American cuisine is loved the world over, and Indian cities are no exception. The 15th Annual Hot Dog Festival, being hosted at the All American Diner at Delhi’s India Habitat Centre, is just one more proof of that.
The festival is organised two months in a row every year. And there couldn’t have been a better setting for such an event than the All American Diner. Popular among Delhi’s foodies, the All American Diner is one-stop destination for those who crave flavours of America. These days, given that we are in the midst of a full-scale Hot Dog Festival, the mood here is celebratory.
The red décor of the venue and the aura itself gives you good vibes, as does the food. Rakesh Anand, Vice President, F&B, Habitat World, IHC, says: “We play with the ingredients and try to add something new and creative to the menu of this festival each year to give people more variety. Also keeping the vegetarian foodies in the loop, we have come up with two types of vegetarian hot dogs. All the breads and ingredients are made in-house except for the sausages and are undoubtedly fresh. It’s our R&D team that works on making exquisite and unique creations every year. This year the menu focuses on new flavour, tastes and takes our guests on an interesting culinary feast.”
He adds, “We are extremely delighted to receive such an amazing response for our 15th annual Hot Dog Festival from our diners. Appreciations from the customers help us to innovate and bring something new to the table along—side the constant favourites. Thus, this year menu was an effort to give a gastronomical treat by focusing on new palates, tastes & flavours. With this, we also extremely excited to announce the Mexican Food festival for the month of September and are anticipating similar response from our diners.”
I started my evening with the Americana smoothie, a perfect blend of watermelon, strawberry, honey and yogurt, which proved to be lip-smacking and instantly refreshing, especially after the ordeals of my hectic workday. There was also a peanut-butter and banana smoothie on the menu.
The festival-special menu includes a trio pepper mushroom hot dog, made of pork frankfurter, trio pepper with lucisious creamy mushroom sandwiched between multigrain buns. Another amazing hot dog available here the Jerk chicken dog, a combination of chicken frankfurter, jerk sauce with mango pickle in laminated dough buns. Kansas City hot dog also comes close to taking the cake: it is made from chicken or pork frankfurter, barbeque sauce, shredded pork with homemade pickle served in spring onions in potato buns. Spicy cheese dog is the veggie favourite loved by many. Anchorage dogs, Mexican hot dog, smoked cheese dog, California dog, sampler hot dog are among the other highlights of the menu.
A good part of the menu has been designed keeping the vegetarians in mind. And that stands to reason, since in India a food business that ignores the vegetarian demographics is doomed to fail. Thus, the many vegetarian avatars of hot dog here.
These include the blackened cottage cheese dog, comprising Cajun spiced cottage cheese roll, lettuce and tomato salsa in potato bread. Another vegetarian hot dog is the BBQ mozzarella cheese dog. It tastes quite succulent and heavenly. Made with mozzarella cheese roll, lettuce, tomato, jalapeno and onions in a potato bun, this one should definitely be tried by people who are looking for something off beat and unique.
The festival’s dessert menu is also, as expected, mouth-watering. It includes the Rockin’ Sundae Waffle, chocolate chip pancakes, and mocha crème caramel among other delicacies. The lime pie is something diners should try out in particular. It has a deliciously light and tangy filling in a vanilla short crust, and is served with lemon sauce. I ended my meal with the all-time favourite blueberry cheesecake which was really worthwhile. On the chef’s recommendation, I also tried the brownie blast, an unmatched combination of chunks of melting brownie topped with ice-cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, toffee sauce and grandma’s cooking crumbs—the ingredients speak for themselves.
The price list of the place, at least as compared to other diners, is rather affordable. The All American Diner is not only famous for its festivals but also for its brunches and buffets. The exciting waffles, pancakes, eggs, burgers, malts, shakes and coffees are all top of the line. But for the next two months at least, the prime highlight of this most-loved restaurant would be the many varieties of hot dog.