WANT YOUR KID to be SMMART? Take a trip
to member Lisa Bergantz’ website, “SMMART
where you’ll ;nd lots of learning activities to
share with your children. SMMART stands
for Science, Math, Music, Art, Reading and
Time-out. Bergantz posts a new activity from
one category each week.
Inspired by her three daughters, Bergantz,
36, started the website to introduce science
and math to kids early on. “I wanted them not
to be afraid of science or math,” says Bergantz,
who has a degree in molecular biology. She
wanted to share her knowledge with other
moms as well.
MAYBE IT’S HEREDITY: His father served hot
dogs at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.
Whatever the reason, Jesse Herzog, 29, a
real estate developer, felt the call. So, in
2009, he opened Zog’s Dogs, a San
Francisco eatery (
“I thought there was a niche in the San
Francisco market for food that didn’t take
itself too seriously,” he says.
Consequently, Zog’s Dogs features
not only classic hot dogs and gourmet
sausages, but offers whimsical, off-menu
items such as the Extreme Corn Dog,
wrapped in Kirkland Signature™ bacon and
covered with honey and powdered sugar,
and the Moral Conundrum, a veggie dog
wrapped in bacon.
Other top sellers are the bacon-wrapped Mexico dog, which comes with
onions and jalapeños, and the Prop 8, two
These rice crisp ghosts are a tasty science
lesson, as Lisa Bergantz explains the physics
behind the snap, crackle and pop as well as
providing a recipe for the October treats.
hot dogs in one bun.
Herzog, who also does on-set
catering and create-your-own-hot-dog
events, says his secret is 75 percent
business and 25 percent creative outlet.
He hosts an annual creative fellowship for
artists worldwide. This year four painters
did free ketchup-and-mustard portraits of
customers on takeout trays.
Herzog’s dream is to open a second
location featuring a bar. The outlook is
good: More than 25,000 people per year
line up for his hot dogs, including Mayor
Gavin Newsom, who declared October 16,
2009, Zog’s Dogs Day.
“In the culinary capital that is San
Francisco, I think the one hot dog that
I’m willing to concede competition to is
the Costco dog,” says the longtime Costco
SMMART doesn’t stop at science and
math. “[Children] need to know about music,
art and reading, too,” Bergantz says. She also
offers occasional “time-out” posts, such as a
timely entry on Halloween safety.
Bergantz test-drives activity ideas with
her family, and gets feedback from moms,
teachers and home-schoolers. She likes to keep
the activities simple, so that anybody can do
them with household staples. The SMMART
site is strictly not-for-pro;t. “It’s just a great
resource for spending quality time with your
kids,” Bergantz says.—Maria Bellos Fisher
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