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I came to find out about Abiye and his Hot Dog stand via Dario Ceccini after a very drunken lunch at his restaurant Solo Ciccia in Panzano. I've no idea how, but after Dario poured me yet another grappa, several beyond what should be drunk on a Sunday afternoon, Dario and Kim mentioned somebody selling sausages in the Old Street region of London. I was passed a small gift to take to back to Abiye and I promised, in light of Dario’s generosity (you've never seen a butcher hand out so much free wine and food to everybody passing), that I would deliver the gift.

It was only when I got home and exchanged a couple of emails with Abiye that I discovered that what Dario had recommended was actually a hot dog stand. I often bemoan the lack of quality food carts in the UK, the usual suspects are the hot dogs stands in the West End that are "outed" on TV every few years for their appalling hygiene standards. Big Apple Hot Dogs at 239 Old Street most definitely doesn't fall into this bracket. I tried a Big Apple Dog, a polish sausage made by Abiye's friend, it had been double smoked but didn't overpower. It had that satisfying pop of the skin (natural casings) and a decent fat content making a great juicy sausage, simply dressed with a few onions and a choice of mustards, sauerkraut , ketchup etc. There were other varieties of sausage available as well including a Frankfurter which I need to try next time. To give you some idea of the standard a leading steak restaurant is working with Abiye and his friend to develop a sausage specially for them.

This is exactly the sort of stall that deservers to succeed in London, Abiye is a lovely guy and is so confident in his sausage that he would happily run taste tests against all comers. An excellent dog, I only wish I worked in town so that I could go more often.

Big Apple Hot Dogs

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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