Hey Trombone Shorty, is a hot dog a sandwich?

Illustration for article titled Hey Trombone Shorty, is a hot dog a sandwich?
Photo: Taylor Hill (Getty Images), Illustration: Natalie Peeples
Is A Hot Dog A Sandwich?Is A Hot Dog A Sandwich?Welcome to Is A Hot Dog A Sandwich? in which The Takeout asks famous and important people to answer the most important question to ever beguile the human race.

Which is the greatest food city in America? I could argue among three or four contenders. What about the greatest music city in America? Likewise. But when phrased as, “Which is the greatest food and music city in America,” there is only one answer: New Orleans.


Troy Andrews, who you may know as Trombone Shorty, is one of the Crescent City’s most visible and enthusiastic supporters. He knows his food, and he knows his music. From humble brass band roots, Andrews has made the pop cultural crossover to collaborations in rock, hip-hop, country, jazz, you name it. He’s an actor, a philanthropist, an author, a man of multitudes. He’s currently embarked on his Voodoo Threauxdown Tour, performing at a city near you with New Orleanian dignitaries such as Kermit Ruffins and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

And Trombone Shorty’s cool as hell, too. You know why? Because we called him from soundcheck in Baltimore and he told us whether a hot dog is a sandwich.

The Takeout: Is a hot dog a sandwich?

Trombone Shorty: Well, I think anything that’s between two pieces of bread, I guess that is a sandwich. I’ve definitely had hot dogs where the bread is separated. That would prompt the question, what is a hot dog?

TO: That’s an interesting thought. We never thought to invert the question on itself.

TS: You know what, coming from New Orleans, I would say a hot dog is a sandwich. We’ll take a piece of bread and fold around a sandwich meat like turkey. My mom does that all the time. My grandmother too will take the ends of [a roll]—it’s brown on the outside and white inside—and she’ll take a piece a meat and a piece of cheese, and that’s a sandwich. So I guess a hot dog is as well.

Kevin Pang was the founding editor of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace.



I was discussing the merits of subs that are sliced all the way through and those that are not with my wife who is from New England where the former seems to be the norm, when I popped the question

Me: Is a hot dog a sandwich?

*sideways look at me like I just asked the stupidest question ever (she doesn’t read this blog*

Her: No, of course not, it is served on a hot dog bun.

I was shocked by the speed to which she arrived at this opinion and conclusion, and to be honest I don’t think her logic has any flaws.

Simply stated;

If a thing has it’s own special bread then it is not a sandwich.

1. Hot Dog - served on hot dog bun, hence not a sandwich

2. Gyro - served on Pita bread, a sandwich since Pita is just a form of bread

3. Taco - soft or hard is served in a specialty tortilla and is there for not a sandwich

4. Grinder/Hoagie - served in a sub roll, no longer a sandwich

5. Hamburger - served on a hamburger bun, not a sandwich

6. The ghetto hamburgers I had when I was a kid and we didn’t have $$ for specialized buns and used white bread ends, a sandwich

7. Wraps - served on a specialized bread (wrap), not a sandwich