2 Fleur
Average check per person $5-$15
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Dat Dog

Uptown 2: Washington To Napoleon: 3336 Magazine St. 504-894-8885. Map.
Very Casual.
Cash only.
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
As the Lucky Dog has proven for decades, New Orleans has never been a hot dog town. Entrepreneurs trying to fill that gap have found nothing but frustration and failure. Dat Dog proves that there was a hot dog market, after all. It just needed to be pulled out of hiding by the right lure. The college crowd from a few blocks away led the charge on this one.

WHAT’S GOOD
Now this is a hot dog–and a totally original one, at that. Not a copy of New York or Chicago or ballpark dogs, Dat Dogs reinvented everything. The wieners (or sausages, as they call them) come in a host of varieties, most of them fascinating and delicious. All are oversized, and so is the bun. It’s a sourdough loaf of bread grilled on the same open fire from which the dogs march. A wide (and wild) array of sauces and garnishes makes the possibilities essentially infinite. Your soul is truly dead if it doesn’t all grab you.

BACKSTORY
Constantine Georges (brother of the co-owner of Galatoire’s) and Skip Murray played football together in high school. Constantine became an attorney; Skip went to London and did a bunch of amusing things. He was fascinated by a stand there serving what it called American hot dogs. Hot dogs stuck in his mind and evolved there until in February 2011, when Skip and Constantine opened Dat Dog in a carport–at the epicenter of the sudden uplifting of the old Freret Street commercial district. Immediately, lines went down the street, and everybody was talking. About a year later, it moved across the street into an old gas station.

DINING ROOM
The new location offers vastly more seating than the overwhelmed original shack. Air-conditioned tables inside and picnic tables between the covered former gas pump islands. It’s still not even a little fancy, but that’s perfect for hot dogs.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Hot dogs
»Traditional German wieners (beef or pork)
»Polish kielbasa
»Hot bratwurst
Smoked bratwurst
»Slovenian sausage (lots of paprika and red pepper)
Smoked sausage
Hot sausage
»Alligator sausage
Crawfish sausage
Veggie dog
Sea dog (tempura-fried cod)
Guinness dog
»Italian sausage, olive salad
»Duck sausage
French fries, several variations
Condiments
Andouille sauce
Cheese
Chili
Crawfish etoufee
»Creole mustard
Dill or sweet relish
»Guacamole
»Hummus
Jalapenos
Ketchup
Mayonnaise
»Olive salad
Onions
»Peperoncini
»Sauerkraut
Sour cream
»Tartar sauce
Tomatoes
Wasabi
»Yellow mustard
Sodas
Nectar soda with ice cream
Barq’s root beer float
Mexican coke float
Homemade ginger ale
Homemade red drink
Shirley Temple
Mr Bojangles

FOR BEST RESULTS
Ask questions and be brave. Don’t get the same dog twice in a row. Even most unlikely offerings are better than they have any right to be (the chipotle veggie dog, for instance). Best time to go is between two and five.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
No time-and-motion analysis has been applied to the production and service, leading to occasional very slow delivery of the goods. The cash-only policy–even with the ATM machine on premises–is the usual pain in the cheeks.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment -1
  • Consistency +3
  • Service-2
  • Value +2
  • Attitude +2
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness +3
  • Local Color +2

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Courtyard or deck dining
  • Early-evening specials
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Dinner ends early (8 p.m. SU)
  • Open all afternoon
  • Unusually large servings
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • No reservations

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
What does it say about the local foodie community when the most talked about restaurant in 2011 was a hot dog stand operating out of a converted shed? Two things: a) we were starved for good hot dogs, and 2) the vogue for minimalist restaurants has either hit rock bottom or peaked, depending on your point of view.


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