If You Go
• What: The Nomad’s Gourmet Hot Dogs.
• Where: Columbia Food Park, 108 E. Seventh St., Vancouver.
• Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
• Contact: 503-683-1140 or on social media @thenomadhotdogs, www.columbiafoodpark.com
It was a freezing cold day in December when I first met Andi Meyer. She had recently purchased The Nomad’s Gourmet Hot Dog cart from Gabriel Woodhead. She was wrapped in so many layers that it looked as if she was preparing to mount a tauntaun and race off to rescue Luke Skywalker on the planet Hoth.
Fortunately for Andi, she has found more hospitable conditions at her new location in the Columbia Food Park on Seventh Street between Main Street and Broadway. To find The Nomad, look for the Eat Weird sign posted in downtown Vancouver, or The Nomad sign right outside of the food park, or follow the sound of classic rock tunes.
Nomad fans will be pleased to know that the hot dogs and buns are the same. Tim’s Cascade Style Potato Chips and cold beverages are still available. And, you still dress your own dog to meet your own personal condiment needs. But the sauce choices have been increased. Andi told me, “The buns are from Sugar and Salt, and the hot dogs are from Top Choice. I would not change that. I have brought on other food cart’s sauces. I have Esoteric barbecue sauce, which rotates because he has three or four different barbecue sauces, and then I have Herb N’ Roots hot sauce, the habanero carrot hot sauce. It’s really good.”
In addition, Andi has tinkered with the pickle recipes.
“I did change up quite a few of the recipes to make them brighter and more mine,” she said. “The red cabbage kraut is totally different than what he had — there are currants in it and yellow mustard seeds and lots of fun stuff, and he just had red cabbage and the brine and some lemon. I love pickled everything, but I don’t like it when it is just one note. I like it bright. That is my preference, and that’s how I want it to be.”
Andi plans on using local vegetables for her pickles from a friend’s farm in Ridgefield. She is also trying out some veggie dogs.
Nomad’s high quality hot dogs and fresh, chewy ciabatta buns are a blank canvas that can be painted with a variety of sauces and pickles. Andi’s favorite combination is Odyssey Sauce (sweet, spicy mayo), Lone Ranger (a medium spicy vinegar based barbecue sauce made with an espresso rub from Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters), marinated lime red onions, red cabbage sauerkraut, and a little bit of hot sauce. If you crave a bahn-mi-ish dog, the Saigon slaw with a bit of spicy snake sauce is a good option. And, don’t forget a squiggle of cream cheese from the cream cheese gun (trust me, you need the cream cheese).
Andi won’t be alone at Columbia Food Park for long. CFP organizer Alex Mickle recently announced that two new vendors (an artisan coffee cart and a breakfast burrito cart) will be parking in the food park in July. He also posted that a taproom and bottle shop were in the works.
Rachel Pinsky can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @couveeats.