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How Deep-Fried Hot Dogs Became a Miami Favorite — Dining on a Dime


– Hey everybody, we’re headed to eat some of the best hot
dogs in Miami right now. We’re going to the
Westchester neighborhood to a place called Arbetter’s. It’s a family business, a
pass-down to the current owner, Dave Arbetter, who’s
been running it for the better part of the last decade. It’s really been like a bedrock and mainstay of the community. You get people who have been going there for decades and decades and
really love what they do. So the atmosphere is
fantastic, it’s familial, the guys are yelling at each
other and having a great time. The Arbetter family has an
intense love of Boston sports, and you’ll see that all over, so you’ve got Larry Bird jerseys, you get free refills on your sodas if you say you love Larry Bird. So we’re gonna head there right now, we’re gonna try some of these dogs. This big fried dog called the Ripper, a couple of the other dogs with sauerkraut and all kinds of stuff on them. I can’t wait to try it. (upbeat music) – My parents met when my dad
was at University of Miami. The first date they ever went on, my dad was so obsessed with hot dogs. He wanted to always own a hot dog place, ever since he was little. They met and they went to a hot dog place. And that place had been there
since like the 30’s in Miami, and it was downtown and was there even when I was kid in the 70’s. But my dad loved it, my mom loved it, and that’s what they wanted to do, and that’s what they did. They opened a hot dog place. – The place really seems to mean a lot to a lot of people in the neighborhood, people who have been around, people who remember coming here when they were kids,
when they were students. – Our family just had the
kind of personality where in the 50’s and 60’s, we weren’t rich. We didn’t make a lot of money. But we made a lot of friends. And that old saying, where, you know, you’re “rich in friendship”, that’s what we have here. And that’s no joke. I take it very seriously
because the people care about our place and we
truly care about them. And you don’t get this scenario anymore. When my brother had it, the
day after Hurricane Andrew, they gave away free food. Anybody that came in, you got free food. And they did that for like two days. We did it again after
some other, you know, storms that we’ve had over the years. And when you do that kind of thing, you actually make friends with the people, and you get to know
them over 30, 40 years. There are people here that have known my family since the 30’s. It’s historical and it’s beautiful. – What’s up boss, how are you doing today? – How you doin’, nice to meet you. I’m gonna get a Macho, and then I’m gonna get an All Around. Can I get a boiled dog with
sauerkraut and mustard? – [Cashier] Of course, boss. – And then can I get a cheese fries, and can I get an onion rings? – Yep, you got it. Drop an onion ring, cheese fry! – Okay, break a leg, man! – Who’s playing cards in the back? What are you doin’ over there? – First request, we’re
extremely impressed. (upbeat music) – This is a deep-fried hot dog. And what happens when you have something that has a lot of moisture and you drop it into hot oil, it’s like the Incredible Hulk. It’s Bruce Banner, but
suddenly it’s poosh! And the thing just explodes
into this flavory goodness. And then it’s covered in chili and cheese. I gotta say, it’s a pretty good dog. This is a nice big
quarter-pound all-beef dog, and yet it’s not like you’re biting into a thick juicy steak, it’s junk food, it’s super high in sodium, it’s so salty and fatty,
but it’s in a good way. I mean, you can have
junky bad, junky good, and a good hot dog is junky good. There’s like a little bit of that sense memory going on for me. Five years old, goin’ to a White Sox game having my first hot dog. The difference between
a fried hot dog and say, a boiled hot dog, which
we have right here, this is gonna be a mixture
of beef and pork, okay. And this is the onion, relish, mustard, this is a pretty classic
way to enjoy a hot dog. This is good too. It does have a slightly
more processed taste than the beef one does, I would say. I would take an all-beef
dog over the all-meat dog. – The first time I came
here, I was about 16. – And is the place changed a
lot, or is it kind of the same? – No, the place has not changed. It’s awesome, that’s
what we like about it! We want it to stay the same. Obviously, it’s changed in
that they paint the outside, they changed the awning, but the thing that we like about it is that it hasn’t changed. My husband and I met playing tennis. When I met him at the tennis courts, one of the things that he asked me is, “Would you like to go to Arbetter’s?” And I told him “Yeah, I love Arbetter’s!” And he says “Oh, awesome,
because Arbetter’s “is not all that expensive.” (laughter) – It’s really great to hear
that this place is such a loved place in the community, and for you personally. – Yeah, oh, and we’ve
brought our kids here. We’ve been married 35 years. – It’s like stepping into a time capsule whenever you come back. – I love it. It’s, you know, it’s home. (upbeat music) – I don’t really need
to tell ya much about onion rings and cheese fries. Cheese fries are just good. The fries with that goopy
fake plastic cheese on ’em. I think if you’re gonna go fake, you gotta go all the way. You gotta go like neon
orange plastic fake cheese. Otherwise you’re just kidding yourself. Onion rings, they cut ’em by hand, they’re nice and crispy, the outside adheres well to it. I’m just gonna eat this
kraut dog real quick. Nice tangy sour sauerkraut on that. Very salty dog. To recap, this place
is just about memories. Having your mom make hot dogs
for you when you were five, going to a sporting event and having a hot dog when you were a kid, just having that sense of, oh yeah, I feel like, good and like, comforted. And wanting to come back
here because it replicates that sense over and over. It’s like I’m the Jeremy
Irons critic in Ratatouille, and I’m really mean to everyone, and then suddenly I go to this restaurant. And I don’t like anything. And I have that bite of ratatouille, and then suddenly the
window into my brain opens, and I’m just a little boy in France again. Ratatouille hot dog. That’s what this place is. That’s what this place does to you. It opens sort of like a
window into your memory, into your childhood,
and it brings you back. It doesn’t change, because
you don’t want it to change. It’s exactly what you came
for and what you paid for. And it delivers every time. I really hope you enjoyed this
episode of Dining on a Dime. From Arbetter’s in Miami, Florida. If you’d like to watch
more, please click here. Can we do an outtake show of
me just being really mean, and like yelling, being really… Goddammit! None of this (beep) food (mumbles)!

