mr. Hot Dog, the suspiciously care-free wiener dressed in Hawaiian shirt, flip-flops and floppy hat, never thought he’d be under this much scrutiny. At Allure of the Seas’ no-cost Boardwalk Dog House, cruising’s only dedicated tubed-meat dispensary, passengers have their pick of seven sausages made of pig, cow and chicken, representing the greatest exports from Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland and the United States. Top your dog with sauerkraut, sauteed onions, peppers or pickles, squirt on the mustard, ketchup or even mayonnaise, and chomp.
My favorites were the all-beef “Coney Island Dog” and the “Warsaw,” a two-thirds pork, one-third beef blend served on a caraway seed baguette. Both were topped with sauerkraut and slathered with yellow mustard. The LVW (Least Valuable Wiener) was the “Big Apple,” an overly sweet chicken-and-apple dog served in an ill-fitting parmesan-cheddar bun. (Here’s the full Allure of the Seas Boardwalk Dog House menu.)
As I sat eating dog after dog in the shadow of Allure’s vintage-style carousel, I kept asking toothless Mr. Hot Dog the same question: Where’s the spicy mustard? He didn’t answer, and people were starting to stare, so I asked the BDH’s manager instead. “We only have two kinds of mustard [yellow and Dijon] at this venue,” he said. The Windjammer, some 10 decks above and on the opposite end of the ship, might have some, he added. Especially the more delicate dogs, like the “Wunderdog,” a slightly sweet, sponge soft Viennese-style wiener mechanically inserted into crispy baguette, cried out to be covered in Guildens. (To which I responded by eating him.) A hot dog venue without spicy brown mustard is like a pirate without an eye patch.
Condiment issues notwithstanding, the hot dog concept has proven popular enough that Royal Caribbean has retrofitted Radiance of the Seas with its own wiener stand. And Mr. Hot Dog will continue to spread the gospel of sausage at sea: A number of Royal Caribbean ships have been tapped to receive Boardwalk Dog Houses during upcoming dry-docks as part of the line’s $300 million revitalization project.
Missed any of Dan’s reports from Allure? Check them out here.
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