Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Fetch Hot Dog Co.

Fetch was a food truck.

Sadly, it rolls no more. Another dog-gone-bye.

Even thought their Carolina dog wasn't really what I grew up loving, I miss that truck. It used to stop on the occasional Wednesday at the office park where I work.

Fetch was all about creativity. From the food to the way they coordinated orders, cleverness ruled. When you placed an order, they gave you a card from a regular playing cards deck. Then, they called your card, (i.e., seven of clubs) when your dogs were ready.

Their Carolina dog was a bit higher brow. For one, they used locally-sourced, all-natural dogs. Hey, that's a good thing. But the toppings, mostly the chili and slaw, and the composition, were a bit too gourmet to be a traditional Carolina dog. Their slaw was more of a cabbage salad, and it lacked the mayo to give it a creamier texture. The mustard was artfully zig-zagged across the top of the dog--not exactly the same thing as our beloved Carolina Hot Dog.

A fancier Carolina dog

But for the occasional, 5-buck, fancy hot dog, Fetch was a treat. Their menu featured several regularly occurring dogs and a daily or weekly special or two. Always with creative toppings and combinations.

I guess the cost of that kind of quality ingredients made the business model hard to maintain. They still hold a soft spot in my heart.

My verdict: 4 weenies for creativity and healthier dogs

Friday, August 16, 2019

I Dream of Weenie

I stumbled upon this Nashville eatery several years ago, and I knew I had to review it here. I grew up loving the TV show that inspired its name, and I hoped I would not be let down. I wasn't.

It's worth a visit solely for the extent of the theme--for its delightful kitschiness and for its relentless attention to the pun. But just as worthy of a visit is the attention they provide for all that fills their buns.

The kitchen is an old, classic, VW bug that has been converted into a "weenery" kitchen, complete with a shelter just big enough to provide some protection from the sun and rain while you order and wait for your food.

Order at the first window and step to the next to pick up your delicious dogs.

As a bona fide Carolina Hotdog fan, I was destined to dine on the Chili Slaw Weenie, but the names and combinations were much too tempting to stop there. I added a Flaming Frank to my meal.

My husband, true to form, ordered the Frank and to the point. And they tempted us further with their home made mac and cheese--not to mention an assortment of I Dream of Weenie swag: buttons, stickers, shirt, and such.

Our food arrived quickly enough and we took it to one of their picnic tables in the shade nearby.

My husband was pleased with his selection, and we both enjoyed the mac and cheese.

I think the Flaming Frank would have been better with pico de gallo and fresh jalapeƱos, but it was still a respectable dog.

As you would expect, the Chili Slaw Weenie was my favorite. The chili tasted good and complemented the slaw, onions, and mustard. The slaw is freshly made and flavorful.

My only complaint is the bigger bun. It overpowers the fillings. Of course, the fillings are ample and messy, and if the bun were smaller, the dogs would be even harder to eat. As it was, we were glad to have a couple of forks.

A very fun and tasty place to lunch in Nashville.

My verdict: 4 weenies (bonus points for concept)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Heritage Grill

Sorry it's been so long. I hope to do better.

With that in mind, I tried a new-ish Carolina dog last night.

A couple of weeks ago, my parents mentioned the Heritage Grill, in rural eastern Durham county, not far from Falls Lake. A former gas station, now a restaurant serving from 7AM to 9PM.

Along with an impressive dinner menu complete with specials for each night of the week, including steaks, pasta, and lobster, the Heritage Grill also serves standard fast food, from burgers to bologna, and, of course, Carolina hot dogs.

With the name, and location, I wasn't sure what to expect. The outside does look like a gas station or small-town general store from days gone by. The covered service area where the gas pumps once stood is now an area for folks to eat on picnic tables.

The inside is a combination convenience store, bait shop, and grill. Mounted game heads decorate one wall. Coolers for beer and soft drinks line the back. The grill is just inside the front door. I also noticed a salad bar along the mounted animals wall, but I didn't inspect it more closely.

A television with the non-offensive Spectrum News channel was mounted near the front door; I had feared another might be playing. However, after visiting, I was disappointed to find a Confederate Battle flag on their Facebook page.

We apparently hit the Heritage on Surf and Turn night, and I must admit the dinner specials were tempting. But you know I what I wanted...

I ordered one hot dog with the usual mustard, slaw, chili, and onions. Tempted beyond that, I also ordered a fried bologna sandwich. Sides include fries and a host of other sides. I opted to start with mushrooms and have okra accompany my meal.

The staff was friendly, and the service was swift. Portions were generous, if not just too much!

The hot dog was pretty good. The slaw, and there was lots of it, was really good--definitely fresh and homemade. The chili was very meaty, but it didn't really stand out. It was generously loaded, and that made it problematic to eat. I had to go in from the top and eat some of the slaw and onions before I could actually take a bite.

I enjoyed the other food as well. The bologna was fried nicely. The okra and mushrooms portions were overwhelming. And their homemade ranch was perfect for dipping.

I may have to return to try the steaks.

My verdict: another solid 3 weenies for the dog