Find the best hot dogs, for example, in this new Las Vegas dining app
Did you know that the time between Independence Day and Labor Day is peak hot dog season?
According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, during that period, Americans eat about 7 billion wieners.
That’s 818 hot dogs consumed every second.
And there’s no shortage of hot spots to get 'em in Las Vegas.
Longtime Las Vegas food writer Al Mancini created an app that directs you to the city’s best eats, including the tastiest hot dogs.
State of Nevada producer Lorraine Blanco Moss sat down with him to talk about the Neon Feast app and “hot dog season.”
The Steamie Weenie/Facebook
On Neon Feast
"This is an expert guide. This is a curated guide. We don't try to cover every restaurant in Las Vegas, we don't try to even cover every great restaurant in Las Vegas. What I've tried to do is do what journalists I believe do best, which is go out and survey people who know a lot more than they do, right?"
"I think what we found is in a democracy, everybody gets one vote, but in a crowdsource site, the loudest most obnoxious people who are either the most angry or who are the most motivated either through anger or through love, they tend to get the most votes, and they tend to speak the loudest. And they're motive motivated by reasons that- we're not quite sure why they're saying nasty things about this place. There's a place for crowdsourcing, but that's not what I'm about."
"Vegas was built on insider tips. That's what Las Vegas is all about. When people are flying to Vegas, it's always like, 'Hey, I know a guy, let me call him and find out where to go.' So I said, what if we could do a restaurant guide that really just takes this journalism aspect of that I've been trained in, which is to interview experts, and this Vegas idea of an insider guide?"
On his career
"I went to law school. So none of this is what I thought my career trajectory would be. Honestly, I've always just felt that following your passion is the best way to have a fun career and a good career and to succeed. I was passionate about being a journalist, I was not trained as a journalist. ... It's great to be among professional journalists, and who were trained as journalists, because I've learned from them."
"I knew the passion of an artist and when I'm around vibrant, passionate artists, I get passionate about telling their stories. So as I got drawn more into the restaurant scene here, sort of just by chance, I just fell in love with this community. And all I've really wanted to do since then is tell their stories and put butts in seats at the restaurants, and put the right butts in the right seats at places they're going to enjoy."
On hot dog hot spots
"My favorite place right now, I think Sticks Tavern/To Be Frank over on Water Street. It's just such a really cool place. ... Jordan Camacho started this concept operating as a ghost kitchen during the pandemic. And that's what's also a really rewarding time right now, because a lot of places that started at ghost kitchens during the pandemic are getting brick and mortars."
"And then at home, even though this is not on my Neon Feast list, because they well because it's not a restaurant and we haven't added it: Snap-O-Razzo Hot Dogs. Ralph Perrazzo here in town, a great chef. You can get them in the Green Valley Grocers, and you get Ralph's smiling face up there. It always makes me happy. And those are the ones that I cook up at home."
Other spots listed in Neon Feast: American Coney Island in downtown Las Vegas, Amore Taste of Chicago at multiple locations, Buldogis Gourmet Hot Dogs in the west valley, CrunCheese Korean Hot Dog at multople locations, Dirt Dog at multiple locations, Steamie Weenie in Henderson and Windy City Beef N Dogs in the northwest valley.
Al Mancini, writer and creator, Neon Feast