Saturday, March 12, 2011

Po Dog

I leave my house for culinary school every weekday morning at 5:15am. I pull into my neighborhood Starbucks drive-thru at about 5:21am.  There is a rotation of 4 employees that work the window and 1 in particular is quite chatty - considering the early morning hour.  A couple of weeks ago, as I was paying for my Americano, this chatty Starbucks employee noticed my Le Cordon Bleu Chef Jacket and asked what I was doing at school that particular day. I told them that we were making Brioche amongst other things. His eyes lit up. He told me that there was this place in Capitol Hill (Seattle) that used brioche buns for their hot dogs - it was called Po Dog - and that I had to go there and see for myself.  OK. Noted. I moved on with my morning. 

Last weekend I decided to go to Po Dog and check it out. The location in Capitol Hill (there is another in the U-district) is attached to a sports bar called Auto Battery. 

Po Dog is small. 20 seats plus an additional 10 or so up at the counter where you order and view the tiny open kitchen.  The kitchen consists of a 3-foot wide flat-top, a 2-basket fryer, and a warmer that holds the buns. Lets talk about the buns. I knew they were going to be brioche but I was excited to find that they were supplied by Seattle's own Macrina Bakery. 

The menu is extensive considering it is all hot dogs. They have five "wiener" choices : Hebrew National All-Beef Kosher, Field Roast Apple Sage Vegetarian, Uli's Chicken Apple, Polish Kielbasa, and German Bratwurst. There are over 20 toppings to chose from after you select your wiener. If you don't want to build your own there is a selection of specialty wieners to pick from including what I was told was their most popular, The Deep-Fried Danger Dog (wrapped in pepper bacon and topped with sauteed onion and spicy chili sauce) , The Texas Dog (melted cheddar, crispy onion straws, and smokey bbq sauce), and The Seattle Dog (cream cheese and scallions). Other interesting choices included the South of the Border dog (topped with guacamole, sour cream, and pico de gallo) and the Po Roll (panko-crusted and topped with fresh cucumber, cream cheese, and wasabi aioli). 

For sides you can choose from shoestring fries or deep-fried pickles. 

The interior is minimal and modern - almost all black and white (literally) in color. In the back dining area there is was a large scale wallpaper graphic of a pug. The walls were cement and the ceiling and tables were wood.

Overall it was pretty solid. The buns were perfectly heated, the toppings were plentiful. The only thing I would have changed was maybe the fact that my Diet Coke came in a can - no straw or cup of ice- but that might just be me. This is a great spot for a quick bite or late night snack. Also, since Po Dog and Auto Battery are owned by the same person you can enjoy a cocktail or Beer at Auto Battery and a wiener simultaneously as the food menu at Auto Battery is the exact menu used next door at Po Dog. 

1009 E Union Street
Seattle, WA 98122

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