Sometimes, you just find yourself in a hot dog frame of mind–and a little curious, besides. That’s why the Bus-Riding Conservative and I found ourselves in Tasty Dawg yesterday for lunch. Located catty-corner from the Ohio Statehouse close to the intersection of High and State Streets, Tasty Dawg is a place the BRC and I had each passed dozens of times without going in, and we wondered what it was like. Yesterday, our frankfurter appetites stimulated by the baseball playoffs, we decided to change that.
Tasty Dawg is all about hot dogs, in all their glory. It offers an array of different kinds of hot dog concoctions, which you stand in line to order, ultimately taking a tray back to a table of your choosing. If you were interested in a little weiner experimentation, the options would merit careful study. Fortunately, I don’t go in for jalapeno peppers, pickles, tomatoes, sauerkraut, or any of the other oddball topping options that can interfere with enjoyment of a tube steak. Instead, my target was a simple chili dog with cheese–well, two of them, actually–which I consider to be a crucial red-hot baseline. The BRC, who always walks a little closer to the culinary wild side, actually got a frank that had corn niblets on it, as part of some unholy combination. Corn on a hot dog just seems wrong, but I digress.
After the dog of your choice is assembled on a pretzel bun, it is placed into a nifty steamer machine, which in the case of my chili and cheese dog ensured an appropriate degree of cheesy meltiness. I added a side of white cheddar mac n’ cheese and a bottled water to complete my order. Be prepared: Tasty Dawg is a bit on the pricey side (at least, based on my expectations, but then I haven’t been to a hot dog joint in years). All told, my order came to more than $20. The BRC saved a few shekels by skipping the side and opting for tap water, so his two dogs were rung up for about $17. Tasty Dawg also offers Velvet ice cream, incidentally, but for the sake of dietary self-respect neither of use had any.
My chili cheese dogs were good. The dogs were meaty and had the desired snap to their casings, the chili sauce was thick and rich, the melted cheese had that nice cheddar tang, and the pretzel bun offered appropriate structural support. There was such a generous allotment of chili and cheese that after an initial in-hand bite I decided that prudence demanded a knife-and-fork approach. The mac n’ cheese side was creamy and quite good, too. As for the bottled water, it was wet.
If you’re in a hot dog frame of mind, Tasty Dawg will allow you to thoroughly scratch that itch. And if you’re in a hot dog and Velvet ice cream frame of mind, prepare yourself for an afternoon nap.