100 thoughts on “How Deep-Fried Hot Dogs Became a Miami Favorite — Dining on a Dime

  1. "You get people that have been going there for decades…"

    And that's how you get that family on the right with the kid running towards obesity one deep-fried hot dog at a time.

  2. She and her husband have been married 35 years and when they first met and he asked her if she would go to Arbetters for lunch with him she said yes and he said that was awesome because it wasn't that expensive. For many women that would have been offensive. A sign that he was a cheapskate and that she wasn't worth a fancier place to him. It would have been the first and last date. But for her it was the beginning of a 35 year marriage.

  3. Lived here my whole life where is this place? Hot dogs r NOT a miami food. Why would u visit an American style hot dog place that is available anywhere in the country.

    Yo check out Los Perros. That's Miami style hot dogs. C'mon bruh epif fuck up

  4. It's not fake cheese dummy it's watered down and has cream added also know as cheese wiz for my cheese steaks and what's fake about a onion and a potato foh

  5. Westchester isn’t a neighborhood in Miami, it’s practically it’s own city-community and is located south of Sweetwater (a city) and west of West Miami (another city). As a born and raised resident of the actual city of Miami it’s tiring hearing tourists call every place south of county line road Miami. It’s ignorant and drastically undercuts the actual people who live there and takes away from what business they’d have to promote. My family has been here since the 30s.

  6. I'm sorry chief. It may be ultra-delicious; but a hotdog is the ultimate in junky BAD (healthwise) I want a hotdog!!!!!!!!!!!!! waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!

  7. Jeremy Irons wasn't the voice of the critique in Ratatouille, you dumb ass. It was Peter O'Toole! P.S. Great review!

  8. I love onion rings. . .but they give you so little in a non-fast food restaurant. I remember going one place it cost me $6 (USD) and I got like 6 onion rings. . .big ones with real onions but only 6 🙁 I wish I was good a making fried foods but I not.

  9. Lucas stopped listening to the bald dude after he took that first sip of that cup full of tonka vodka..

  10. A student in my former special education program is originally from Boston. My siblings are from Boston but not exactly. They were born in a suburb.

  11. Thanks to the joint's restaurateur for moving to Miami, FL, to avoid the crazy deep blizzards that hinder commutes!

  12. Bruh so hot dogs werent meat to he fried. Ive been frying them since day 1 wtf i always hated boiled, grilled and microwaved hotdog.

  13. “He’s been running this place for the better part of a decade.”

    “People have been coming here for decades and decades”

  14. A boiled hot dog with mustard, relish, and onions is the only way to eat a hot dog in New England. It must be served on a toasted New England bun. But, that's just us.

  15. I dont like this host for some reason. I'm sure he's a gentleman and a scholar, but feels like a cheap, drunk, keanu reeves. And that T-shirt is something a host shouldn't wear.

  16. This place in Miami, FL is a rarity. Way too many fast food places are completely devoid of any personality or "soul". Helping the community where you get your business was priceless. Miami certainly gets its share of Hurricanes like any community along the coastal areas of this Nation.

  17. I assumed when I saw the title that the deep fried were the way that we do them in Aust dipped in batter and deep fried.

  18. Free refills (uhhh nevermind the 25cent Refill sign, lol) an Good and Bad Junk food..Humm… Dude it just tastes good, Eat it!..enjoy

  19. If you're going to talk s*** about the cheese at least tell me what the cheese name is and be a piece of s*** to the restaurant and never come back because they are good

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