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Posts Tagged ‘Portland Hot dogs’

Portland, OR – Bird Dog Review

The “Bird Dog” name doesn’t come from any of the conventional or urban slang definitions of that phrase, but rather, one would imagine, as an homage to the cafe’s signature dish moniker, a hot dog prepared in the way occasionally people are used to hearing a different cut of meat prepared in some parts of the country.

The “Bird Dog”, is a “chicken-fried” hot dog, smothered in a rich, creamy sausage-laden gravy. It’s hard (for me) to imagine a more creative mash-up of some of my favorite foods.

The joint offers a wide variety of hot dog, burger, and sausage preparations, which increases in size with the addition of unique one-offs as daily specials.

Sausages are made in-house, hot dogs are 100% Carlton Farms pork, and the burgers Silvies Valley Ranch grass fed beef, no hormones or antibiotics.

The quality and care in prep shows throughout.

I’d been meaning to get to Bird Dog for some time, and had the opportunity when I was in their part of town around lunch time the other day.

I wanted to try a variety of things, including the signature dish, a side of chili cheese fries, and, having relocated to Portland from New Orleans, I was intrigued that they had a “muffaletta” dog, a tribute to the signature classic sandwich of New Orleans.

As I was already deep into committing to one hot dog with the Bird Dog selection, I asked that they prepare a plain burger patty with the olive tapenade from a muffaletta and a slice of provolone;  they happily agreed to my non-menu request.

The Bird Dog is an ample pork hot dog, immersed in a corn-meal and other flour batter, and deep fried, to produce a crispy coating; placed on an oversized, ample bun, with a generous topping of pork sausage gravy, all on its own, it’s a very satisfying and filling meal.  The ‘tubular nutritional delivery vehicle’ is a tasty frank, mild in seasoning, and the sausage gravy is some of the best I’ve had in Portland, creamy, no hint of a floury taste, with nice chunks of sausage throughout.

The burger patty was massive, hovering between 1/3 and 1/2 pound, I would imagine, obviously hand-formed, and the olive salad I asked for, spot on reminiscent of the New Orleans recipe.  A bakery-soft, but sturdy, toasted bun cradled the patty.

My side of chili cheese fries was notable, also one of my clear favorites in Portland.  A “hot dog” style chili, very meaty, good flavor, no beans, burying a mound of crispy shoe strings.

Dining in, you have access to a wide selection of toppings you can add yourself, from a pickled vegetable bar to a host of mustards and sauces.   Bird Dog’s website says all of the side dishes are made in house, and I imagine the toppings are as well.

This is a place, that if it was closer to my work, I’d hit all to frequently.  I’d like to try a number of their house made sausages, and might opt for the sausage sampler plate in the future.

Or a chicken fried burger?  Mac n Cheese dog?  Cuban?   They also offer their take on the Sonoran Dog, a regional favorite from the Southwest.

Too many choices of too many good things.

Perfect for Burgerdogboy, and you.

Bird Dog is snuggled  amidst a couple of long time hot dog competitors on East Hawthorne,  so now you have a choice of the old timey guys that wrest on their laurels and rep, or some bright, innovative, quality cuisine that dazzles.

I say the choice is obvious.

Bird Dog Portland Oregon


Bird Dog on Urbanspoon

Portland, OR – Jean’s Hot Dogs on the Square

Jean's Hot Dogs on the Square PortlandBeen here before, but then, what Portlandian hasn’t?  Waiting on a biz meeting in downtown, ambled through Pioneer Courthouse Square and grabbed a polish sausage to soothe the savage b(r)east prior to the meet.

“It is what it is” people are fond of saying these days, and Jean’s certainly fits in that category.

Value pricing, suitable product, the only exception I noted to Jean’s on this day, was her offer of the “traditional Chicago hot dog.”

Something has gone amiss in Jean’s education of said animal.  Any hot dog aficionado knows the intimate details of constructing a Chicago style dog.  If you don’t, check out the blueprints on Vienna Beef’s website.

