This post has been a long time in a making, usually because after having one of these I feel like I need to take 5 exercise classes. But, it’s finally time to share some of the hot dogs I’ve been tasting around town.
Hot Dogs, or at least a new gourmet/all in with toppings trend, has emerged recently this 2015. It seemed like it was only just a couple months ago where on a panel Dougie Adams (of Imperial, and also Top Chef, which is what the panel was celebrating) confessed his love for simple hot dogs.
But then in the past couple months, fancy hot dogs have been a trend. There was the opening on NE Alberta of Donnie Vegas, the Beaverton and roaming truck of Clutch Prime Sausagery, Stray Dog PDX Pop up that specialized in appearing once a week with fancy dogs (and even traveled to New York to pop up), and more on the way thanks to upcoming Micah Camden venture of Hop Dog (which popped up earlier at Boxer Ramen this month and gave out free hot dogs for National Hot Dog Day).
I want to do individual reports of the hot dog brick and mortars, but I did try and wanted to share a few other doggies in town that come via the traditional hot dog vendor way: a food cart.
In summer heat wave weather you may not think to visit a food cart, but bad weather days be it too hot, too cold, rainy are days you should especially patronize the food carts. Inside the little kitchen of their cart, it sucks a lot more for them and your visit can be the difference between them even breaking even that day because of lower foot traffic. So visit them, they’ll appreciate you!
We Be Weiners
First, we have the start of my hot dog journey with We Be Weiners . We Be Weiners has been serving up hot dogs since 2005, and the food cart has re-located from the cart pod A la Carts at SE Division to now SW 5th and Harrison by PSU. There are 15 other dogs on the menu (outside biscuits and gravy, meatball sandwiches, Frito Chili Pie and more), ranging from breakfast dogs with gravy to spicy dogs with salsa or one with jalapenos and chilies or even Sambal Oelek, as well as Chicago of, Reuben Dog, Corn Dog, Tofurky Italian Sausage and more.
Next, I wanted to highlight the hot dogs available at the Tidbit food cart pod on SE Division and Division, at Dog Town. Their list of about a dozen impressive dogs varies from LaLa Land with bacon and more bacon to a veggie sausage (Farmer’s Daughter, with romesco sauce, grilled leeks, shaved fennel, arugula to go with the veggie sausage so even a vegetarian won’t feel left out), 6 hour pulled pork a la Memphis Pulled Pork dog, to Fricken Chicken with fried chicken and bourbon bread or Lamborghini with Australian Lamb Sausage cuddled in naan bread, or a Sonoran bacon wrapped hot dog with salsa verde and avocado creme nestled in a made to order fry bread. The Friday Night Lights chili dog of course comes topped with Fritos too – they think of everything here to take it to the top and a little past that.
I don’t think it’s possible to neatly eat any of their insanely generously topped hot dogs. What makes them stand out to me is how the hot dog menu options are so bold, while still being thoughtfully composed to balance a fun range of flavors and textures to go all out in meeting the dramatic names of the hot dog option. At around $6 these hot dogs deliver upgraded flavor that more than justifies the price. This is more of a sandwich that happens to also have a sausage in it than just a hot dog.
Return of the Mac, a hot dog smothered in gooey mac and cheese, crispy bacon, and garlic bread crumbs on a fresh baked bun
You’d think with the mac and cheese that would be my favorite, but at Dog Town my favorite is the Rocky Balboa, which is a Philly Cheesesteak Dog that includes All Beef coney Dog split and grilled topped with thinly sliced beef, grilled onions and peppers, and melted provolone.
Bro-Dogs and Burgers
Finally, we have the super messy but delish offering from Bro-Dogs food truck (roaming food truck so check their social media, and also located at PDX Airport pre-security) of the “Dude!!!” The Dude!!! Bro-dog includes a Zenger smoked bacon and cheddar sausage with bacon, cheddar, mushroom, onion, garlic, cream cheese and two kinds of BBQ sauce, all on a handcrafted Alessio Bakery bun.
Bro-Dogs and Burgers menu also has a regular Bro Dog, Bratwurst, Polish, and Vegan dog as well as a Dirty Burger and Dirty Veggie Burger, and special sausages like jalapeño cheddar or chicken apple, all on the Alessio Bakery sandwich bun.
It’s hard not to be drawn to The Dude!!! in really being bad for you in a good way. I would almost expect this to show up on an episode highlighting over the top hot dogs in the US. I mean the size of this thing is veering into burrito territory, thus the higher $7 price that’s the same price as their Dirty Burger. The rest of the menu is priced a couple bucks less.
What are your thoughts on the fancy hot dog trend? What’s the fanciest hot dig topping you’ve seen?