“I would like to buy one of your hot dogs. They smell rather tasty. I was wondering, if I buy just one… May I select my own?” Ignatius asked, peering down over the top of the pot… “I shall pretend that I am in a smart restaurant and that this is the lobster pond.” — John Kennedy O’Toole from “A Confederacy of Dunces.”
Ignatius J. Reilly, the improbable protagonist of O’Toole’s comic masterpiece was inspired by this culinary experience to take up a career as a French Quarter hot dog vendor, a decision that launched a stream of misadventures. Unfortunately for Ignatius, hot dogs have never received quite the same respect as hamburgers in American cuisine. This is too bad, because a well-made dog can be every bit as satisfying. For reasons I never understood, hot dogs never caught the fast food wave like burgers, and are often relegated to ball parks, convenience stores and backyard cookouts, at least here in Texoma.
Now, that may be changing.
Street food vendors and food trucks are relatively new to Texoma, but their numbers are growing. One of the newest is B Dawgz Street Doggz, a hot doggery on wheels, which started serving the tube steaks about six months go. Recently, my guest and I found it set up in the Bon Appetit, Y’all parking lot at Heritage Parkway (FM 1417) and Lamberth in Sherman and dropped in for a dog, or would that be a dogg?
B Dawgz is carry out only, so be prepared to eat in your car or, if the weather is compliant, find a nice picnic table at the nearby Pecan Grove Park. While we were there, a steady stream of cars pulling into the lot and leaving with a stack of Styrofoam containers testified to the truck’s growing popularity. It is a trailer actually, pulled by a truck, but who’s to quibble.
The menu board lists 13 variations on the theme, plus a brisket grilled cheese and a Frito pie. While we were there, the big dog in charge added a couple of taco options to the end of the list. Actually, they will build your dog just about any way you want. They will even put ketchup on it, which as we all know, is a plot to subvert American values. Ketchup is for fries; mustard is for dogs and burgers. But I digress.
Long ago and far, far away, I developed an addiction to chili slaw dogs. They are not readily available around here, but I still dream about them every now and then. For me therefore, the menu choice was a no brainer — a chili cheese dog with slaw on top.
My fellow diner decided to try the brisket grilled cheese. We added a couple of cold drinks from an ice chest, and went back to the car to see what we got.
What we got was good.
My friend sawed off a corner of his brisket grilled cheese for me, and right off, I wondered whether I had found a new favorite sandwich. The chopped brisket was piled on with two big pickle slices and a special sauce. After the sandwich did some time on the flat top grill, it was toasted, a little bit crunchy, and the cheese nice and melty. This is a very good sandwich. I probably will try the whole thing next time around.
The slaw on my dog was not the usual, sweet, creamy made with mayonnaise Southern version; it was a Mexican variation. The same basic ingredients, it is made with a thinner, honey and lime sauce with more than a hint of cilantro. It was not what I was used to, but it matched up well with the dog, the chili and the cheese. It was too big for hand work, and I had to balance the container between the steering wheel and me and take up a knife and fork. Fortunately, or unfortunately, there is enough to make this work. Wisely, extra, extra large napkins were in the box.
That is about it. B Dawgz Street Doggz makes a nice alternative to the usual fast food fare, and along with the other food trucks that are showing up in increasing numbers, it is offering Texoma diners a wealth of new things to try.