Jean’s version includes ketchup (!!!) mustard, mayo (!!!), onion, kraut, sour cream and applesauce.  Judging by the two last condiments, maybe Jean knows of a Chicago in Germany?

Anyway, of no matter.  My polish with yellow mustard was just fine.

Jean's Hot Dogs on the Square, Portland, OR

Hillsboro, OR – Jamie’s Chicago Dogs

Jamie's Chicago Dogs, Hillsboro, ORNot a review, per se,  just a note that if you’ve been running all over the Portland metro area looking for a genuine Vienna Beef hot dog from Chicago, look no further than Jamie’s Chicago Dogs cart at 2nd and Main in downtown Hillsboro.

As far as I know, Jamie is the only guy peddling Vienna dogs in all of Oregon!  Jamie is on site from 10-3 M-F, weather permitting.  He’s got the real deal poppy seed buns, too, and if you’re not in the mood for a regular dog, try one of Vienna’s polish sausages.   Jamie’s whole story is here.


Portland, OR – Franks A Lot

Franks A Lot, Portland, ORNow how I have missed this place? In the parking lot of Whole Foods on SE Burnside, Franks A Lot has been dishing up specialty dogs for years – long before the whole Portland food cart craze.

We were in the neighborhood, biding our time waiting on Portland’s extraordinary garden consultant, Sara Pool, to plan the annual Burgerdogboy condiment garden.  We planned to meet for snacks or dinner, but I was feeling a might peckish, and Mrs. BDB suggested she buy me a dog to tide me over.

Who was I to argue?

Offering a myriad of my favorite types of dogs and toppings, I opted for P&S (my initials, but also “plain and simple”) and went with the big beef dog with a schmear of yellow mustard, and nothing else.

It was absolutely delish!  Thanks a lot, Franks a lot.  I’ll be back!  Often.  Might even consider moving to your ‘hood!

Franks A Lot, Portland, OR


Franks A Lot (Dog House) on Urbanspoon

Portland, OR – Superdog

Superdog, I love these guys, and don’t get into one of their shops nearly often enough. I was wandering around downtown today looking for a corned beef sandwich, and came up bupkis, so I threw in the towel (used to soak up the mega gallons of rain that fell today), and popped into Superdog, the one next to McDonald’s “homeless headquarters.”

Wasn’t in the mood for a combo, so doubled up my order to two dogs, asked for the double smoke (a beef and pork sausage, slight spice), and a Zweigle’s White Hot (which aren’t ‘hot’, btw).  Zweigle’s has been selling these pups out of HQ in Rochester, NY, since the beginning of time.

I first learned of them when my strict vegetarian girlfriend (I know) and I stayed with her ma in upstate New York, and as a surprise for me, she got some Zweigle’s and even ate one with me.

Haven’t seen them (or her) since, glad that Superdog has them.  They are slightly more flavorful than a brat, but resemble them in appearance.

The ‘double smoke’ is an east coast favorite, you’ll find them on many street corners in the large urban areas.   You’ll also find “half-smokes” on nearly every corner of DC.

It will come as a suprise to you (or not) that I over ordered.  The upside?  I got me some big sausages waiting in the icebox for another time.

Portland's Superdog

Portland's Superdog



Superdog on Urbanspoon

Portland, OR – Renner’s Grill – PDX’s Own Version of “Cheers”

Renner's Grill - Portland

Renner's Grill - Portland

I am cluttered with cliches today.  Adrift with adages.  Swimming with saws.  Proffering proverbs. Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs! (Yes, that makes no sense, I know). Renner’s Grill, in the Multnomah Village neighborhood of Portland, is a place “where everybody knows your name,” and “chief cook and bottle washer”  Marshall, proprietor, makes sure of that, introducing himself, his posse of co-workers, to you, and in turn, you to all his regular old-timers.

