5@5 - Turn your hot dog into top dog
June 29th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe. July 23 is National Hot Dog Day

Unless you're going rogue on some frankfurters this summer like the competitive eaters at Coney Island, you're going to want to make sure your dog is dressed to impress for the festivities.

Thankfully, Josh Sharkey and Brandon Gillis of Bark Hot Dogs have got all the fixins' to make sure your sausage turns up in the wiener's circle.

Five Tips for Hot Dog Success: Josh Sharkey and Brandon Gillis

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Dishes • Hot dogs • Think

Too sexy for your skirt (steak)?
June 29th, 2011
01:00 PM ET
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Yesterday, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced their annual Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrities.

Russell Brand squashed the competition and was named the sexiest male vegetarian, while Kristen Wiig, from the summer box-office hit "Bridesmaids," beet out the rest of the plant-eating starlets to win the female title.

PETA has been holding the contest since 2001 - and past winners include the likes of Shania Twain, Tobey Maguire and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.

However we, being the equal opportunists that we are, feel the need to beef up the competition.

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Filed under: Bite • Cuisines • Vegetarian

Box lunch: Bar faux pas and foamy fads
June 29th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • You should really stop dancing on bars, plus other unacceptable watering hole behavior. - Gawker

  • New York City police are increasingly saying, "Shoo food trucks! Don't bother us." - New York Times

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald on his greatest writing muse - booze. - Mother Jones

  • A patriotic price hike: Both PepsiCo and Coca-Cola plan to raise prices over the July 4 weekend. - Ad Age

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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

An open letter to my neighbors who are very bad at grilling
June 29th, 2011
09:15 AM ET
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Dear next door neighbors,

I'm sure you are lovely and upstanding citizens, generous of spirit and cup and plate. I've not yet met you in person, but seemingly your friends come over each weekend to bask in the warm glow of your hospitality. They're surely not there for the food.

How do I know, without ever having tasted, that the things you grill have a flavor akin to scrapings from the crumb tray of Satan's toaster oven? Well, because each Saturday or Sunday afternoon since you moved in, at around five o'clock, my whippet, who's usually been basking in the dappled sunlight on the chaise by the back window suddenly stands bolt upright, sniffs furiously and flees toward the front of the apartment. Dogs, in my experience, tend to run in the direction of cooking meat, but she can hardly be blamed in this case.

You may not know this, because seemingly there's some sort of hell-borne current that guides airflow only in the direction of your house to mine, but your grill produces an acrid, evil smoke that vaults the eight foot fence between our backyards, hangs a sharp 90 degrees and roils into my kitchen until I can no longer breathe. Twice already, I have had to postpone my own dinner preparations and leave the house because the fumes - your fumes - were giving me a stabbing headache.

And you're doing all this with a gas grill. How in the world is that possible?

I have a few theories.

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