3336 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70115
My love affair with hot dogs began years ago. Long before there were nationally televised hot dog eating contests and eateries comprised of mainly hot dogs on the menu, my love for a great dog was already developed. At the age of about 12, I can recall eating six loaded hot dogs throughout the day one Fourth of July. Who knows? Maybe if I had kept that up, I could have been groomed to be a competitor in the Coney Island or Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contests. Their hot dogs are eaten straight, mine were loaded! My taste for a good hot dog was so great, that during my high school years my friend’s Mom would prepare stuffed crabs and homemade mac and cheese every Friday. She knew that was my day to visit, so instead of the menu her family feasted on, there were always two hot dogs awaiting my arrival. Displaying love through food, she is an example of the wonderful cooks and Moms we have in New Orleans.
To me, hot dogs are a traditional football menu item and what better way to start the 2013 New Orleans’ Saints Football Season in Dat City, than with a dog from Dat Dog! Football was truly in the air on this Saturday before the much anticipated, big season opener of The New Orleans Saints vs The Atlanta Falcons. Magazine Street is on our tourist map and it was filled with natives as wells as visiting folk from The ATL. If there is one bit of advice I would like to relay about this area of town if you are going to dine, leave for your destination early. Most eating venues only have on-street parking. There is no “off time” because nestled among the many restaurants, are all types of shops making parking a difficult task. Don’t be afraid to park a distance away because there is plenty to entertain you during your walk before you reach your destination. Also, after dining you will need to walk off one of the best hot dogs in the area.
After finding a place to park about five blocks from Dat Dog, my sidekick and I started our lengthy walk. My first visit, their second, I was glad to have someone that knew the ropes. We walked into a sea of orange and blue Florida football fans enjoying the menu and the large screen television. There was also a long line of guests waiting to place their orders. After looking at the chalkboard menu, I was glad that the line was so long because it gave me time to ponder on what exactly to order. There were beef dogs, pork dogs, crawfish sausage dogs, alligator dogs, hot sausage dogs, smoked sausage dogs, hot bratwurst, just to name a few. For non-meat eaters, there is even a sea dog (fried cod fish with homemade tartar sauce). I felt like I was reliving Forrest Gump substituting the shrimp with hot dogs! There was even a turducken dog (a mixture of fowl: duck, turkey and chicken). My sidekick was ecstatic to corral this one because the word on the street is that it is known to sell out fast. From the looks of his empty basket, he truly enjoyed it. Toppings (included in the initial cost) for this list of dogs is extensive. I felt a need to gently test these waters, so I settled on a pork dog. Okay, call me boring, but the next time I visit, and I will revisit, I promise to be a bit more adventuresome. From your traditional toppings of chili, cheese, relish, onions and mustard, there are also bacon bits, mushrooms, Andouille sauce, creole mustard, just to name a few to please your palate. All this served on a tasty, somewhat sweet bun and an order of fries that were enough to satisfy two diners. I don’t know how it is done, but incredibly these fries stayed hot to the last bite of my dog. Toppings for the fries (plain or sweet potato) can also be numerous chili, tomatoes, crawfish etouffe, and sour cream, plus much more. They can actually serve as a complete meal. Drinks are plentiful; from tea to soft drinks to local and international beers. There is something to quench every thirst.
We feasted outside on the patio because of the large football crowd inside under large umbrellas that guarded us from the sun. There is an outdoor bar with two large screen televisions for outside viewers and restrooms nearby. While inside waiting in line, I noticed a sign about reserving the upstairs for birthday parties. How cool would that be to have a hot dog party at Dat Dog? I should really think about this for my next birthday.
To owner Skip Murray, I would like to thank you for returning to your native New Orleans after 27 years from the UK after Hurricane Katrina to join the list of ever growing restaurants in our city. We need each and every one of you to satisfy the taste buds of our citizens and visitors. Currently, there is one great hot dog at two locations (original location still in operation at 5030 Freret Street). Hopefully, there will be more. Some diners may think that the prices are steep (hot dog, fries, and soft drink averaging about $12.00), but this is not your average dog. It’s Dat Dog, on that Dat Street in Dat City and I top Dat Dog with 4 fleurs-di-lis and I know Dat you will not be disappointed!