There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Fire eaters, take note: DC-3’s blisteringly spicy hot dog, the 3 Alarm Cruncher, is back, but only through the end of June.
The 3 Alarm Cruncher—composed of a half smoke topped with four kinds of hot peppers—is known mostly for its appearance on the Food Network’s Heat Seekers in 2012. But when DC-3’s owners dropped eight hot dogs from the menu that year, the Cruncher didn’t make the cut. In fact, the Matchbox Food Group-owned restaurant didn’t even keep the extra-hot dog’s blueprints on file.
“I couldn’t find the original recipe, to be honest with you,” says DC-3 general manager Alex Baez. So he asked Matchbox’s executive chef Jacob Hunter, who luckily remembered the recipe. Now, Baez says he’s got the original formula down pat, with a few of his own flourishes.
The current iteration of the 3 Alarm Cruncher is a bacon-wrapped, habanero-stuffed half-smoke topped with several types of hot peppers, chipotle puree, sriracha, and cayenne pepper powder and wedged between a grilled brioche bun.
“It is really spicy, but also flavorful because of the chipotle puree,” says Baez. “And the habanero adds a lot of fruitiness.”
Other dogs on the restaurant’s special menu include the Slope Style Dog—a bacon-wrapped corn dog on a bun with chili, cheese, and french fries—and the California Chrome dog with avocado, bacon, tomato, mayo, and lettuce.
Photo courtesy of DC-3