New Yorker Jonah Falcon reached legendary status in 1999 when he decided to go public about the shockingly huge size of his “sausage.” According to him it measures 34 centimeters long.
Since Jonah Falcon’s story first broke nearly 20 years ago, word has even made its way to Vietnam. It’s inspired one local restaurant and craft brewery, BiaCraft Artisan Ales, to add a mouthwatering meter-long sausage to their menu—an item that’s as bold as its namesake’s appendage.
Although they’re known for having the most extensive collection of craft beers in Vietnam—with 50 on tap at 1 Le Ngo Cat in District 3, another 25 lines at their new location in Phu Nhuan, and 19 more at 90 Xuan Thuy in District 2—they now also carry the crown for having one of the longest sausages in the Eastern Hemisphere.
In order to learn more about the anatomy of the acclaimed Jonah Falcondog Foursome we headed out to BiaCraft’s new spot at 300 Truong Sa in Phu Nhuan district to speak with founder Tim Scott about how a single piece of meat is pulling in people from all across the city, and turning quite a few heads in the process.
The inspiration behind the BiaCraft meter-long hot dog
Ask anyone on the BiaCraft crew who Jonah Falcon is and the immediate response is an outburst of laughter. Between chuckles, founder Tim Scott admits that Jonah’s status as the man with world’s biggest “sausage” was indeed his inspiration for the dish. “We wanted something that would get people talking at the dinner table,” Tim smiles. “And if you don’t already know who the guy is, I would highly recommend taking a deep dive on the internet to find out. This guy is a legend,” he nods, “and we wanted to go bigger than anyone else, just like Jonah.”
Recently, Falcon made another media comeback due to an ugly internet dispute over who really has the biggest package. Arch rival Roberto Cabrera went on record claiming he was hiding something even more impressive. “This guy just makes for fun conversation. When the dish is brought out it becomes a spectacle—everyone that sees it starts talking about it. Even if they have no idea what it is, they’re curious,” Tim smiles.
“We already have footlong hot dogs on the menu at our sister restaurant Quan Ut Ut, but we wanted this item to be even more wild.” The concept developed after a discussion on how BiaCraft could create dishes that were not only ideal for big groups of people, but that would also serve as fun conversation starters.
“Plenty of places around the world do footlongs but there aren’t many doing a one-meter long hot dog. Last time I was home I heard there was spot in London’s Camden Market selling meter-long sausages so I took my tape measure and went to investigate. As it turned out, they were far from a full meter. Although I’m sure there aren’t many people going to the market with a tape measure to check, I still felt happy that we’re bigger,” Tim shrugs.
Getting in on BiaCraft’s Jonah Falcondog Foursome
“Lots of people have had threesomes, but not many can say they’ve had a foursome. We want people to come here and have their first one,” Tim continues as we ask him to breakdown the four different parts of BiaCraft’s meter-long hot dog.
The sausage is a representation of America’s obsession with hot dogs—an item that comes in endless varieties. “And many of our customers are locals so we made sure to include a Vietnamese banh mi section, but not without adding our own signature twist.”
Bringing out the Falcondog—on a colossal wooden tray—causes some curious looks. Nearby customers are intrigued, some are shocked, but most just watch and smile. However, two people even come over to take a photo of it. “And that’s just the thing, we want to have the biggest sausage in the country. We want to get people talking. And if you know the name Jonah Falcon and make the connection, you’ll be next in line for a ‘Falcondog injection’,” Tim laughs.
Part one: An ode to all things onion
Part one consists of four kinds: caramelized and raw onions, fried shallots, and green onions.
“I know this might sound weird, but onions are my favorite vegetable. They’re so diverse, and you can put them on just about anything. So this one is our ode all things onion,” Tim says.
“Although it sounds like an overload, you’d be surprised how balanced the BiaCraft onion dog tastes. The raw onion gives the section a nice pop as long as it’s not overused. And the savory, fried shallots add a nice touch of umami,” BiaCraft’s founder explains.
“We also used vanilla porter and chai for the seasoning. It’s made from a reduction just like you would have if you were making a chai tea. The vanilla has beautifully aromatic properties, and when you get the onion sausage right under your nose the vanilla is one of the first things to hit you,” Tim continues. “And that’s not something you would expect from a dish with four kinds of onion.”
Part two: The classic ballpark dog
Part two is straight to the point…but it’s one of those dishes that’s been around for so long because all the elements work so well together. If you’ve ever been to a baseball game in America, you’d quickly recognize the ballpark dog’s iconic status in American culture. Here, BiaCraft’s ballpark dog has ketchup, mustard, and pickled relish stuffed between two sides of their custom-made hot dog bun.
“This one’s meant to be simple. We weren’t shooting for anything fancy,” Tim explains. “It’s also a nice transition when working your way down from the onion dog, which is much more complex with a multi-faceted taste profile.”
Part three: The Vietnamese banh mi
“As we were playing with different recipes and styles for the Falcondog we kept returning to flavors that were just too bold and heavy. When brainstorming what kind of sausage recipes we wanted to include it dawned on us that including a Vietnamese banh mi version would be a perfect break from the heavier types of dog,” Tim recalls. It’s lighter, and plays with a much wider range of flavors than most American hot dogs. “It’s a nice contrast to the other components of the Falcondog,” BiaCraft’s founder adds.
BiaCraft’s Vietnamese banh mi dog has bacon pate and bacon aioli—the team’s idea for a lighter substitution in place of mayo. “Throw on some pickled carrot and daikon, a pinch of salt, a dash of black pepper, and some fresh coriander and you’re ready to go,” Tim nods.
Part 4: The Philly cheesesteak
The Philly cheesesteak is part four. If you’ve ever tried the famous American sandwich, you know that it’s all about going big and bold. “It’s rich, decadent, and completely smothered with melted cheddar cheese,” Tim says proudly. Underneath that hot blanket of cheddar you’ll find sauteed onions and red and yellow bell peppers.
“Its big, messy, and fills the stomach—BiaCraft style.” So whether you begin or end with the Philly dog probably depends on how many beers deep you are. If you’re starting with the Philly dog we suggest pairing it with the “Ugly But Vain IPA”, but if you’re on your way out, the “Don’t F*ck With Me Pale Ale” might be a better option.
“To me it may have started out as a gimmick but it evolved into something that genuinely gets people excited. Just like Jonah Falcon. Once people make the connection between the meter-long sausage and its inspiration, Jonah, the conversation has begun. People will be back to BiaCraft to try it out again…” Tims notes confidently.