We didn’t feel like going home and cooking tonight, so we visited one of the few fast food places in Billund – a tiny little grill-shack in the center of town called TimeOut.
I’d been here once a few years ago (when visiting Billund on a business trip), and had had a Danish-style hot dog piled high with who-knows-what, so I already knew I wanted to get it again tonight and unravel its deep condimentary mysteries.
Now remember, a typical hot dog joint back in the US might have relish and onions, plus mustard and ketchup. If you’re lucky, you might get kraut, or if you’re at the cart outside a Home Depot, you might also see a shaker of celery salt. In New York, you’ll probably get offered red onion sauce, and in Chicago you’ll get that bright green relish, a pickle spear, tomato slices, and those tasty little sport peppers.
Here are choices at this place:
From left to right: remoulade, red cabbage, onion, french fried onion, pickles, and beets. Plus mustard (sennep) and ketchup.
The woman behind the counter loaded up the dog with everything, but not the red cabbage and beets. The beets are apparently for the one of the beef sandwiches served there, not for the hot dogs. (Don’t make that face – I’ve had sliced beets on a burger in Australia and I definitely recommend it.) When I asked why she left off the cabbage, she said that she’d fixed it the Danish way, and that tourists generally don’t like it with the red cabbage. I said that I wasn’t a tourist, that we live here now! So she put on the cabbage and said, “Now it’s Billund style.”
This was pretty much the same dog and toppings I got in LEGOLand a couple of weeks ago, just bigger. Truth be told, it was hard to actually find the hot dog in each bite of this messy beast. I typically like my hot dogs with mustard and sauerkraut – love that vinegary tang and sharpness from the two. This had a tiny bit of sour from the pickles, but mostly the flavors all combined into something creamy and sweet and kind of mushy. The remoulade (a yellow mayo-based sauce) was probably a big part of that. Remoulade is also good on fries, btw.
I think now that I’ve had it with the works, I’ll reduce the number of condiments next time to get a better texture balance between the snap of the hot dog, the crunch of the french-fried onions, and the other soft toppings.
Here are some other pics from inside the restaurant, in case you’re curious about their other offerings, prices etc. The boys each got simple cheeseburgers (fries included) and B had a burger w/ the works – also creamy and also a mess – and with my hot dog and a few drinks, it came to 205 kroner. 1 dollar is 6 kroner so that’s about 34 dollars, which is pretty expensive for a casual night at out the local hot dog and burger stand!
Oh well, it’s all part of the fun of exploring – plus, as we’re learning, Danes really don’t go out to eat often. Or if they do, it’s because they choose not to spend on other stuff. At least a hot dog on its own is only 28 kroner, or about 4 bucks.
Oh yeah, and best part of the meal: Cocio chocolate milk goes really well with hot dogs! Welcome to Cocio, I love you.