But hey, to each his own, right? I'm not here to pick a fight (this time...). And the reason I keep going back to Jim's is the fact that he's just as crazy for dogs, as crazy for ingredients, as stubborn about the canonical rightness of his preparation, as I am.
Now, though, I have another reason for heading down to Skyline Park: Biker Jim's Freakishly Small Concession Stand — which, in all its freakishly small glory, operates just behind the information booth — and, in particular, the Jittershake mixed up there. A Jittershake is one scoop of vanilla ice cream, one scoop of Costa Rican coffee ice cream (both from Ice Cream Alchemy in Boulder) and a long pour of Venetian cream blended together into a caffeinated milkshake that is damn near the best morning wake-up I've ever had. Even more powerful is the Jitterquake — the same as the Jittershake, but with a shot of fresh espresso. As if this weren't enough, the cart opens at 7 a.m. in order to serve breakfast burritos made with Jim's sausages, as well as Kaladi Brothers coffee, and then stays open all day to provide ice cream, cool drinks and Biker Jim's Gourmet Cheesecakes to the masses.
"My plan for world domination is under way," Jim told me as I was getting ready to leave. "I control this block now."
When I asked him what was next, without hesitating he barked out, "Hot dog restaurant, man. You'll see." And sure, he laughed when he said it. He had a whole bunch of crazy in his eyes (as well as a dozen-odd dogs stacked up on his grill). But you know what? I don't doubt him for a second.
Oh, by the way: That ice cream company Jim uses at his concession stand, Ice Cream Alchemy? They make bacon ice cream.
Let me repeat that in case you missed it: Bacon ice cream.
Also, Guinness ice cream, foie gras ice cream, curry ice cream, port-wine, tequila, bourbon-marshmallow and gingered-peach ice cream. But most important, they do bacon ice cream and, frankly, I can't believe that I'm sitting here writing about it rather than jumping in the car, driving to Boulder and buying myself enough to bathe in.
Unfortunately, Ice Cream Alchemy doesn't have a brick-and-mortar store of its own, but it does provide ice cream to about fifty different restaurants in Colorado (none, to my knowledge, are serving the bacon variety). So as soon as I'm able, I'm going to call them up and try to wrangle myself a sit-down to see what else they can do.
Green-chile ice cream, anyone?
On the prowl: While I was downtown checking out Biker Jim's wieners (ha!), I stumbled across another place just ripe for the double entendres: Boney's Smokehouse. Situated right on the corner of 16th and Lawrence (in Writer's Square) and just a quick jog from Biker Jim's (as if I've ever jogged anywhere), Boney's is a tiny, cramped, almost minuscule hut set right in the middle of the cross-square traffic flow that, like Jim's, does a hot dog, does a little Louisiana sausage, but also does barbecue.
There are ribs — big ones, gleaming in the hot box beside the order windows — and turkey legs, as well as beef brisket and pulled pork. And it's pretty damn good barbecue, too. I had an excellent pulled pork sandwich on a plain hamburger bun (as is only proper) with plenty of meat, just enough sweet sauce to stick it all together, and a lightly smoky flavor. I can say with confidence that it was the best barbecue sandwich I've ever gotten from a place small enough to fit in the back of a pickup truck with room to spare.
Small as it is, Boney's had three people inside when I looped back around for a second lunch: one on the register, two on the grills. And while (obviously) everything is getting smoked off-campus, as it were, it's a credit to this joint that they're actually putting the heat to the meat for every single order that goes out through the window.