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Hot Diggity: Three new mobile hot dog restaurants bring franks to all corners of Pierce County

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on Aug. 2, 2010 at 6:15 pm | 2 Comments »
August 2, 2010 6:31 pm
The Chicago Dog is one of 21 dogs featured at Dave's 21 Dogs in Buckley. The cart is one of three that have opened in the last two months.

What’s this? More mobile dogs? I’ve spotted what looks to be a continuing trend on a few foodie levels: gourmet dogs and mobile food carts.

Three mobile hot dog carts and trucks have opened in the last two months, serving gourmet dogs with toppings that range from silly things like pork and beans to traditional dogs like a good ol’ Chicago and Coney Dog. I even found deep-fried bacon-wrapped deliciousness at one cart.

Click “more” to read about the three mobile dog restaurants.

Mobile food around Pierce County is nothing new. Mobile taco trucks have been operating here for years. But in the past year, some interesting food carts have opened – namely Tommy Chicago’s Hot Dog Truck, which I wrote about here, and Out-n-About Burger Cart, which I wrote about here. I also found a mobile barbecue trailer operating in Lakewood, which I’ll write about tomorrow.

YOUR TURN: What’s next for mobile food? Any thoughts or wants? I think I’d like to see someplace that serves crepes.

Here is a look at the three newly opened mobile hot dog vendors, each doing different styles of dogs:

Dave’s 21 Dogs

Where: 27815 State Route 410 East, Buckley, in the parking lot of Dave’s Deals on Wheels

Info: At their Facebook page

Dave's 21 Dogs in Buckley.

True to the dog stand’s name, Dave’s 21 Dogs serves up 21 different styles of hot dogs. At Dave’s 21 Dogs, hot dog fans can find the classics – a Chicago Dog, Coney Dog and a good ol’ plain dog. The toppings don’t play nearly as kitschy as the Oh My Dog cart, as detailed below, but Dave’s does offer a few unusual dogs. The Cour-Dog-Bleu is a bacon-wrapped dog with provolone cheese. The Seattle dog has cream cheese and grilled onions. The Kansas City Dog comes with sauerkraut and Swiss.

We opted for the classics – the Chicago and the Coney.

The Chicago ($3.75) was a straightforward interpretation, but with a few trade-offs that fell short of a Chicago traditional. An all-beef dog (from Costco, the cashier told us) came on a stadium roll instead of the traditional poppy seed bun that is a hallmark of a Chicago dog. It was sprinkled with poppy seeds, though. The rest of the dog met my Chicago loving standards – a squiggle of mustard, chopped onions, thick-sliced tomatoes, a pickle spear, sport peppers and sweet relish. A sprinkle of celery salt finished the dog. Warning: the dogs have no skins. If you prefer yours with snappy bite, you won’t find it here.

The Coney Dog at Dave's 21 Dogs.

The Coney Dog ($3.25) was true to its Midwestern roots – a beanless chili topping an all-beef dog with chopped onions and mustard on a soft stadium roll.

Dave’s serves skins-on thin cut fries and onion rings, too.

For condiment fiends, five kinds of mustard, mayo and ketchup make up a condiment bar, alongside sweet and dill relish, kraut and jalapenos. I appreciated that the condiments, located in direct sun, were on ice and felt to be at a safe temperature.

Licensing: The cart’s mobile vendor sticker from the Pierce County Health Department also was on display on the back of the truck – right where it was supposed to be. They also had their health certificate and business licenses on display behind the windows of the truck.

Menu: See a photo of the menu below.

The mobile truck opened three weeks ago today, and is always located at Dave’s, unless they’re doing a catering event.

Oh My Dog

Where: 4315 Pacific Highway East, Fife, the parking lot of B.J.’s II Tobacco

Info: 253-347-7074

The Oh My Dog cart is in the parking lot of B.J.'s Tobacco

I first spotted Oh My Dog while noshing a cheeseburger at one of the region’s oldest and best hamburger stands – Pick Quick in Fife. Right across the street, in the parking lot of B.J.’s Tobacco is a small mobile cart serving 20 kinds of dogs with toppings that include (not kidding) pork and beans, bacon and jalapenos and even a jalapeno popper inspired creation with cream cheese, jalapeno and raspberry jam. The cart opened two months ago and is permanently stationed at the tobacco store.

If you’re looking for a classic Chicago or Coney – you won’t find it here. But they do offer a plain dog that can be dressed as you see fit.

The Tijuana dog at Oh My Dog in Fife.

I ordered a Tijuana Dog ($4.50), a bacon-wrapped wallop of a dog that was deep fried and pushed into a soft stadium roll, drizzled with mustard and barbecue sauce and topped with sautéed onions. For a gut bomb dog, it really was quite tasty, if fried dogs wrapped with chewy, delicious bacon are your thing (they are mine).

The Steakhouse ($5.50) was a kitschy spin on a classic flavor pairing of meat, cheese and onions. A snappy dog was smothered in caramelized onions and blue cheese. Your choice of condiments finishes the dog.

The steakhouse dog at Oh My Dog in Fife.

All dogs come with a drink and chips. The dogs are all-beef, but they lack skins, and thus snap. You can upgrade to a red hot, turkey, polish or kielbasa for an extra charge.

On a return trip, the food weirdo in me wanted to try the Frank and Beans dog, but I’m not sure I’d go back. When I handed my money over to the cashier, he turned around and finished making my dog – wearing the same gloves that we wore while handling my money. Gross out rating: 7.5 out of 10.

Licensing: Although workers there assured us they were licensed by the health department, I couldn’t find the mobile sticker that the health department provides to identify a properly licensed mobile food vendor.

The menu: It’s pictured below.

Rollin’ Hots

Where: Locations vary

Info: Their Facebook page for upcoming locations, or call 253-651-0226

Rollin’ Hots is the third mobile dog cart I’ve spotted. This is their inaugural summer run and so far they’ve served up dogs at the Links in Lakewood and the Urban Arts Festival, but they don’t keep regular hours anywhere. The concept of Rollin’ Hots is different in that to find their location, you need to check in on their Facebook page. They don’t (yet) have a permanently stationed home. Or, call 253-651-0226 to find their locale. I haven’t yet been able to catch up with Rollin’ Hots, but I’ll report here if I do.

The menu for Oh My Dog:

The menu for Dave’s 21 Dogs. Click the photo a few times to enlarge it up for easier reading:

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