Neighborhood hotdog joint piles the toppings on for a paltry sum
Happy Dog just sounds like the name of a place where you can walk in, grin at your surroundings, take a seat and enjoy a cheap meal. Of course I would not be mentioning such a place if that wasn’t what you’d find there. Nestled on the corner of W. 58th Street and Detroit Avenue, across from our old friend Latitude 41, sits the hotdog bar in all of its glory.
But not only do they boast a rather expansive toppings menu for their ‘dogs, they also come equipped with a full bar and stage for live music, which, judging from the Pixies crooning over the speakers, must be pretty good when they feature it. The menu is short and to the point. Well, as short as it can be, listing all of 50 hotdog toppings. Then you have the option of adding a good helping of fries or tots for $3. But the hotdogs—let us not skip over them so quickly.
For a mere $5, load your quarter-pound hotdog or vegan Italian sausage with as many toppings as you can stand, from a fried egg to chunky peanut butter or Spaghetti O’s. And if you get overwhelmed, fear not. You’ll find on the table a list of tasty combinations to get you started your first time. Now I didn’t want to get too outrageous my first time around, but I didn’t want to play it safe either. Therefore, after choosing the hotdog over the vegan option, I picked the house made ketchup, caramelized onions, purple vodka sauerkraut, smoked Gouda cheese and Frito corn chips. See, I didn’t play it too safe.
You wouldn’t think that, with all of these random ingredients, that such a concoction would be so right. But this particular hot dog, in all of its messy glory, was certainly a delicious meal to behold. The fries weren’t half bad either, but the tangy house made ketchup really made it.
With a list of toppings a mile long, Happy Dog makes it almost necessary to return and try them all, in every combination you can come up with. Take a shot at it yourself, Monday through Thursday, from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Fridays 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. Happy Dog is at 5801 Detroit Ave. in the Gordon Square District.