Walking up lower Fifth Avenue recently, we came across a new food truck called Shady Dawg. They have only been around for a few weeks, and serve what we would call premium hot dogs.
There are about a dozen different dawgs available on the menu, in a variety of styles ranging from the Lower East Side to Chicago to Buffalo to Upstate and elsewhere. All dawgs are $6.50, which is high for a hot dog, but the toppings are almost a meal unto themselves.
We went for the Red State Dawg, which has a pulled pork topping, along with a few other goodies.
To get the full Shady Dawg experience, we also got an order of duck fat fries for $4.50.
Opening the container, we saw a top-sliced bun which must have had a hot dog somewhere down below, but we barely see it for all the pulled pork on top.
Under the pulled pork was jalapeño cream cheese, and on top was crumbled cornbread as a topping. Now that’s what we call a proper frank!
The dawg itself was good, but with the pulled pork and other toppings, it was excellent. The pulled pork was a little on the sweet side, which we prefer in bbq to a vinegary sauce. The sweetness of the pulled pork worked well with the saltiness of the hot dog.
The duck fat fries were a cut above the usual fries, which is good considering they cost $4.50. The portion was more than enough for 1 person, and the duck fat imparted depth to the fries, giving it some umami flavor.
Adding even more umami to the fries was the dipping sauce, of which the base was an ale cheddar cheese. The cheddar wasn’t too sharp, but had enough edge not to be boring. You could even taste the beer in the cheese.
We can’t say lunch from Shady Dawg was cheap, but it was interesting and delicious. If you want an inexpensive hot dog lunch, check out the Papaya Dog truck. If you want a premium hot dog lunch, Shady Dawg is where you should go.