What makes a place like Renners feel like “home?”   When you know it’s a place of refuge, where you can relax, enjoy friendly banter, the beverage of your choice and here’s the important part – you get to do this among people you will quickly come to regard as “family”no matter who you are, where you come from, your lifestyle choice, your size, your shape, your skin color, religion, political beliefs, or any other category that makes you feel either invisible at one place, or makes you wish you were sometimes;  at Renner’s, you’re just “one of the gang”, and you’re welcome.

Renner’s has recently opened for the lunch rush, and has daily food (and beverage)  specials, inexpensive, “mean cuisine on the scene”, quality food.

Altho Mrs. BDB and I have popped in before, I waddled in yesterday because Marshall put up a new sign outside that he is now serving genuine Vienna Beef “Chicago style” hot dogs.   Do you know how rare that is in Portland?  I know you do.  Renner’s got ‘em, the dogs that made Chicago famous.  Vienna Beef uses the finest cuts and secrets seasonings to make a plump, juicy, skinless dog, served on a poppy seed bun (do you know how hard THOSE are to find here?), and if you take it loaded up “Chicago style“,  you’ll enjoy it with the customary toppings of mustard, chopped onion, the ‘real deal’ neon green relish, pickle spear, tomato wedges, and celery salt!

Or any of a tumult of toppings, your choice.  Me?  I went for that bountiful beef biggie w/ only raw onion, and yellow mustard.   I wanted to “relish” the purity of the beef dog, and the oh so deliciouso softness of the poppy seed bun on its own.    Man, I’m drooling for one right now, what time do they open?

I added a side of fries, only a buck, and got a pile o hot, salty crisp shoestrings, far beyond my expectation for bar fries.  Amidst bar flies.  (ok, groan).

My foto doesn’t do justice to this bad boy banger;  I shot quick and sloppy so I could GET quick and sloppy with my dawg!

Renner’s is at 7819 SW Capitol in Portland, open 7 days.

Vienna Beef Hot Dog

Vienna Beef Hot Dog at Renner's

Renner's Grill and Lounge on Urbanspoon

Portland, OR – A Saturday Satiated/Heavenly Cheese

Saturday was a “way too much” food day for the Burgerdogboy family, due to relatives being in town.  I wasn’t able to document it all, a general ‘walking food coma’ overtook me at some point.  Problem with eating so much yesterday, is I have to still deal with what’s on the plate for us today!  WHOA!   Gonna have to take a couple days off from eating.  (OK, I’ll start tomorrow).

In no particular order yesterday, it started at the Saturday market, launched in to happy

Kincaid Sliders

Kincaid Sliders

hour at Kincaid’s, on to Sushiland,  moved over to PGE stadium, before ending at Serrato on 21st.

Kincaid’s has three beef sliders for $9 (happy hour price $4), and at the happy hour price they’d be a better deal. They are tiny burgers on oversized buns, with a olive mayo that is ver nice, and a sweet hot mustard that is not so nice. We wandered in there because Mrs. BDB’s unquenchable thirst was hollering out for a couple of lemon drops ($9 per), and Portland’s unseasonably hot weather streak made the AC a welcome relief.

At Sushi Land we set the record for the number of stacked empty plates, I believe, with

PGE Park Zenner Hot Dog

PGE Park Zenner Hot Dog

Mrs. BDB and my daughter leading the charge.

Burgerdogboy’s daughter, the vegetarian (harumph!) had the boyfriend du jour in tow this trip,who partook of a Zenner’s hotdog at the baseball game, and pronounced it so amazing, his eyes popped out.

We ended the evening on the sidewalk at Serrato, nobody was feeling very hungry but me, they had a antipasti platter ($18) on the menu, which had my name on it, and it included some salami, olives, and possibly the best cheese I have ever had, a high fat soft concoction called Humboldt Fog, from Cypress Grove Cheeses, Arcata, CA.  Absolutely marvelous.

A typically wonderful diverse Portland food day!

