Sneak Peek: Pink's Hot Dogs at Shangri-La at the Fort, Bonifacio Global City
America's favorite hotdog stand is opening with a bang-er.
(SPOT.ph) There probably hasn't been so much anticipation for a hotdog than there was since it became known that Pink's Hot Dogs was going to open in Manila. The arrival of Los Angeles' most popular hotdog stand—and arguably the most popular in the U.S.A.—was announced as early as 2014, but after some unexpected delays, it's only on Friday, June 10, 2016, that they're finally opening. The Pink's on the 5th Avenue side of Shangri-La at the Fort is the first outlet outside the States.
"We don't mind the delay," says Pink's owner Richard Pink, whose father founded the food cart in 1939. "We wanted to get it right. You have to be patient to get it right."
Richard and Gloria Pink
Richard and Gloria Pink have been invited to open by different countries, but the adorable pink-clad couple (Gloria even has a hotdog-shaped purse and cell phone holder) held out for the Philippines. "There's only one country we wanted to go to and it's the Philippines. Filipinos love hotdogs and that's what we're all about," he explains. "Why not go where you're wanted?" He tells us that his many Pinoy customers have always asked him to open in the Philippines.
Then came Chef Walter Manzke. Chef Walter Manzke and his wife, Margarita, own esteemed L.A. hotspot Republique. In Manila, he paired up with his sister-in-law Ana de Ocampo to produce the widely successful Wildflour restaurants, as well as chic dessert spot Farmacy. "Chef Walter told me, 'If you trust me, I will recreate your hotdog and your chili in the Philippines.' We knew that if there was any chef who could do it, it's Walter," says Richard.
A slightly secluded bar area. This is to keep things still family-friendly.
You can order to go, too.
According to Ana, the ingredients are imported, but the hotdogs are made on-site. "We don't want to trust shipping," starts Richard. "It's made in Manila fresh so we don't have to worry about it being frozen, spoiled, or tied up in the port."
Right now, there's only one hotdog available: the iconic original Pink's World Famous Chili Cheese Dog (P180 to P280). The other items on the menu will be banged out slowly.
Wall of Fame
The lone hotdog is symbolic of the restaurant's humble beginnings. "When my parents bought this hotdog cart, they only had the chili dog," shares Richard. Now, Pink's has more than one variety and a trove of followers—including celebrities like Martha Stewart, Betty White, David Hasselhoff, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and more (they're all posted on Pink's Celebrity Wall of Fame). Even Michelle Obama and her children were seen enjoying a few sandwiches.
It's best warm, so hurry up with your Instagram shot.
This seemingly simple item, however, is all you need to be a Pink's Hot Dog believer. It's best to bite it (put down that knife!) so you can experience the snap of the hotdog. The first bite lets you enjoy that burst of salty flavor in your mouth. The buns are from Wildflour; they're perfectly buttery and fluffy. The chunky chili, so generously slathered on top, gives off just the right level of heat—amplified by the zing from the mustard. Every element is outstanding on its own, but even better in one ensemble. This is a demonstration of extraordinary, exciting everyday food.
The local Pink's replicates that street-side experience indoors by stringing bistro lights across the ceiling and creating a sort of food stand within a restaurant; a Kombi is "parked" on one side like a food truck to serve Farmacy's acclaimed ice cream (P150 to P290) and Homemade Strawberry Lemon Soda (P160). Wildflour is also offering their hand-made signature fries (P130).
Expanding soon. They have a good range of beers.
The menu isn't much, but it puts up flavors that doesn't make you seek anything more. We can only imagine how things will be when the other hotdogs—like the bacon-wrapped Texan-style hotdog and the sauerkraut-blessed Pastrami Reuben Dog—join the party.
Pink's Hot Dogs is at Shangri-La at the Fort, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City. Opening day is on June 10.
Photos by Criselda Carreon