Writers are frequently warned about “putting a hat on a hat.” Basically, it means “don’t do too much.”
Too much explaining. Too many words. Ruining something good because you can’t stop adding to it.
It is something I fight on a daily basis and, as anyone following this site can tell, it’s a fight I lose a lot.
In the grand tradition of seeing your own faults more clearly when others do them, I spy a lot of “hat on a hat” business in restaurants. Stacking too many toppings on a burger. Putting 18 kinds of cheese on a pizza. Overloading a perfectly good taco with three sauces and two types of slaw and having a shaman come by to smudge away evil spirits.
And, I’ll be honest, I was a little worried that Mighty Corn Dog, a new food truck on the scene in Oklahoma City, might have been putting a hat on a hat.
First of all, corn dogs are great. State Fair frozen ones are fine, but when someplace puts in the work to dip and fry a fresh corn dog, the results are spectacular.
Mighty Corn Dog takes good Schwab sausages, covers them in fresh, lightly sweet corn batter and fries them. And that would be enough, honestly. But that’s not where they stop.
It is where I’ll stop, at least momentarily, so I can thank David Greggs, who was one of the very first people to donate to the I Ate Oklahoma Patreon. He accompanied me on this one-on-one review and, thank the Spirit of Collective Gluttony, helped me eat my way through MCD’s ample offerings.
On a surprisingly cold night, Mr. Greggs and I visited the parking lot of Cowboys, a country and western dance club to which I had never been — largely because I do not dance, but also because I’m less inclined to the style of music.
But that didn’t matter, because we were not heading inside Cowboys. Our final destination was Mighty Corn Dog’s truck, waiting in the parking lot for drunk and hungry dancers to two-step their way out and order much-needed sustenance.
Blitzed patrons are a hungry lot, but not a picky one. But great restaurateurs don’t particularly care what shape the clientele are in; they’re going to make the food excellent regardless.
Mighty Corn Dog put out some truly exceptional dishes that night and showed an attention to detail that people might be surprised to find applied to a food with such a simple pedigree.
All of the corn dogs are $10. Just to get that out of the way. But unlike the super-cheap pre-made corn dogs one might get at a certain ubiquitous fast food chain, these are fresh, enormous and filling.
Let’s start with the one I dreaded the most and was most excited about by the time I left: Ruben’s Little Cousin.
A Reuben is a mess of a sandwich. Salty, peppery pastrami, sauerkraut, melted swiss cheese and a whole mess of 1000 Island sauce. In the wrong hands, this combination can go wildly awry. The meat can be too salty, the kraut too sauer, the cheese too funky and the salad dressing merely there to cover everything up.
What Ruben’s Little Cousin did right was everything. The center of this dish is a bratwurst covered in a caraway-infused beer batter. It has the scent and flavor of a mild rye bread and it was perfect. Caraway can often be so abrasive as to be off-putting. Here, it was a gentle herbaceousness that played very well with the topping of sauteed pastrami and kraut. The swiss cheese glued everything together and the 1000 Island sauce gave it a sweet tanginess.
I cannot recommend this corn dog highly enough. It was sincerely wonderful.
Hot links are a divisive dog in many cases. I’ve had too many dyed-pink sausages with tiny cubes of white fat that refuses to melt when cooked to trust a hot link, but the version used by Mighty Corn Dog in the El Chapo was perfect. A nice, mild spice with sneaky heat.
That sausage is enrobed in a jalapeno batter that added a perfect balance of sweet and spice. Then...a pile of elote. It’s corn on a corn dog, but it was utterly and completely wonderful. Goodness me, my mouth waters just thinking of it.
Elote is a creamy corn dish from Mexico that pairs the sweet pop of fresh corn kernels with a tangy sauce and cotija cheese. Folks, I’m smitten.
We also tried Porky’s Revenge, thanks in part to the good work of Mr. Greggs, who you might also know as Boss Hog of Flying Pig BBQ.
It’s a titanic team-up, dear readers. A colossal collaboration in the Mighty Marvel style. It’s a pile of pulled pork and coleslaw on top of a corn dog. And yeah, it was good. Don’t bother trying to lift it by the stick, though. This is a knife-and-fork corn dog.
You’ll definitely want a fork around if you get Fa Get About It, which is a corn dog version of a chicken parmesan. And if you’re having trouble picturing that, well, I understand.
It’s an Italian sausage, dipped in a parmesan-infused batter, fried and then covered with a fried mozzarella cheese stick and smothered in house-made red wine marinara.
Dang, y’all. Dang.
The key to this one is Schwab’s Italian sausage. When you crack into this dog and see the Italian seasonings in the sausage, you know you’re in flavor country.
Not that I’m generally looking to run a marathon after eating a corn dog (or ever, frankly), but this is heavy like a call from doctor. You might need a nap after you eat this. Or you might need a medically induced coma. But you’ll have sweet dreams, either way.
The same goes for Merica, which is probably the most approachable of Mighty Corn Dog’s menu. All-beef dog. Fresh corn batter. Topped with chili, nacho cheese, diced jalapeno and onion and finished with a crumble of corn chips.
I know this is supposed to be like a Frito chili pie, but it tasted more like nachos to me. And I hope by now you know that’s not a bad thing.
This is a relatively new truck, but they’ve been hitting the road a lot lately. Keep an eye on their social media for locations and then go visit them. One word of advice, though: a single corn dog will be enough.
You’ll have plenty of time to try more. Mighty Corn Dog isn’t going anywhere.