Let me tell you about me and hot dogs. We have a sullied past relationship. I have hated hot dogs since I was a very small child. I married a man, however, who thinks that hot dogs are just fabulous. He looks forward to my nephews’ birthday parties every year because odds are good that he will get a hot dog, which, until recently, has been a pretty rare phenomenon for him. About a year and a half ago, though, I decided to give them another try. I went to the store and spent $5.00 on a pack of Applegate Farm all-beef dogs, and Philip grilled mine to death. I topped it with lots of stuff, and I ate it. I decided hot dogs weren’t so bad after all, as long as they were on my terms. No boiled dogs, and no mystery dogs. I’ll gladly spend five bucks on dogs I trust.
Anyway, Philip’s sister gave us an Adventures in Dining coupon book for Christmas last year, and there was a buy one get one free coupon for an entree at Good Dog, a hot dog restaurant on Chattanooga’s North Shore. Good Dog also serves frites-twice fried, hand-cut, skin-on fries, which is one of the foods that I am quite certain will be served in Heaven….so I decided that I wanted to give it a try. We are not too big on downtown just because of the parking situation, but we have recently discovered the parking lot of a business that closes early on a Saturday and does not have restricted parking (i.e. a tow-away policy) for non-patrons parking in their lot during non-business hours. For that, I salute them. So, we decided to head downtown for some hot dogs yesterday, because Philip had been wanting one.
When we walked into Good Dog, we were impressed by the atmosphere. It’s really funky with wooden tables and a really cool facade on the counter. The floors are hardwood and there are interesting hangings on the wall. We were immediately greeted by a very friendly employee who gave us menus and explained them to us. She told us that they use Sequatchie Cove meat for the brats and sausages, which they case in-house. They also offer veggie dogs, and their hot dogs are all beef. You can order your hot dogs or frites (Belgian-style fries) plain, topped according to menu suggestions, or topped with any variety of the toppings and sauces available on the menu. The options are limited. They also serve beer from Chattanooga Brewing Company and house-made cupcakes (on this day they had red velvet, pumpkin, carrot, and devil’s food with peppermint buttercream. All sounded delish to me but we decided to forego the cupcakes….). We took our menus to the table to peruse and ordered at the counter. And both of us forgot about the coupon. Drats! Oh well….we’ll just have to find an excuse to go back before 12/31!
Philip decided on the classic brat: simmered in beer and onions and topped off on the griddle, then served with Bertman’s brown mustard and topped with crisp kraut. Not my thing, but he was pretty excited. I decided on the pimento cheese dog: a hot dog with pimento cheese, frites sauce (I’ll talk about that in a minute), and tomatoes. We also ordered a large cone of frites to share. Since the brats take a little while to cook, they went ahead and brought our frites out to us. We decided not to have them topped, but we each got a small cup of frites sauce, or Remia fritessaus, a Dutch mayo-based sauce; there is also a selection of sauces on each table, including wasabi ketchup, curry ketchup, honey mustard, and regular old Heinz ketchup. I tried them all, but I honestly did not think that the curry ketchup was quite as good as that at The Honest Pint, and I couldn’t really taste the wasabi in the wasabi ketchup (but Philip could). The “fritessaus” was definitely my favorite. The frites were amazing….I just love skin-on fries. They are served in a paper cone that the server sets down in a hole in your table. Fun!
Finally, the moment of truth came. Honestly, I was scared to death that I was going to hate this hot dog, since it was not grilled to death. I mean, seriously. I char my dogs at home. This was griddled, but not charred. There was not so much pimento cheese that it was overwhelming. The bread was very fresh and soft. I took a bite….and I loved it! It was absolutely delicious. I think I probably could have eaten one without toppings! That’s saying something.
Before Philip bit into his brat, he commented that it smelled terrible. He even told the server it smelled like a dead man’s feet. But when he bit into it, his eyes rolled back into his head and I could tell that the taste did not mirror the smell. He said that it was absolutely fantastic. Kraut doesn’t smell good….but, according to Philip, it tastes good, and so, apparently, did the brat itself. He was a very happy man.
As we were eating, I laughed about the fact that a couple of years ago I never would have imagined myself sitting in a restaurant eating a hot dog. Honestly, I doubt that there are many restaurants around where I would do that now. Good Dog, though, has earned my seal of approval. I will definitely go back, and really look forward to seeing the periodic changes that they make to their menu. And next time, I’ll be ordering one of their beautiful (but not overly-iced!) cupcakes! And maybe some BLT frites. By the way, Good Dog also serves a selection of salads and soups, and in addition to the frites they also had some veggie side specials, including (I think) sweet potatoes and turnip greens. I wasn’t paying too much attention to that part, since I knew I’d be ordering frites!
Good Dog is located at 34 Frazier Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37405. You can call them at 423-475-6175. They are open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday-Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Check out their website or find them on Facebook or Twitter.
Eat at Good Dog!