Put it in your mouth
We know what you’re thinking … that hot dog looks tasty!
To bratwurst, kielbasa, sausage and hot dog lovers everywhere: it’s time to put your favorite wieners to the test. Good Dog/Bad Dog and Fido’s Hot Dog Stand are both serving dogs downtown, but who’s got the biggest, best, and juiciest?
Personally, I freakin’ love hot dogs! Good lord, if there is one thing I can’t get enough of, if there’s one food I think about throughout the day, one true shining sausage that make my mouth water at lunch time – it’s a great big hot dog with grilled onions, cheese, mustard and sauerkraut! Before I get into downtown’s sausage selection, let me inform you of three other really great places to get some dog.
First and foremost, Edelweiss on Southeast 12th and Powell makes some of the most fantastic and authentic German sausage you will find anywhere. Also, Costco has some really great and really cheap dogs and, at the meager price of $1.50. You won’t find a better deal. Unlike Edelweiss, though, I don’t think it’s worth the drive.
Finally, on 28th and East Burnside, The Dog House is serving some pretty tasty snappers as well, and they also offer one of the best veggie dogs in town. With that said, when you’re downtown there are two places to satisfy your need for the wiener: Fido’s and Good Dog/Bad Dog.
I set out in the March nearly-spring sun to put the dogs to the test. I arrived at Good Dog/Bad Dog first, where I found the bright, angled window facade facing Southwest Alder to be a comfortable environment in which to savor a serious hot dog.
The place was crowded with customers, though the line moved quickly. I was met at the counter by owner Ted Gamble’s smiling face. Surveying the menu, I noted ten different dogs, from the Garlic Dog with savory fresh garlic and herbs and the British Banger, a mild pub sausage with Kennsington horseradish sauce, to the Oregon Smoky with hickory smoke and garlic molasses.
I ordered the standard Bratwurst with grilled onions and cheese. While I was waiting for my dog, Ted informed me that all of Good Dog’s dogs are made in-house, and it has been this way ever since he opened shop thirteen years ago. It was clear that Ted takes sausage seriously.
I was excited to see if his dogs lived up to there reputation. My bratwurst arrived steaming with saut퀌�ed onions on a standard bun. Unfortunately, the bun wasn’t toasted at all. I like dogs best on a lightly toasted bun set on the grill while the dog is cooking. Oh well. While the dog itself yielded wonderfully mild blend of German herbs and spices that was quite good, but I must say: I think that Fido’s does it better.
Out on the street again, I walked the mere four blocks to Fido’s, located in the parking lot on the corner of Park and Taylor (across from the Fox Tower Theater). There I found a mob of people huddled patiently outside of the little trailer wherein David was toiling away over the grill to create a barrage of orders.
Fido’s offers seven different types of sausage and four veggie dogs. Its meat offerings range from the all-beef Hebrew National Kosher Frank in a hard casing, to the Louisiana Red Hot Sausage.
I always order the German sausage with cheese and grilled onions. Though Fido’s doesn’t make their own sausage, Dave assured me that all of their sausages except for the Hebrew are locally made, though he couldn’t tell me where.
David, a PSU graduate, has been turning out his fantastic sausages for fifteen months and I have yet to be disappointed. The German sausage yields a mild flavor and the buns are always lightly toasted, the cheese melted to perfection. And for the vegetarian, David also offers a few Boca sausages and a veggie dog, served on multigrain buns. Sounds pretty healthy to me!
So who’s the dog champ and who’s in the dog house? Well, Fido’s takes the cake, with Good Dog/Bad Dog finishing a close second, but both fall to Edelweiss’ supremacy. So, if you’re downtown, put Fido’s in your mouth, but if your in for a little travel, go to 12th and Powell and pick up the most authentic, snappy dog you’ll find in Portland.
Fido’s Hot Dog Stand
S.W. Park and Taylor parking lot
Good Dog/Bad Dog
728 S.W. Alder