Sushi Land

Sushi Land

Kincaid's Fish, Chop & Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Serratto on Urbanspoon

Marinepolis Sushi Land on Urbanspoon

Dog Day Afternoon Becomes Three, er Four Dog Night

I was in the mood for hot dogs today, actually this thing started at about 3AM this morning, but I couldn’t motivate myself to get out of bed to pan up some weenies. So I went ahead and did it for breakfast at 730A, two Oscar Meyer all beef franks, buns, yellow mustard only.

This feat reminded me it has been some time since I went in search of dogs, so I headed downtown to sample a few. I didn’t want any repeats, so I skipped Bro Dogs, Beez Neez, Superdogs, and a couple of other also rans, like “Hot Dogs on the Square.

My second dog of the day was at Theo’s, which was apparently something else previously, but recently underwent a name change and a spiffing up of decor. Theo’s offers a “Naked Dog”, a kosher 1/4 pounder with your choice of condiments, or a Chicago Style, which ordinarily would come (in Chicago) with mustard, neon green relish, chopped onion, sport peppers, pickle spear, tomato, a dash of celery salt on a poppy seed bun. Theo’s (below) comes with pickled onions, sweet relish, cucumber slices, tomato, mustard on a toasted roll. It was a meaty sucker, all beef, of that I am sure, and weighing in at a full quarter pound at least. The grind was very fine, and it was skinless. A lot of hubbub has been made online about Theo’s potato salad, which was my side choice, I guess it was pretty OK. It’s a big serving, but I don’t get why fries (which have less components and take less labor) require an additional fee? Service is P-O-K-E-Y at best, even when there are few customers. Many online comments echo that. Will I be back? Why sure, I gotta try the burgers, don’t I?

Here’s the Theo’s dog:

Then it was on to NW Burger at the corner of 2nd and Couch, kitty korner from my attorney’s new office, but he was nowhere to be seen, probably hobnobbing with the rich and famous an the Benson or Ringside. I was the only customer at NW, and interrupted the counterman’s own lunch of a dog and fries. I went with the “plain hot dog”, another hefty weenie, weightwise, for $3.50. He fried the dog on a griddle, and toasted the bun nearby. NW offers a very short menu, just the basic dogs, burgers, and fries. Interior signage by Pepsi Cola, White Plains, NY. Since I had asked for my dog to go, the dude handed it to me, and pointed me at the condiment tray, said after I finished, he’d wrap it to go. Condiment selection was brief. I took a little kraut and yellow mustard, and departed the shop, to notice a plaque on the side of the building that proved to be far more interesting than my hot dog crawl. On this site, was our little “Japan town” prior to WW2, and it was from these very buildings the local Japanese were herded up and taken to the camps. A dark day in our history, if you ask me.

Interior, NW Burger:

NW’s dog was denser than Theo’s, and a little coarser grind. It didn’t appeal to me as much, but then, I was only in for a bite, to taste and compare. I’ll hit NW again too, to try a burger someday.

NW ‘s Dog w/ kraut and ‘stard, pictured here.

I had a few yet to go – Big Fat Wiener, Taste of Poland, and the Smokin’ Pig. Could I make it?

Fortunately, the gods of smaller waistlines were  funnin’ with me today, I couldn’t find Big Fat Wiener (and this is the second time I have looked, are you invisible as well as fat?). Taste of Poland folks either slept in, or sold out in the first ten minutes they opened today, as the cart was closed up tight. And Smokin’ Pig didn’t have a dog listed on his menu board. If you’re selling it, announce it, buster!

So total consumption was a mere four, when i was aiming for seven. Fortunately, or hopefully, I will live to see another day and try again!

Now dog tired, I packed it in, and got on to the more pressing elements of the day….like buying some new underwear for my next burger and dog road trip.

Theo's on Urbanspoon

NW Burger on Urbanspoon

Smokin' Pig BBQ (Food Cart) on Urbanspoon

Portland, OR – Fried Onion Portland (Food Cart)

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Can a New Yawker successfully peddle a Chicago hot dog to Portlanders?   One stop at the Fried Onion will make you coo an utter “oh, yes!”

