(by Kat Stromquist, New Orleans-based correspondent)
I’m serious about the “stand” part: just six or seven tables are crammed in and around the storefront, and last night, every single one of them was packed with customers. The restaurant’s planned move across the street, to a more spacious location, will apparently come just in time.
Their menu, suspended above a takeaway counter ordering setup, features all sorts of interesting sausages and their origins (German brats, crawfish sausages from da bayou, even a veggie dog from the mythical land of Oxymoron), traditional and more unusual (wasabi, andouille sauce) toppings, and a few fry-related sides.
I ordered my classic beef weiner with tomato, onion, and Creole mustard, with a side of fries. My companion surprised me by going for the “chef’s choice,” leaving things up to the hot dog gods, and chili cheese fries. My dog came wrapped in a pillowy sourdough bun, with diced tomatoes rather than sliced, and chives in addition to regular white onions. The chef chose jalapenos, Creole mustard, onions and cheese to adorn my companion’s German brat.
The thick-cut fries left a little something to be desired – they were soft in some places and too crunchy in others. But the dogs were warm, generously topped, and grilled to perfection. And aside for a little snafu getting our order out, the service (attended to by both the reported owner and the employees) was both friendly and vigilant.
At a bargain price (about $20 for two), Dat Dog would be a great place to go on a casual date, if you can get past the awkwardness of saying “weiner” in front of someone you barely know. I’ll stop in next time for “Chicago Dog Fridays.”