HOMETOWN PASADENA — Dog Haus Dogs — By Kat Ward
The first decision is fingers or fork, because we can tell just by looking at them that this is going to get messy. (Which is probably why a package of Uline Kraft Single-Fold towels are sitting in a cardboard box on every table.)
We’re sampling dogs at the Dog Haus on Main Street in Alhambra. We’ve been informed thatAdam Gertler of “The Next Food Network Star” is now “officially on board at Dog Haus as the ‘Würstmacher,’ charged with overseeing the production and quality of the sausages as Dog Haus grows beyond SoCal.”
We have decided to order one of his sausage specialities: Another Night in Bangkok, which is described as red currywurst (yes, one word), accompanied by peanut sauce, Asian slaw, and crushed peanuts, all built inside a King’s Hawaiian roll. Also ordered are Sooo Cali, The Pig and the Fig, a side of Asian slaw, and a side of tater tots.
First to be tasted and judged, The Pig and the Fig. We’d ordered this one because if we were going to experiment, why not go to the extreme? This “dog” is an emmentaler cheese-stuffed sausage topped with fig and onion relish, wild arugula, whole grain mustard, and sliced almonds. A sweet dog.
Good size chunks of fig in the relish contrast well with the onion and the spicy mustard. We would have enjoyed a non-sweet bun with this sausage dog (the emmentaler mellows the flavor, yet is apparent), but our primary suggestion is to toast the almonds. Raw almonds are pretty neutral to taste but toasted almonds would greatly compliment the sweet figs, as well as all the other ingredients.
Dog Haus’s Sooo Cali has their all beef skinless dog with wild arugula, spicy basil aioli, crispy onions, avocado, and tomato. The dog tastes like a regular hot dog, though a very high quality one, which means it’s yummy. We love all the ingredients but find that we enjoy them more by themselves than when combined with the dog, which surprises us because we’re such fans of the warehouse district dogs in downtown L.A. that have a lot of the same ingredients. It might be the basil aioli that doesn’t completely work for us. Though the aioli is delicious, maybe we wouldn’t include it in this combo. We don’t dislike Sooo Cali, we just don’t love it.
And this dog is messy—über messy. Which is kind of fun, finger-licking good, but we feel bad for all the tree-turn-towels that we’ve soiled.
Another Night in Bangkok is our favorite: a spicy dog offset by a marginally sweet slaw, peanut sauce, and the crunch and salt of chopped peanuts. The soft, slightly sweet Hawaiian roll, and the juicy dog with a hint of curry (only a hint), against the texture of the slaw and peanuts creates a depth of flavor and textures that made our palate pleased.
The idea of making a hot dog an entrée seems a bit ludicrous but Dog Haus is jumping as far outside the hot dog-with-catsup-and-mustard box as it can go. We’re already checking our calendar to schedule our next visit, though we’ll need to endure a liquid diet for a few days prior, if we want to go anytime soon. In the meantime, we have our eye on these…
* Cajun andouille with kung pao sauce and water chestnuts
* Chicken fontina sausage * Hot dogs and pastrami * Corn dogs dipped in a root beer batter
* The Little Leaguer has fritos
* The Tae Kwon Dog has Korean chili powder, kimchi, a fried egg, and bulgogi glaze
* A Grand Slam with smoked bacon, a fried egg, tater tots, and maple syrup sriracha And if you have room after all this, Dog Haus serves Fosselman’s ice cream. Good luck!
93 E. Green St., Pasadena 91105. Tel.: 626.683.0808
105 N. Hill Ave., Pasadena 91106. Tel.: 626.577.4287
410 E. Main St., Alhambra 91801. Tel.: 626.282.4287
Times vary according to location; check website
Dogs, sausages, and burgers run $5.99-$6.99; add $2.99 to make it a combo