The Fried Onion is another newcomer on the scene, and in a slightly unlikely location, NW Raleigh between 22nd and 23rd. (Actually midway in the block on Raleigh). Update: SE Third and Alder.

Affable folks, the Onion proprietors are experts in their field and experts on hot dogs.   The Chicago “Red Hot” is not “hot”, but rather a brand name, and, interestingly, the founder of Red Hots is the grandson of the founder of Vienna Beef, arguably, THE Chicago hot dog.

At least in my mind.  At least until today.

A nicely charred dog, skinless, ample in size, lovingly checked by the cook for the required doneness temperature (nice touch), and placed in a also slightly charred locally baked roll.   A dab or kraut at my request, and a squirt of yellow mustard, a dash of celery salt (homage to Chicago), and man oh man, that’s a great dog.  Great flavor, great taste, no overbearing smoke or seasoning flavor.   And a damned good size, as well.

So why did I order a burger as well?  How could I not?  I ordered it undressed, with a slice of cheddar, and you see that crispy protrusion off to the right?  Nope, it’s not bacon, but crispy melted cheddar goodness.  An ample sized hand-formed patty, lean, nice beefy flavor,  I ate it “as is”, and didn’t clutter it up with condiments, wanted to enjoy the taste and texture of the patty itself.

I couldn’t finish both the dog and the burger, oh, I could have in my salad days (did I ever really have “salad days?”)

Well, actually, I couldn’t finish the buns.  I ate the meat out of both the dog and burger, and didn’t leave a morsel behind. Caution: Red Sox fans pay extra, the sign sez. Menu is here.

Go the the Fried Onion.  Order.  Purchase.  Partake.  Enjoy.  Smile.

If you can’t get enough on site, it appears you can order Chicago style hot dogs delivered to your home.  I’m gonna.

The Fried Onion on Urbanspoon

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flying onion dog png


Fried Onion Portland

Portland, OR – Beez Neez

reindeer1 png

Thank god for the Food Carts of Portland people. Their site tells me what’s new, and their commentary does a little pre-screening for me. I can (mostly) skip the bad stuff.

The other day, they were talking about Beez Neez, a new cart on the 3rd Street pod. “Reindeer sausage”, said they. This I had to see (taste).

So I set out yday, and almost came up bupkis, because Beez Neez, new to the scene, is operating with a cardboard sign, and I swear I walked past it three times while on the hunt. At least a couple of times, I figured I had remembered the address wrong, but finally, I spotted it, and walked right up to the man and said “Reindeer sausage, please, mild.” (I knew they offered mild or spicy from the Food Cart review).

He asked if I wanted grlled onion, and I passed on that. The stand also offers a kosher foot long dog, a Louisiana hot link, and a polish. The hot link is in a casing, says he, but not the kosher dog, of course.

Beez Neez had a nice assortment of condiments out, including the requisite number of mustards from local Beaverton Foods. He had a chilled condiment tray with kraut, pickles, and a few other selections.

The guy’s technique is to split the sausage slightly before grillling, and this gives his product a nice char all around. He uses Kirkland oversized rolls. (Kirkland is a Costco house brand).

I did not inquire where he gets the reindeer sausage, I seem to recall reading that it comes from Alaska, and is mixed with beef sausage as to minimize the gamey taste often associated with venison sausage (Hah! Did you think venison only referrred to deer, like I did, until Mrs. BDB corrected me a couple weeks ago?)

Anyway, I moved to the nearest table (when I am not using the hood of the car for these tastes, I can often be found w/ food perched atop a newspaper vending machine or similar). (I have dined atop some of the finest trash cans and bus benches in the world!)

The reindeer, at $4.75, was superb. Amply sized, good snap, great taste, suprisingly mild, with a little bit of kick to it. Enough for me, I’m a pussy about heat from peppers, so I imagine I wouldn’t care for the spicy version.

There have been a plethora of new hot dog/sausage carts opening in Portland lately. Some good, some not so good. And some great, like Beez Neez.

View Portland Hot Dog Crawl in a larger map

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