Sunday, October 16, 2011
Cori’s Dog House
106 29th Avenue North
The bun or the wiener? The toppings or the dog? It’s easy to get into a fight with hot dog fanatics. Dog fans have their priorities and often those preferences collide. And then there are the many different styles: Chicago, Sonoran, Coney, Chili; it seems like everyone has a favorite. The new Cori’s Doghouse location in the West End falls into the big bun/mongo toppings side of things. They solve the topping battle by offering just about every possibility imaginable: 39 of them on the Nashville menu by my count. The choices span the country and get regional. Pick Arizona for an approximation of a Sonoran dog with bacon and jalapenos, or settle into Boston for a “Nor’easter” with maple baked beans.
It all starts with the buns and these babies are big ‘uns. They appear to be New England style buns, the type used at lobster shacks to hold a ton of stuff. They’re tall, doughy, slightly sweet and grilled nicely. They put those big buns to use by loading up the toppings to an absurd degree. For some folks, that may fly in the face of tradition. There’s no reason you can’t order your dog more reasonably topped. I enjoyed the topping craziness myself.
The dogs are good all-beef versions. You can multiply your options by trying a brat, Polish, andouille or Italian sausage with any combo you desire. Best of all the meat eaters can take a Veggie Eater along. Cori’s offers a veggie dog, vegan polish and vegan Italian. When combined with the veggie options for toppings, it leaves the Veggie Eater with an absurd number of combinations. That’s a nice development on a Friday night after a couple of beers.
I can barely lift the Arizona dog; it’s piled high with bacon, tomato, onion, cheese, mustard, salsa and jalapenos. It takes a couple of bites to actually reach dog. It proves thick and juicy. The Memphis has an interesting tang with the Cole slaw. The Alabama, with a juicy brat this time, features decent sticky chili and high-grade kraut. The Hawaiian is a bit much with the sweet pineapple and mango relish. The Italian sausage though, is quite good.
Veggie Eater: I know, I know…what is the point of a veggie dog? The point is this: if you happen to be a Meat Eater married to a vegetarian, you can call a truce. The good news here is that there are plenty of choices. Many versions are veggie friendly here. The Michigan offers sautéed mushrooms, and your choice of cheese. I found my veggie dog to be a delightful meal. Add to this, fresh-cut French fries and addictive fried pickles and you truly have a reasonable compromise night-out for a Meat Eater and Veggie Eater.
Meat Eater: A big bonus for this Nashville location is the parking lot, which avoids the usual West End trolling for a space annoyance. It’s vivid red and yellow inside, so you won’t be falling asleep. They can roll up the garage door windows in nice weather, giving the big space some air, or you can take to the patio. The staff seems well-trained and quick. We didn’t wait more than a couple of minutes for our dogs to be ready.
I paid $11 for a solo visit and we paid $22 together and that brings a ton of food, much more than humanly needed. It’s one of the better cheap eats options in the West End.