There are more than 100 billion combinations of ingredients to top the franks at Victory Dogs — "home of the grilled bacon dog" — a food cart on the corner of Eighth Street and Central Avenue in downtown Medford.
"If you do the math," says owner and operator Chuck Reeder. "But I didn't do the math. One of my customers did."
Dining out with
the Mail Tribune
Southwest corner of
Eighth Street and Central Avenue
Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Mondays through Saturdays
Reeder's all-beef dogs can be topped with classic fixings — mustard, pickles, ketchup, diced onions, chili, cheese — or any of an abundance of more exotic ingredients.
"For me, the dogs are not as important as what I can do with them," Reeder says.
Look for Reeder's Philly with provolone, garlic, mushrooms and onions; the pulled pork dog — a bit spicy with barbecue sauce, pepperoncinis and a dash of Sriracha sauce (a Thai hot chili sauce), or a lot spicy with jalapenos and more Sriracha. Reeder's take on a curry dog includes coconut and yellow curry sauce, roast beef, tomatoes and mushrooms; his Uncle Red's Fried Potato Dog comes with cheddar cheese, green onions and ranch dressing; and his Reuben dog is topped with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing and dill pickles.
Beyond these, there are Mexican dogs topped with corn chips and cheddar cheese; a Cubano with ham and Swiss cheese; a pizza dog with salami, pepperoni, olives, onions and marinara; a classic grinder; a German sausage dog; a Louisiana hot link of pork and beef; and a club dog with turkey, ham, six strips of bacon, lettuce and tomato served on three buns.
The latter selections lead us even closer to the true gastronomical adventures on Reeder's menu: the Extreme Victory, one hot dog, pastrami, ham, roast beef, pulled pork, six pieces of bacon and two cheeses on two buns; the Meatapocalypse, two hot dogs, salami, pepperoni, pulled pork, pastrami, ham, roast beef, capicola, turkey, eight pieces of bacon and three cheeses on three buns; and, finally, The Crack'in, a three-pound food challenge that includes two hot dogs, salami, pastrami, pulled pork, turkey, capicola, sausage, roast beef ham, meatballs, 10 pieces of bacon and three cheeses on four buns.
There are so many choices, in fact, that my coworker — who has a passion for American food — spiraled into a moment of what he called "option paralysis," a complete loss of the ability to choose an item from the menu.
In the end, I went with a chili cheese dog with fried cheddar ($4.50) because chili dogs remind me of my small hometown with its one fast food restaurant, an A&W. When the paralysis lost its grip on my coworker, he chose the meatball dog with onions, garlic, cheddar and barbecue sauce ($4.50).
Reeder doesn't believe that his customers should eat his food every day, just think of it whenever they want a really good dog.
"I don't do healthy," he says. "I fry everything in bacon grease, but don't blame the food. It's a wonderful thing to experience, and everyone should enjoy it when they can."
Though I eat right most of the time, I have to agree with Reeder. Some days nothing hits the spot but one of Reeder's great hot dogs.
Victory Dogs is open for business from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Credit cards are accepted.
— Laurie Heuston
The pastrami crunch dog with fried cheese and chips, mustard and dill pickle.