Adam & Eats: The Dog Shack

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 99 views 


Editor’s note: Adam Brandt is a graduate from the Cobra Kai School of Culinary Callousness, where he received their highest award, the Red Apron of Merciless Eating. Aside from eating and talking about eating, he makes pots, paintings, prints, books, photographs, and generally, a big mess. He has been the studio assistant at Mudpuppy Pottery for almost nine years and is attending a local university in a desperate attempt to earn a biology degree.

Recently, I’ve hit a bad patch of dining experiences, so I needed something comforting to munch on while thinking of someplace to go to review. I remembered a new place that I heard about a few weeks ago that serves hot dogs, so I hopped in the car and headed over to the aptly named Dog Shack. Little did I know when I left the house that I would be reviewing a hot dog shop.

Located in the old Process One, behind Beau’s Bridal, is Larry Shackelford’s baby: The Dog Shack.

When you go inside you quickly realize Larry means business and that business is serving hot dogs. There are no tables. There are no chairs. There is a counter to order at, one to pay at, a drive-thru window, and steel tables filled with tube steaks and all the fixins’. It is just what you would expect from a hot dog vendor. Larry, the lone hot dog slinger, stands behind his counter sweating and dishing out what appears to be simple food. Looks can be deceiving.

The Dog Shack serves only all-beef hotdogs. They use Hebrew National (I don’t know how he gets the buns to come out right), Nathan’s Famous, and Ball Park beef franks and bratwurst all served on egg, poppy seed, and white bread buns. My recommendations are as follows (in no particular order):
• The Jumbo Buffalo Chili Dog
• The Chicago Dog
• The Beef and Cheese Brat

The Jumbo Buffalo Chili Dog is not for the faint of heart. It is seriously meaty. It consists of the sexiest Nathan’s Famous hot dog you have ever seen, served in an egg bun, covered with buffalo (the bison not the chicken) chili, topped with shredded cheese, yellow onions, and some of the best spicy deli mustard you will ever try. The surprising thing about this dog is the complexity of the flavors. The savory punch of beef and buffalo combined with the egg flavors of the bun, the bite of the onions, and the twang of the mustard combine to create layers taste enjoyment in your mouth.

The Chicago Dog is a step in another direction from the Jumbo Buffalo Chili Cheese Dog. I could hear Monty Python in my head saying: “And now for something completely different,” as I bit into this one. It consists of the same delicious jumbo Nathan’s Famous hot dog served in a poppy seed bun, covered with tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet relish, onions, mustard, and a kosher dill spear. A whole pickle on a hot dog?! I know. When you take the first bite, it is like nothing you’ve ever eaten before. For the first time in your life, a hot dog will be refreshing. The bright, crisp flavors of the tomato and cucumber mix with the sweet and sour battle of pickles to form one helluva pleasant bite.

The only down side to the Chicago Dog is that you have to eat it really quickly before the aqueous nature of the toppings turns the bun to mush, thereby leaving you with no vessel for consuming this delicious mess.

Now, let me say that I prefer my kraut to be relatively mild in the sour department and have some heat to finish it off. The Dog Shack delivers on both with their Brats. It was a very pleasant surprise to not be overpowered by the sourness of the kraut, to get the full flavor of the Brat, and still manage to give it some kick at the end. It doesn’t hurt that there’s that wonderful mustard all over it.

Larry proves, once again, that simple food goes a long way. Larry loves hot dogs and it shows. I love hot dogs and I have the heartburn to prove it. (Totally worth it, by the way.)

When he’s not beating his eggs, Adam makes time to respond to e-mails that get past his hard-ass spam filter. You can try to reach him at
[email protected]

Adam also has this thing called Sandwich Control.