This new restaurant is housed under the leaping jackalope on the short stretch of Pujo leading to the Civic Center. If you haven’t been, I’m sure you’ve at least heard of it. If you enjoy premium hot dogs and sausage, you need to check this place out. If you think a Lucky Dog is the epitome of dogs, then don’t bother.
Unless you live or work in the downtown area and can walk to this place, it can be a problem to get to. There is no parking except for street parking, and very little of that. I’m told that Charleston Manor right across the street will tow if you park there. I found late afternoon to be the best for me unless I spot an opening while passing by.
The natural casing basic dog with the free condiments is priced reasonably. However, the food here is not cheap because you are getting a quality product. The Kobe, game sausages and regular sausages are more expensive. Believe me, these are under-priced. I know the true cost of these products, and the owners of this place aren’t stiffing you; they’re giving you a break.
Things can get expensive when you pile on the toppings such as chili, mac n’ cheese, red beans, fried eggs, and other special additions. Most of the other accompaniments are free or come at a minimal charge. I’ve seen some dogs come out with so much stuff piled on they are a knife-and-fork job. I generally keep my toppings to a minimum, as I like to eat a dog the way they were intended to be eaten. Some of my favorite toppings include pineapple relish, bacon, sweet pickle relish, yellow mustard, Cajun kraut, Asian slaw and Sriracha.
The buns are excellent, also. They are shaped like the buns that are used for lobster rolls on the east coast. However, they are sweet sourdough buns, which are toasted to perfection on the flat top along with the dogs.
While in line (and be aware that the lines can get long at lunch), check out the wall, as there are some menu suggestions for you. Then look at the chalkboard straight ahead. Choose your dog or sausage, then think about toppings. If you can’t decide, don’t hesitate to ask the cashier for recommendations. I did that several times and came away quite happy.
You can get regular fries or sweet potato fries, which cost extra, unfortunately. There are soft drinks on the menu, as well as eight beers on tap (not the lite stuff). Your meat choice is called to the griddle guy, and it goes down along with your bun. This is not fast food, but fresh food cooked to order, and it’s delicious. After the meat and bun is done, it goes to the front guy, who adds everything else.
Here is a listing of what I’ve eaten here. All were good.
• natural casing dog with chili, cheddar cheese and onions (my standard for comparison) — excellent
• Kobe dog with Cajun kraut, sweet pickle relish and Creole mustard
• Bison/cranberry sausage with pineapple relish, feta cheese and avocado
• natural casing dog with Asian slaw, onions and yellow mustard
• alligator sausage with avocado, olive salad, bacon bites and Sriracha
• natural casing dog with mac n’ cheese and bacon — my least favorite
• slaw dog from the wall which was sausage with slaw and feta
• chicken and apple sausage with Asian slaw, sweet pickle relish, pineapple relish, and Sriracha.
As you can see, there’s quite a range of items, so you need to come in and decide for yourself.