POSTED ON NOVEMBER 30, 2011:
The Dog House finally finds a home
A new tradition has emerged for downtown concert goers and bar hoppers who crave a tasty treat after an evening of debauchery. Whether the night was a rousing success or epic failure, Dog House carts are standing by to ensure that every night can have a happy ending.
Josh Lynch, owner/"dishwasher", ushered in Tulsa's food cart revolution as downtown nightlife started gaining momentum. Dog House hot dogs gives downtown big city ambience with an army of carts docked at the hottest spots in town, armed with high-quality hot dogs and an arsenal of toppings.
Recently The Dog House found a permanent home so everyone can get their hot dog fix without having to roam the streets of downtown hoping to spot a cart. Located in the dearly-departed Phat Philly's building on 11th and Detroit, the House is slangin' wieners six days a week starting at 11am, and sticks around to satisfy those late-night munchies until 4am on Friday and Saturday nights.
The brick-and-mortar building may be small, but the menu is huge, offering a large variety of dogs and sausages, a host of toppings that you know and love, and even a few eclectic add-ons for a unique hot dog experience. The menu starts with a top-quality all-beef hot dog ($3) and then ups the ante with its specialty dogs, ranging from $4-6 and chocked full of traditional hot dog accouterment and a few unexpected trimmings.
There are as many ways to dress a hot dog as there are folks who love them, so I gathered a gang of frankfurter aficionados for a night of heavenly hot dogs.
We ordered the onion rings ($2) to whet our appetites, and they arrived piping hot with a golden-brown batter. After devouring the rings, the first volley of hot dogs made their way out. One of my personal favorites is the slaw dog ($4) which I ordered with a polish sausage instead of an all-beef frank. It had a nice snap when I sank my teeth into it, and had a juicy -- not greasy -- interior. Cole slaw sat atop the sausage and added a sweet and creamy crunch.
The Seattle Dog ($4) is an all-beef dog with spicy mustard, onion and a healthy schmear of cream cheese. The cream cheese was a little overwhelming, but easily remedied with an extra dose of the spicy mustard.
Another fan favorite is the bratwurst ($4) topped with sauerkraut and mustard. A gentleman in my frankfurter posse described this wiener as 'an explosion of flavor in his mouth', with a mellow-flavored brat, tangy sauerkraut and a kickin' spicy brown mustard.
The Cheech ($5), however, smoked the competition with its all-beef dog cooked in taco seasoning, and rolled up with avocado, Fritos, sour cream, salsa, cheddar and a dash of Taptio taco sauce. This heady mix of ingredients mimicked a decadent Frito pie even though there is no chili. The creaminess of the sour cream and avocado mellowed out the salsa and a perfect splash of Tipatio made The Cheech a truly far out hot dog.
The next round of hot dogs arrived, and included the Mercury Dog ($5). Another unique offering, with a beef dog, slathered with cream cheese, jalapeno relish and a dollop of raspberry jam. The elements of this hot dog worked well together, with the raspberry jam creating spicy-sweet music with the jalapeno relish.
Another sassy concoction was the Spicy Slut ($5), featuring a hot link nestled in with cream cheese, spicy mustard, Sriracha, grilled onion, jalapeno relish, bacon and Head Country barbecue all in one happy bun. Bawdy moniker aside, this steamy collection of ingredients was definitely a dog you could bring home to mom.
For the extreme eater, The Dog House has other hot little numbers, like the Hell Hound ($5), with a hot link, wasabi mayo, onion, habanero relish, garlic relish, Sriracha, spicy ketchup and a few slices of pepperoni for good measure. For the thrill seeker, the Dragons Breath ($6.50) includes a hot link, extra spicy mustard, dragon relish, dragon slaw, wasabi, Sriracha, and chili chutney bacon. If this line-up of ingredients is a little too intense for your palate, keep in mind you can always jazz up your dog by adding just one of these ingredients. The chili chutney bacon and garlic relish will be invited to the party on my next visit.
The Dog House also thinks outside the beef box and offers a chicken bratwurst, featured in the Number Three ($6) with a chicken brat flanked by cream cheese, avocado, red onion sauce, grilled onion and spicy mustard. Up until this point, all the ingredients worked beautifully together, but for some reason the chicken brat got lost in all the creamy textures. The chicken brat, however, proved to fare better in the Wingman ($6) where the brat is cooked in Frank's Red Hot Sauce and is topped with ranch dressing, celery salt and a nice sprinkle of bleu cheese. The Dog House hit the mark with the Wingman, mimicking a hot wing experience nestled in a warm bun. Bull's eye, Dog House.
The Dog House isn't just about the all-beef or the ubiquitous brats. The Buffalo Soldier ($6) features a buffalo sausage with bleu cheese, crispy bacon and a dash of Head Country barbecue sauce. A leaner meat, buffalo can sometimes be dry, but this sausage was juicy and had a great meaty flavor. The combo of bacon and barbecue sauce was a hit with the bleu cheese -- adding a nice aftertaste. The Dog House has an arsenal of alternative wieners, like boudain sausage featured in the Yoda ($6) that combines Asian soy slaw, bell peppers and curry mayo. Intrigued by this I am. Yoda in my future I foresee.
If you seek a kinder, gentler hot dog, The Dog House also has some popular vegetarian options. The KD ($5) takes a portabella mushroom and drags it through the garden picking up onion, pesto, cilantro, tomato and avocado-- all topped with a cool, creamy Tzatziki sauce. Their falafel dog is also considered legendary and should definitely be on any vegetarian's must-try list.
This homegrown business has recently expanded its street vending menu to include street tacos and sliders, so keep your eyes peeled for their trucks at local watering holes. At its new location The Dog House regularly hosts fundraisers and special events featuring local musicians on its outdoor stage. Dog House carts will always roam the streets of Tulsa, but now you always know exactly where to go for the top dog in Tulsa.
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