The Art of the Hot Dog

16 Mar

~ A creative take on the steadfast hot dog stand. | Retro Dogz ~

There’s something universally basic about a good old-fashioned hot dog. Sausage. Bun. Simple.

No silverware. No plate. Whatever condiments you choose.

But what sometimes gets lost in the simplicity of a sausage on a bun, are the endless possibilities. . . of a sausage on a bun. Which is where Retro Dogz — a downtown Bremerton Hot Dog Cafe, or Parlor, if you will — is picking up. . .

With its January Grand Opening, the shop joins a list of hot dog vendors in the downtown area which is likely to grow into the summer months. And while they do work under a red-and-white-umbrellaed cart, it wouldn’t quite fit to describe Retro Dogz (a new venture from the old owner of Manette’s August Wynn Cafe) as something as simple as an indoor hot dog stand.

In addition to a regular menu of dogz, sandwiches, soups and salads, the hot dog artists under the red umbrella feature a different avant-garde, slightly-different-than-your-average-hot-dog special.

The list so far includes the BLT dog (w/ bacon, lettuce & tomato), the Northwest dog (w/ cream cheese & tomato) and the Baja Dog, among others. This week it’s the Reuben Dog.

The day I dropped in, the special was the Sloppy Joe Dog. It started with a Nathan’s Famous hot dog and bun, smothered in Sloppy Joe sauce and topped with diced onions.

Serve w/ RC Cola.

‘Why not?’ said Dave Cornin, the guy behind the cart, advocating for the Sloppy Joe Dog as I contemplated a more conventional choice. “It’s only here for a week, next week it’ll be gone, and we’ll have a different special.”

But a Sloppy Joe Dog? Who’s ever even heard of such a thing. It’s one thing to pay $5 for your basic hot dog, I thought, but quite another to spend that much on some sausage-bun experiment.

At least with the basic dog, one knows what to expect.

But then again, where’s the art in that? [BILL MICKELSON]

RETRO DOGZ is located at 701 Pacific Ave. in downtown Bremerton. Call 360.908.0942 or find them on Facebook to suggest ideas for the weekly special.


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