Sef Gonzalez built his reputation as South Florida's most-discerning consumer of hamburgers and food-truck fare. The Burger Beast, as he's known, chronicles his eating adventures at BurgerBeast.com and organizes food-truck events from Homestead to Port St. Lucie as the owner of Food Truck Invasion.
But for the second July in a row, Gonzalez is turning his attention to hot dogs.
Last year's inaugural Hot Dog Fest attracted 5,000 people to ArtsPark at Young Circle in Hollywood. When he announced that he was going to expand Hot Dog Fest to two events in Jupiter and Miami, folks in Broward wondered why they were being left out.
"Last year, we did it in Hollywood because it's such a beautiful park," Gonzalez says. "It's very central. People would come down from Fort Lauderdale, and people from Miami would drive up."
Hollywood wasn't interested in a Sunday event, but Plantation was. So this year, South Florida gets a true tri-county event, with the second annual Hot Dog Fest setting up shop for one day of each of the next three weekends.
So which summertime staple does the Burger Beast prefer? Hot dogs or burgers?
"I think if it's anything but a hamburger, I might be in trouble," he says. "How about a burger with a hot dog chaser?"
Each event will have a slightly different personality. What each will have in common is that every truck must offer an original hot dog preparation as well as its regular menu. Prices will vary.
Look, too, for a hot-dog-eating contest, which requires registration at TheHotDogFest.com. Whoever eats 10 dogs first within 10 minutes will win a prize pack from National Deli in Miami and Plantation. At the Jupiter event, the winner will receive gift certificates from Das Dog restaurant.
Following are details on each event.
2-7:30 p.m. Saturday (Tobacco Road, 626 S. Miami Ave., Miami): "Tobacco Road is going to be more of a party atmosphere," Gonzalez says. "But you can bring your kids. There's going to be a mustard shoot and table-painting with mustard and ketchup."
The creator of the best condiment-table painting will win a $100 bar tab at the historic Miami bar. A dunk tank and Sip & Slide drinking game will also be set up. Look for 18 trucks.
Noon-5 p.m. July 21 (Abacoa Town Center, 1200 University Blvd., Jupiter): This is the biggest of the three events, with 35 food trucks, including PS561, which serves split and griddle all-beef Sabretts. Jupiter will also feature live music from Odyssey Road, a Journey tribute band.
Noon-5 p.m. July 28 (Plantation Heritage Park, 1100 S. Fig Tree Lane, Plantation): Gonzalez says 28 trucks are expected at the most-family-friendly of the three Hot Dog fests, where kids can enjoy a bounce house.
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