The Rest of the Tail:
Pretty darn cheap at The Hotdogger in downtown Davis, California. For more than 20 years, The Hotdogger has walked many a joyful diner down ‘the dog’ path. This wiener-sized café provides limited counter-seating for about five. The dogs, on the other hand, are not your tea-cup variety.
These California dogs may not be AKC line-up, but they are pure-bred delicious! Your classic all-beef Chicago Dog with German mustard, tomatoes, diced onion and relish will set you back $3.50. From across the border, the spicy Ortega Dog with green chilies and pepper jack cheese will light your fire for $4.00. The Gut Bomb ($5), The Bandito ($4.25)...Louisiana hot links, chili, salsa, onion…where’s the Tums and Scope? Of course they also serve the PC Veggie Dog breed. Well-groomed with mustard, ketchup, relish, onion and a sprouted wheat bun, it’s just like the real thing. Well, maybe.
The owners, the Franks – no, I’m not kidding – have been Davis’ tube steak mavens for the past 13 years. One counter-person had been adorning dogs in buns for three years. Woof, that’s dedication! Her favorite was a personal creation: Portuguese wine sausage (chicken with white wine and garlic), tomatoes, celery salt, ketchup, pickles, and Hawaiian mustard. Tums, anyone?
Oh, and about the buns! An often overlooked, but integral part of the whole doggone dog experience. The Hotdoggers’ buns are locally made at the Village Bakery – another closet-sized establishment. Davis, California may just be a breeding ground for this kind of thing.