I just got back from Dogzilla Café, which opened today in the Financial District. Theres an area for tables and up a lofted half flight of stairs is the ordering station. The sitting area includes a lot of hot dog memorabilia (including Ricky Schroeder on the cover of Hot Dog magazine with the worlds worst bowl cut). But I digress.
I haven't had a good Chicago style hot dog since I was a kid at a place called Rory's in San Diego, so I was excited to order the Chicago Dog ($4.50) which includes dog, onions, yellow mustard, sport peppers, celery salt, sweet relish, and a pickle spear. Now that I think about it, I dont remember seeing a pickle spear, but it very well could have been there and I wouldnt have known because THERE WAS MUSTARD EVERYWHERE. Really, I should have sent it back in retrospect. I couldnt even wipe off the mustard because it inundated all the chopped condiments. There was so much it even made the bun soggy and my hands still now smell like mustard. At least it was Grey Poupon and not Frenchs though I wish Id held out for the Gulden in packets by the front door.
The dogs start at $3.50 (with choice of type of bun and toasting of bun) and come with a choice of potato salad, baked beans, or cole slaw. After trying to order potato salad and baked beans, I discovered that they only had one side today cole slaw. Im not a cole slaw afficionado, but it seemed very gloopy to me.
There were cut-up brownies offered as samples next to the cash register. They were really, really good with visible chips and they were soft and squishy like homemade ones. After my Chicago . er, MUSTARD Dog I helped myself to another sample (and maybe an extra one) because you know, I had to clear the tastebuds
The service was really off and they knew it. Every time I needed to get something (like warm tap water) they apologized profusely. There were people waiting for their food who were notably perturbed that other people who had ordered after them received their food first. After my meal they made the effort to find out how it was, and promised they would smooth out the kinks.
So, this isnt a finished review because I couldnt really taste my dog, and Im hoping for better next time, and I really want to like this place (Ricky Schroeders bowl cut and all). But if anyones interested in trying out Dogzilla, its now open. Its even a half block away from What Up Dog?, (the hot dog stand thats been positively reviewed here) in case you want to get one dog from each to compare.
Howard St. (between Fremont & Beale)