Just a typical March day in Rochester. Blizzard warning in effect. 6 to 12 inches expected. More than 200 businesses closed. No big deal. So what does one do on a snow day?
dogTown is exactly what it sounds like. It's an establishment catered to dogs. Hot Dogs that is. I know some of you are thinking, really hot dogs when it's snowing?? Similar thoughts ran through my head. But trust me, keep an open mind. You will feel like you died and went to hot dog heaven. That is, if one existed. Anyhow, let me give you the 411 on DogTown.
- WEBSITE: http://www.DogTownhots.com
- LOCATION: 691 Monroe Ave (Across from Oxford St. and next to Han's Noodle Bar)
- PRICES: El Cheapo. My hot dog was $3.29 and the soup was $3.50.
- AMBIANCE: Casual - very cozy with a few tables and bar stools. If you bring in a snapshot of your dog, they will post it on the wall along with all the others - an expression of love for not only hot dogs, but our furry friends as well.
Now let's get to the good part....THE FOOD.
First off, the hot dogs are hot-diggity-dawg, really delicious. What makes this place so special you ask? Here’s the breakdown:
1. Killer Dawgs
Ever heard of Zweigles? Of course you have. They are Rochester's claim to fame for hot dogs. If you're lucky enough you have tried both red and white hots. dogTown uses Zweigle's German Style Frank, basically a skinnier and longer version of the quintessential Zweigle.
2. Killer Bread
Mmmm Carbs. I always think that if you're going to eat simple carbs, it better be worth it. Trust me, it's so worth it. The French bread is really soft and tasty. Even better, it's made from a local bakery - Martusciello's. dogTown says on their website that, "Any sandwich is only as good as it's bread." Ain't that the truth?
3. Killer Menu
One of the highlights of this place, is the the GLORIOUS menu. First thing to note is that for you anti-hot dog folks out there, DogTown is more than its name.
- Vegetarians: 15 Veggie Dog options to choose from everyday. They also have veggie chili, veggie burgers, and veggie soups that are made from scratch. Stop acting like you have no options.
- Vegans: There are Vegan Specials offered every Thursday. Say what?? Yep, every Thursday.
- Meatatarians: If you get sick of DAWGS, there are also burgers, chicken sammies, and sausages.
- Garbage Plate Lovers: Order the Junkyard Dog Plate - 2 Hot dogs or cheeseburgers with home fries, mac salad, covered in DogTown sauce. Not exactly heart healthy, but you know that you're getting yourself into.
Now what shall I order?????
You can’t go wrong with the Cincinnati Red Dog, it’s basically a glorified chili cheese dog. It’s made with real cheddar for you cheese fanatics and the dogTown sauce. No this isn’t your cafeteria special sauce where you throw your leftovers in to make it special. This is a hot-diggity-dawg covered in their ‘Cincinnati chili meat sauce’, basically a hearty sauce made from 80% lean beef, NO BEANS (Your spouse will thank DogTown later) and don't forget little bit of sweetness (cinnamon, allspice, baker's chocolate). Yes, I repeat chocolate. I ate the entire thing (yes little asian me) and then barked afterwards like Tim Allen from Tool Time. I loved every scrumptious bite of it.
If you're a soup nazi, I would try the Jamaican Black Bean soup. A delicious vegetarian option with tender black beans and caribbean spices served with fresh french bread.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner. I would definitely recommend visiting this place and trying out one of their many options. I love the fact that not only do they promote local ingredients, but they can appeal to all types of diets - carnivores, vegans, vegetarians...all sitting under one venue.
It reminds me of Crif Dogs in NYC, a popular hot dog place in the city - but clearly the Rochester version. So do yourself a favor, trust the advice of Sir Rocha Says and make a stop to dogTown!