I know this is a burger blog, and Lord knows I’ve eaten a lot of burgers these past few months. Today however, I had something a different. If you’ll indulge my going off topic for a few paragraphs, I think you’ll see why it’s more than worthy of mention.
Over the past few days, I’ve been tweeting with a Twitter friend, Todd Bourne, about 1/4 lb kosher Nathan’s hot dogs. That may sound odd taken out of context, but Todd is the man behind the Memphis Dawgs Hot Dog Cart, frequently found on Union and Main or in front of Samuels Furniture on Poplar and Yates. He and I have been talking about local burgers such as Roxie’s Grocery and more importantly, when it would stop raining so he could setup again downtown for a #bestmemphisdawg tasting. Today the rain stopped and Tim, my burger buddy, and I headed downtown for some Memphis Dawgs.
We parked just up the street and walked down to the Memphis Dawgs cart. First thing Todd said when he saw us walk up was, “Do y’all want a cheeseburger?” We had a couple more laughs as we talked about burgers and some of my recent outings. Then we got down to business. The business of eating that is. He asked us if we wanted to build a Dawg of our own or go with his signature Original Memphis Dawg? We told him to set us up with his best Dawg. We were each handed a hot dog masterpiece. It was a steamed 1/4 lb Nathan’s hot dog on a steamed bun, topped with a generous heap of slaw, a steady stream of Todd’s own sweet and tangy BBQ sauce and a few dashes of celery salt. This hot dog was off the charts with as much flavor as it had toppings. I’ve never enjoyed a hot dog as much as I enjoyed this one. Tim was right there with me. The two of us were just chowing down like it was our last supper or maybe our first.
Before I could finish my Dawg, Tim was ordering a second. This time he went with the NYMemphis Style Dawg. It came with sauerkraut, relish, onion, BBQ sauce, and celery salt. It looked pretty damn good. Based on Tim’s lack of talking, there was no doubt he was loving this Dawg.
I think what makes these hot dogs so good is you taste all the beef and topping and aren’t at all distracted by the roll. Todd uses a regular size hot dog roll. The 1/4 lb. hot dog alone overflows the roll. Pile on the slaw or the kraut and you’ve got some amazingly delicious overflow going on.
As Tim was finishing his second dawg, I ordered my second with mustard, sauerkraut, onion and jalapenos and celery salt. It didn’t have a signature name, but if it did, I’m sure Todd could refer to it as the ‘Warm My Belly on a Cold Day Dawg’. It too was “off the hook” amazing. It was hot, steamy, spicy and loaded with flavor. As I was getting started on number two, Tim ordered number three. He went back to the Original Memphis Style Dawg.
I think today Tim could have given Joey Chestnut a run for his money at the Memphis Dawgs Hot Dog Cart.
I give the Original Memphis Dawg a huge 4.5 out of 5 stars. These dawgs are as big in size as they are in taste, and still, it’s almost impossible to eat just one.
If you’re out and about downtown or in East Memphis and you see Todd behind the Memphis Dawgs Hot Dog Cart, do yourself a favor and stop, eat and enjoy! Todd also does catering. So plan your next event with Memphis Dawgs.