The future of the Houston hot dog is in flux. James Coney Island is rebranding itself, and new hog dog joints are popping all over the city. In this series, we'll take a look at what's happening in the world of Houston dogs.
Good Dog Houston, the popular food truck, was founded in 2011 by an experienced Houston chef and her boyfriend. Last fall, they opened a brick-and-mortar location where the Big Mamou used to be on Studewood in the Heights. It's a comfy little restaurant with a nice porch if you want to hang out and a long counter with stools if you want to eat in a hurry. There seems to be lots of traffic, especially at lunch time.
I got a very simple hot dog with just a little mustard and relish for my first visit to Good Dog Houston because I wanted to taste the frankfurter before I started sampling the goodies. The weiner was a satisfying blend of 85 percent beef and 15 percent pork with a snappy natural casing. The dill "relish" was a coarsely chopped pickle with some fresh dill weed. (Good idea, Good Dog—I wonder why I never thought to do this at home?)
Good Dog Houston
All the house-made condiments are preservative-free and made from scratch. The hot dogs are served on a Slow Dough Bread Co bun that looks like the top part of a slice of bread. There are also Slow Dough hot dog buns available on a shelf behind the cashier; I bought a dozen of the poppy seed variety. You have to slice a slot for your hot dog into the top of the bun. My kids went wild for hot dogs served on these buns. (We buy Boar's Head pork & beef natural casing frankfurters.)
The Good Dog, the simplest hot dog, comes with your choice of condiments.These include house-made ketchup, Sriracha ketchup, mayonnaise, roasted garlic aioli, whole-grain mustard, sweet relish, fresh dill relish, and jalapeño relish. Some menu favorites are the Ol’ Zapata Dog with bacon, muenster cheese, caramelized onions, tomatoes, jalapeño relish, ketchup and mayonnaise; and the Chi-Town Dog with tomato slices, pickled peppers, dill pickle slices, sweet relish, mustard, and celery salt on a poppy-seed bun.
Good Dog Houston isn't selling the sort of imaginative sausage sandwiches found at Moon Tower or Sammy's Wild Game Grill, but they are doing a great job with the classics. It's hard to get a bad dog when you start with a meaty natural casing wiener, a fresh Slow Dough Bun, and house-made condiments.
See you at the doghouse.