Mar 21, 201309:42 AM
Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene
Hot Dogs and Cheesesteaks
Bratwurst from Dat Dog
It's been a busy year for Dat Dog. The local purveyor of hot dogs and sausages relocated across Freret Street last year, going from a tiny space at 5031 to a much larger venue at 5030. More recently owners Constantine Georges and Skip Murray opened their second location at 3336 Magazine St. Like the new digs on Freret, there's significant outside seating – both locations feel a lot like something you'd see in Munich, and that's not entirely a coincidence. Dat Dog features a lot of local products, but they also get sausages from all over the world, including a hell of a smoked Bratwurst imported from Germany. Wieners come in beef or pork, and local products include a smoked sausage from Harahan, hot sausage from Kenner and crawfish sausage “from the bayou.” Specialty sausages include duck, “turducken,” a link made with Guinness, a veggie sausage and tempura-fried cod they call a Sea Dog.
It's not just the sausages that make Dat Dog worth a trip; the toppings include all of the standards, plus andouille sauce, guacamole, hummus, olive salad and wasabi. Fries aren't an afterthought either; there are the standard (named for Poppy Tooker) and varying degrees of “loaded” versions, including one topped with tomato, sour cream and crawfish etouffée.
There are full bars at both locations, and excellent beers on tap, with local breweries well-represented. Both locations are open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and until 9 p.m. on Sunday. Call (504) 899-6883 if you want more information, and don't have access to the internet. Though if that's the case, how are you reading this? Has someone printed this blog out for you to read in hard copy? I'm not sure whether to be flattered that you took the trouble, or disturbed by your anachronistic ways. I'll settle on flattered.
In 1993 I went to the playoff game between the Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles. It was a game that the Saints lost in a second-half meltdown. I will never forget walking from the Superdome down Poydras to my car, and listening in amazement as some guys from Philly drove up and down the street mocking Saints fans. I had no particular feelings about Philadelphia at the time, but ever since I've held a special little place in my black, bitter heart for the place. So while Philadelphia's moniker “the city of brotherly love” may be entirely ironic, they do know a good sandwich.
We've had a few places that claimed to serve a real Philly cheesesteak over the years, but by far the best I've sampled is at Liberty Cheesesteaks, which not coincidentally took over the tiny space on Freret formerly occupied by Dat Dog. The menu is basic – you can have your cheesesteak with provolone, American or Cheez-Whiz, a pizza version with mozzarella and marinara sauce and a chicken-steak. I can only attest to the classic version topped with provolone, but that was an outstanding meal. Liberty is closed on Tuesdays, but open during the rest of the week and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and until 6 p.m. on Sunday. If, again, you can't visit the website, then you can call (504) 875-4447.