Reviews for Raw Dog

by Jamie Loftus

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A paean to the frankfurter, that most loved—and, for nutritionists and vegans, most despised—of foods. “Hot dogs are the kind of American [thing] that you know there is something deeply wrong with but still find endearing,” writes comedian and TV writer Loftus, in an oddly tangled sentence, at the beginning of her deep dive into the history of hot dogs and how they are made. “The choice not to eat meat is the correct one,” she writes, and she offers plenty of trigger warnings in the course of a narrative that takes her around the country. Loftus found one “excellent” dog at a Tucson food truck where the cognoscenti gather, the bun expertly slit at the top alone and not all the way through to let the dog rest on a pillow of white bread, “just like the experimental medical procedure my mom got done so I could be born.” Ben’s Chili Bowl, the iconic doggery in Washington, D.C., is another must-stop, while New York City gets no love: “Gray’s and Nathan’s both strike me as hot dogs that taste more like a person’s pleasant childhood memory than the best hot dog I’ve ever tasted.” When Loftus lands on a dog that is overrated or downright bad, she says so. Hollywood hipsters will lay on the hate, but her take on a certain LA go-to is just right: “One thing Pink’s Hot Dogs does not have is a decent hot dog, and that’s just the God’s honest truth.” Where to find the best dog? Tucked inside this funny, irreverent travelogue is an answer—well, maybe not the best but certainly the best deal: the $1.50 Costco dog. “Around 150 million of these little fuckers are sold every year for about 60 percent less than they should be,” she writes. A laugh a minute, barring a few graywater and slaughterhouse moments. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.