Summer serves up savory, sweet selections


Noah David '22

Top Dog’s Smoked Chicken Apple Dog and Spicy Mango Chicken.

Top Dog hot dogs

By Noah David ’22

Located only a few blocks away from the University of California, Berkeley, is Top Dog, a tiny, take- out restaurant that specializes in the well-known carnival favorites, hot dogs and sausages.

My first selection was the Smoked Chicken Apple Dog, which was an all chicken hot dog with bits of apple sprinkled throughout the link, cradled by a fluffy french roll scattered with sesame seeds.

Although it was relatively small, every bite was worth it, as the simple yet scrumptious sandwich was only priced at $4. I topped the hot dog with bold ketchup and tangy mustard, which provided a slight kick.

Upon first bite, I was immediately met with the slight sweetness from the apple bits, followed by the smokiness and tenderness of the chicken. Although it was finished within a few bites, the sweetness and smokiness teamed up perfectly to give the sausage flavor, while not overpowering the other at the same time.

The second sandwich I ordered was the Spicy Mango Chicken, and by far my favorite out of the pair. Also being priced at $4, this spicy link was a mix of tender chicken, sweet mango bits, spicy jalapeños, and bursting withcilantro and paprika.

For this dog, I decided to load it up with mustard, ketchup, relish, onions, and kraut, aspects which provided explosions of flavors with every bite. Upon first bite, a war erupted between the mangos and jalapeños, as the spiciness attempted to take over my tastebuds, only to be suppressed by the sweetness as I swallowed the first impression.

Despite the war, however, both sides seemed to be perfectly matched, as no side overpowered the other, and created a perfect balance of sweetness and spiciness supported by the cast of condiments that were personally employed by me.

My only gripe was the fact that the battle ended too soon, as the portion was too tiny to match my hunger.

All in all, going into this food review, I was personally not the biggest fan of hot dogs, however Top Dog’s are one of a kind despite their small portions.

Being priced at around $4 for each unique hot link, this tiny establishment offers a large amount of flavor with each hot dog and plenty of condiments to build your hot dog to perfection.

I would recommend this humble sausage establishment to everyone who enjoys quality hot dogs and sausages, as it’s second to none when it comes to hot links and hot dogs.


STIX Korean corn dogs

By Annie Le ’21

STIX has brought the taste of Asian snacks to San Francisco. The famous Korean corn dog, also known as “gamja-hot dog,” is not like the regular corn dogs.

This street food is made of hot dogs and cheese on a stick, covered in a thick batter, coated in items ranging from cornflakes, ramen bits, potato cubes, to sweet potato cubes. It is then deep-fried until crispy golden brown. For the sauce, you can choose from the classic ketchup and mustard to wasabi mayo, spicy mayo, ranch, sweet chili, sriracha, honey mustard, and nacho cheese.

STIX has been one of my favorite snack stops for quite a few years now, so I am very familiar with their menu. The restaurant is at 1353 Taraval St. in the Sunset District. They are available for dine-in, takeout, and delivery. They have “CORNDOG HAPPY HOUR” weekdays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

I regularly order through Doordash or Ubereats, then pick up my orders and walk across the street where McCoppin Square is located. My friends and I enjoy our snacks on the benches facing the store. We usually see people walk in and out of the restaurant continuously. This experience reminds me of street food festivals and night markets in Asia.

For this review, I wanted to try the “PotatoComboDog,” the most expensive item on their corn dogs menu that costs $8.00.

This combo is made with an all-beef hot dog and mozzarella cheese crusted in french fry cubes. Note that sauces are not included. There is a sauce menu if we choose to add on. Each sauce prices from $0.25-$0.50.

When I took my first bite, I could instantly feel the crispiness of the French fry cubes and the chewiness of rice flour batter. What makes it even more remarkable is the sugar sprinkled on top, adding a hint of sweetness to this savory snack.

The melted cheese was oozing out of the interior after the first bite. After a while, the skin got a bit chalky, so I dipped it in some spicy mayo. The sauce leveled up the whole masterpiece, adding a spicy and buttery flavor.

The “PotatoComboDog,” deserves 4.5 out of 5 stars. I have been recommending this Asian snack shop to anyone I know. You will be left satisfied with each flavor on every layer and the price is definitely worth it.


Pancho Villa Taqueria’s churro

By Angie Levano ’23

Pancho Villa Taqueria is at 3071 16th St. in San Francisco. They serve burritos, quesadillas, nachos and tacos, and have been in business since 1987.

Customers can order online, pick it up in person or have it delivered.

When I walked into the restaurant, I could smell the delicious Mexican food. A friendly cashier greeted me, and I decided to try one of their churros.

There were two kinds available. A traditional churro with only cinnamon and sugar, or a custard-filled churro that is half the size of the original one.  I went for the churro with the custard since I have never had one before. The overall cost was $2.35.

The churro looked great. It was crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside. The combination between the cinnamon and sugar plus the custard made it way better than a regular churro.

I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.


Starbucks’ Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino

By Elsie Schusterstitch ’23

Starbucks just released their Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino to kick off the summer.

The inspiration comes from the classic carnival food: funnel cakes! I was intrigued, and headed to the closest Starbucks to give it a taste.

The frappuccino consists of funnel cake syrup, milk, coffee, strawberry puree, and whipped cream, topped with powdered sugar funnel cake topping that adds a nice crunch.

After the first sip, my first thought was, “Wow this is sweet. Super sweet!”

The strawberry puree helped to balance out the sweetness as it added hints of sourness. I will say that there is an overwhelming amount of sugar in this drink, but if sugary coffee drinks are your thing, then definitely check this out. This sweet confectionary beverage gets 3 out of 5 stars.