At Dawgs!, Mardi Meyer and Cyndi Beason have taken a ball park staple and kicked it up a notch. Or six. The ladies originally envisioned a food cart, but thought the renewed popularity of hot dogs would be a perfectly fun, family-friendly fit for Scotts Valley.
They wanted their restaurant to be a unique experience. Beason noted that everyone serves fries, so they opted instead for thick house-made potato chips with a dusting of either Ranch or BBQ seasoning. The condiment bar offers traditional toppings including two kinds of mustard plus jalapeños and hot sauce. Dawgs! offers a hickory-smoked vegan dog, and a gluten-free dog served au naturel or wrapped in a leaf of romaine.
My first choice was a Smoked Bratwurst ($5.50) in a soft, steamed sesame seed roll. A purist of sorts, I topped it with onions and spicy brown mustard. The Louisiana Hot Link ($5.50) laced with spicy chili powder, was served on a fat French roll and packed a punch.
Six house-made Premier Toppings ($1.25) plump up these sausages to the extreme. Go Greek with a Parthenon and its sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives and feta, or cruise to the Island topped with tropical fruit, red bell peppers, onions and mild jalapeños.
The Tuscan dog was topped with bright, chunky, well-herbed marinara. I let the piping hot brat sit a bit to melt the shredded mozzarella. It was a filling and flavorful five-napkin lunch.
On Mondays enjoy a quarter pound hot dog and fountain beverage ($5). Wednesdays feature $2 hot dogs or honey corn dogs. On Thursdays enjoy a beer and a brat ($6.99) and on Family Fridays, get a second sandwich for 50 percent. | KP
Dawgs!, 5272 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley, 438-5800. Beer and wine. Open daily at 11:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Visit dawgs-sv.com.