Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hot Dog Happiness

With Tribe season in full swing and summer a few months away, I find myself craving a certain food a little more so then usual.  I will shamelessly admit, I love hot dogs.  Off the grill, at the game, or even broiled in the oven on a cold Cleveland winter day, it really doesn't matter.  I remember my first foot long way back when at Cleveland Municipal Stadium at age 4.  Hot dogs remind me of childhood summers.  Those long carefree days of playing outside and swimming until my fingers pruned up.  Last summer, I was introduced to a place that would have made me one happy little girl, The Happy Dog.

A restaurant that serves only hot dogs (or veggie dogs for my vegetarian readers) and tater tots sounds simple right?  Now, factor in over 30 different topping options and a plethora of dipping sauces and you have combinations to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.  For $5.00 you start with a quarter pound all beef dog and then let your imagination and taste buds go crazy.  There are suggested combinations offered, but I love any place that lets me create my own meal.  I have been there many times and do not think I have had the same combination twice.  In the mood for something hot and spicy?  Top your dog with Happy Dog's own chipotle ketchup or Momocho's habanero sauce.  If you ever wondered how a peanut butter and jelly sandwich crossed with a hot dog would taste, get Marcela's grape jelly and  chili sauce with chunky peanut butter on your frank.  You also can add the chips right on the dog too.  From cheese whiz to smoke gouda, there are cheeses for any palate too.  For $2.50 you get a giant bowl of tater tots with as many dipping sauces as you wish.  This is the perfect way to try new sauces you may have considered for the dog but wanted a taste first.  Personally, I recommend sharing the tots.  Aside from such a generous portion, you want room for dessert which will also take you back to childhood summers.  The Happy Dog's desert menu consists of frozen treats which you probably bought from the ice cream truck such as orange push-ups and Good Humor bars.     

Now what to wash this nostalgic meal down with.  The Happy Dog will make any craft beer lover happy boasting over 75 different brew choices.  If craftbeer is not your thing, you can also opt for a PBR tallboy or other domestics.  Yes, there are non-alcoholic options too.  The Happy Dog also hosts monthly beer dinners with a 5-course meal for only $25.  The next one is on April 12 at 7:30.  On the weekends, local bands take to the stage at The Happy Dog.  Be sure to check their Facebook page to stay up to date with acts coming and other fun events.  

The atmosphere of Happy Dog is fun a laid back.  What would look to be just another corner bar is gaining recognition throughout Cleveland and will be featured on Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" thanks to Iron Chef and hometown boy Michael Symon.  It's a great spot to meet with friends for a fun meal and good beer.  Just ask my kickball team.

Until next time...follow your heart, fulfill your hunger!  


  1. mmmm I love Happy DOg and I don't even like hot dogs. I am all about the tots!

  2. I've never been here but I've heard such great things about it! I actually think my parents are taking Colin there today. :)