The Jew And The Carrot

Holy Kosher BBQ Truck Rolls on L.A. Streets

By Merrill Shindler

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More than 2 million hot dogs are sold every year at Dodger Stadium — more than at any other stadium in America. Which comes as a pretty big surprise in a city known for its obsession with hamburgers and tacos. But here in Los Angeles, we do love our hot dogs. And these days, we love our kosher hot dogs as well — especially those served from a food truck grandly named Holy Kosher BBQ.

The truck offers glatt kosher dog in three sizes — Regular, Holy and Jumbo, along with chips and a salad if you want, and beef “bacon,” if you feel the need to pretend your kosher meal is treyf. The dogs are tasty, with a proper snap when you bite into them, and lots of good juices that will run over your hand and onto your clothing if you’re not careful. (Food truck dining involves a certain degree of cautious juggling.) You can add on grilled onions, ketchup, mustard — and the beef bacon, of course. If you want it crispier, all you have to do is ask.

The truck’s run by Rudy Ellenborgen, a civil engineer from Lima, Peru. Ellenborgen grew up on the edge of the Andes, in a city with a small Jewish community of about 3000 people. Along with his Israeli wife Rachel, he realized there was a need in the madcap world of Los Angeles food trucks for a kosher hot dog vendor. And so, in late January, he launched his Holy Kosher BBQ Truck.

So far, he’s found his biggest following at the colleges of Los Angeles, alternating days between USC and UCLA. He also parks Downtown where LA’s Persian Orthodox flock to his truck. And what do his customers ask for the most? They want the big one, with the works. Which means lots of Aaron’s Beef Fry. “It’s crunchy,” says Ellenborgen. “It makes the dog that much better.”

But what about the BBQ in “Holy Kosher BBQ”? Ellenborgen chose the name so he can grow his concept, he says. But as a first-time food service guy, Ellenborgen is taking baby steps. Or whatever you call baby steps in a truck.


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