A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 10, 2007
Donkey Tails (hot dogs with cheddar cheese in a tortilla, then fried)

"Donkey Tails” achieved some popularity in 2006, when they were served at the Texas State Fair and at Tolbert’s Restaurant in Grapevine (near Dallas). The dish—containing no donkey parts—consists of hot dogs stuffed with cheddar cheese, wrapped in a flour tortilla and fried, with mustard and chili on the side.


Big Tex
NEW FOOD ITEMS FOR THE 2006 STATE FAIR OF TEXAS
Donkey Tails - Contest Finalist – Large all-beef franks, slit on one side and generously stuffed with sharp cheddar cheese, are wrapped tightly in a large flour tortilla and fried until golden brown. Served with mustard, chili, or Ruth’s salsa. (Ruth’s Tamale House – Cotton Bowl Plaza & Nimitz Dr.)

Great Hot Recipes
DONKEY TAILS
Pkg. wieners
Pkg. flour tortillas
Pkg. slice cheese (cut each slice
into 1/4 inch slices)
Mayonnaise
Picante sauce
Butter or margarine

Cut a slit in each wiener. Place 2 pieces of cheese in each slit. Wrap each wiener in a tortilla. Slowly brown in a skillet with a pat or two of butter. Remove from pan when cheese melts. Take 1/2 cup Picante Sauce and mix with about 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise. Pour over wieners or use as a dip. 

Texas Cable News
What will State Fair vendors fry next?
Concessionaires bubbling with excitement over latest offerings
12:25 PM CDT on Monday, September 4, 2006
By KATIE MENZER / The Dallas Morning News
(...)
And last is Ruth Hauntz’s Donkey Tails.

Her franks – stuffed with cheddar cheese, wrapped in a tortilla and fried – offer the only meat in the contest.

“That’s a genuine, all-beef wiener,” Ms. Hauntz said. “Give a person a good wiener, and you’ve got them.”

State Fair of Texas 2006 (photos)
09-OCT-2006
Donkey Tails-Weiners, cheese, tortillas and fried

Tolbert’s Restaurant (Grapevine, TX)
Donkey Tails
Two All Beef Hot Dogs stuffed with Cheddar Cheese, wrapped in Flour Tortillas, then lightly fried.  Served with Tolbert’s Salsa and Mustard Sauce and a shot of Chili on the side - 6.99

Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram
Hello, old friend
Teresa Gubbins
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Published: Friday, June 23, 2006

For chili-heads the world over, it’s major news: Tolbert’s is back.

If any name springs to mind when it comes to chili, it’s Tolbert. The original Tolbert’s Texas Chili Parlor was opened in 1976 in Dallas by Frank X. Tolbert, the journalist-historian who wrote the chili bible, A Bowl of Red. He founded the Chili Appreciation Society International and co-founded the Terlingua International Chili Cookoff.

Tolbert’s became a small chain, whereupon Frank X. Tolbert II and his sister Kathleen Tolbert Ryan chipped in to help their father. They took over after he died in 1984; the last Tolbert’s closed down in 2003.

Located in a 1911 building that was once a Ford dealership, the new Tolbert’s boasts a breathtaking remodel: lined with wood and stone, and accented by details such as stained glass on the facade and glowing sconces on the wall. The original brick interior has been supplemented by new brick and stucco. And a portrait of Kathleen’s father keeps watch above a stately fireplace.
(...)
But if you have to spend your appetite elsewhere, save it for the appetizer called donkey tails ($6.99). Two beef hot dogs were slit lengthwise, stuffed with cheddar cheese, wrapped tightly in flour tortillas, then lightly fried. Sides of Tolbert’s house-made salsa, chili and mustard spiked with relish added glory to this deliciously down-and-dirty dish.

Dallas Dining
At the low end of the price scale Tolbert’s Texas Chili Parlor on McKinney Ave. near Knox Street reflects Will Roger’s comment that “you can tell a lot about a town by its chili.” Avoid the “donkey tails” unless you lust for hot dogs wrapped in tortillas and deep fried with hot mustard. Stick with the “Texas red,” a solid chili that shows why Frank Tolbert helped start the Annual World Championship Chili Cookoff in Terlingua. Expect to pay under $10 with a beer. Phone 350-9034. 

Dallas Business Journal
Warm up with a bowl of red
Dallas Business Journal - February 9, 2007
by Kerry Curry

Does our recent spate of cold weather have you craving an original bowl of Texas Red?

If so, head on over to Tolbert’s Restaurant in downtown Grapevine.

Tolbert’s was originally established along Dallas’ Main Street in 1976 by Frank X. Tolbert, legendary Texas journalist, storyteller and chili impresario. Tolbert, who died in 1984, also was co-founder of the world famous Terlingua International Championship Chili Cookoff, now entering its 40th year. Tolbert’s expanded into several Dallas area locations before the final one closed in 2003.

Tolbert’s daughter, Kathleen Tolbert Ryan and her husband, Paul Ryan, revived the restaurant along Grapevine’s historic Main Street last year.
(...)
The menu includes Tex-Mex items, salads, steaks, burgers and donkey tails (two all-beef hot dogs stuffed with cheddar cheese, wrapped in flour tortillas and then lightly fried, served with salsa and mustard, and a shot of chili on the side. Whew!)

Google Books
Tortillas!
by Pat Sparks and Barbara Swanson
New York: St. Martin’s Press
1993
Pg. 62:
Frank X. Tolbert named our adapted Tex-Mex version of the corn dog. He reports in his book, A Bowl of Red, the bible of chili lore, that donkey tails are traditionally served with mustard laced with hot sauce. Tolbert reported they are also good with chili.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, September 10, 2007 • Permalink