Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hot Dog Heaven

When I ordered my '49ers all beef hot dog at Show Dogs, I asked for relish. I got RELISH. That's okay, I can always tip out the excess.

I was called back from happy retirement last week to help out my former colleagues at a crunch time, so I found myself in San Francisco again. Walking down Market Street in the morning, I noted a new eatery on my route, Show Dogs. Being a lover of a good tube steak, I couldn't wait to return for lunch.

They have an extensive sausage menu at Show Dogs and they offered me all kinds of toppings from sauerkraut to onions but I consider myself a purist. A squeeze of mustard, a stripe of catsup and a tumble of relish are all I need to transport myself to hot dog heaven.

Right away, I knew I was in for a treat when the cook fished out a fat dog from its water bath and laid it on the grill to brown up. Another good sign - when the dog length generously exceeds the bun length. And the bun was toasted crisp on the outside, soft on the inside and sprinkled with sesame seeds. There is a little snap when you bite into a good hot dog, followed by a rush of salty, juicy flavor; this was a good dog.

The atmosphere in Show Dogs is a little funky - after all, it's in mid-Market. However, the black-clad, deathly pale waitress with the skull-printed kerchief artfully draped in the back pocket of her jeans was efficient, checked back once to make sure all was well, and even gave me a little existential smile when I complimented the cook. The music is too loud and the beat is too heavy, but I found myself tapping my toe to the hip-hop sounds. The place itself is clean and wonderfully bright from the wraparound windows - perfect for lunchtime reading. And, somehow, even though they offer fried foods, too, the place doesn't smell of frying oil, a bonus.

Show Dogs is a little pricey but that's possibly a good thing as it probably discourages some of the more colorful denizens of mid-Market. The diners around me were clearly either tourists or working folks like me enjoying a respite from sightseeing or salt mining. Ten dollars for a dog and a drink is probably excessive but I'd happily spend it again if I was called back to work again.



Blogger Greg said...

Thanks for the report. The dog looks really good. I think I might have a bit of sticker shock at the prices.Fig chutney and arugula on a hot dog scares me.Edgy,avant garde and tattoos are the mantra now in San Fran.

Thursday, August 05, 2010  
Blogger namastenancy said...

I might spring for a hot dog the next time I'm down in that area. Since you mention the music, I will probably opt for take out and eat it at Civic Center, looking at the Buddha there who I have grown fond of.
It looks like the developer who wants to upgrade mid-Market is taking his job seriously. I'm all for an upgrade as long as they don't push more of the drug, dirt and psychotic crowd further into where I live. We already have more than our share.

Thursday, August 05, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Show Dogs is run by my friends Gayle Pirie and John Clark, chef/owners of Foreign Cinema. That may explain the pricey.
I gotta get into the City more. Thanks for the report, to borrow a phrase from Greg.

Thursday, August 05, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, yes it was pricey and I'm in accord with you about fig chutney, etc. What's wrong with a good, old fashioned hot dog?

Nancy, I noticed the Buddha today when I walked through the Civic Center. Not sure I love it, but it's fun and interesting to have something novel to see.

Cookiecrumb, no wonder Show Dogs is so good - we like Foreign Cinema, too. Both pricey. Both worth the price.

Thursday, August 05, 2010  
Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said...

And now I know what tube steak is, I've wondered.

Friday, August 06, 2010  

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