Crave Column

By Steven Doyle

If 2011 was the Year of the Burger in Dallas, and 2012 was the Year of the Taco, then stand back for 2013’s culinary offering of the lowly hot dog. There will be hot dog venues popping up all over, and some will actually be quite nice. One of the early adopters is Bowery which is located in Uptown Dallas on McKinney Avenue and owned by the geniuses behind the fine dining hot spot, Oak, which is located in the Dallas Design District. Bowery is kicked up casual dining at its finest.

The earliest examples of hot dogs in America date to the 1860’s in the Bowery district in New York City when German immigrants earned their living selling hot dogs, along with milk rolls and sauerkraut, from pushcarts on the side of the street.   The Bowery, described by the owners as a gourmet eatery, aims to transport diners to that time and place.

Other hot dog eateries on their way to Dallas includes Bob Sambol’s, of Bob’s Steakhouse fame, as he is making ready one of many dog houses. The first will be located in the new Trinity Grove area of Dallas which is located just west of the new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Bob will feature Hofmann dogs, a product that is known best in New York and has been manufactured for the past 133 years. Roger Staubach and Phil Romano are involved in this project, so it is sure to be a hit. Look for four locations just after the first of the year.

One of the best hot dogs can be found on the weekends at White Rock Lake Market which operates on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 8AM to 1PM in the parking lot of  The Green Spot. There you will find The Grape’s fine dining chef-owner Brian Luscher hawking his house-made dogs that he calls Luscher’s Post Oak Red Hots.  These are the real deal from the chef that Texas Monthly pronounced as the best burger in the state. Luscher knows his way around meat.

Once you had your fill of hot dogs you may want to soothe your system with somewhat healthier fare. Start is a cutting edge fast-casual concept created by local Dallas resident Erin McKool and is located on upper Greenville Avenue next to Rusty Taco. Start provides “good for you food” in a quick service environment that also has a drive-through.

Start offers diners their favorite foods, only smarter – real food made from scratch.  McKool explains, “Our food is healthy and handmade, but not necessarily ‘diet food.’  Organic and natural is critical to us, so all of our eggs, milk, sugar and many other items are organic. We only use meats and eggs from humanely raised animals, and we don’t use products that are raised on hormones and antibiotics, or treated with nitrates. Our bakery items are made with 100% whole wheat flour.”

Our Start favorites for breakfast include the Bacon, Egg and Cheddar Sandwich, and the Egg White veggie Burrito. Lunch and dinner have some great items to sample such as their Mahi Mahi Wrap stuffed with red cabbage, avocado and a cilantro cream sauce. We also enjoyed what they call their Badder Better Burger that is made with grass-fed beef, applewood smoked bacon and all the accouterments.

Enjoy the Texas OU game and the remainder of the Texas State Fair. There is plenty to enjoy at Fair Park if you are brave enough to try the fried cotton candy or the deep fried bacon cinnamon roll.