I’ve had hot dogs on the brain recently and there are a few reasons I can think of that would make me be thinking of weeines so much:
- I love potty humor
- I enjoyed a delicious white sausage with a pint of Hefeweizen during a recent layover in the Frankfurt, Germany airport (more on this Sausage experience later)
- It’s summer and I’m dreaming of baseball and hotdogs in my beloved AT&T Park
- I saw an article on the cover of All You while in the checkout lane with an article on fresh recreations on a family favorite, hot dogs (http://dailysavings.allyou.com/2014/06/11/easy-ketchup-recipes/)
So I launched my first research project for WY&PF that I dubbed simply “hot dog research”, my initial name was “Weiner Search 2014” but I thought I should reel myself in a little bit…
When I told some fellow interns at work they were very concerned that I was going to be researching à la Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jungle) I’m not a mystery meat kinda gal, so I let them know I most certainly would be staying out of slaughter houses for this assignment and would focus solely on artisan sausages.
First up on my tour de dog was Happy Fatz in Houston, Texas.
Happy Fatz is located in The Heights, a cute hipster residential part of Houston that is one of Texas’ earliest planned communities that boasts many quant restaurants and beer gardens. Happy Fatz is known for its Gourmet Hotdogs and Specialty Desserts and regularily receives favorable reviews on Yelp.com as well as operates a clean and user friendly website, http://happyfatz.com, all of these things are important to me.
On a Friday night for dinner I met up with a friend from Purdue who is also interning in Houston this summer. I ordered The Clucker and she ordered the Texas Chili, it just so happens our orders represent the two most ordered dogs on the menu.
The Clucker is a mammoth of ¼ pound Hebrew National Kosher Beef hot dog with shredded has brows, large bacon bits, grilled white onions, and an over easy egg onto of a gourmet sausage covered in a light red secret “clucker sauce”. When asked how many calories this behemoth was I was told the calories count is unknown and likely for the best, I decided to order the side of fresh cut fruit to ease my caloric guilt. I had to cut through this dog with a knife and fork, there was no way I could take it to the face with out a bib. With that being said the dog was good and I enjoyed the toppings and the experience of eating a big fat hot dog but I was hoping for bolder flavors. The grilled white onions were prefect and there were bites of flavor with the bacon bits but the clucker sauce didn’t bring much favor to the experience and the egg mostly stressed me out with the running yoke.
My friend ordered the Texas Chili that housed the same ¼ pound Hebrew National Kosher Beef hot dog along with homemade Shiner Bock chili, onions, melted cheddar topped with a handful of Frito chips. Another dog that was too big to eat without a knife and fork that left a little more to be desired. The chili was spicy but the report back was that it was just OK. I personally love the idea of chips on my hot dog (or homemade sandwich for that matter) and my recommendation would be to add a side of sour cream to ease the heat of the chili.
Overall, would I go back to Happy Fatz? Oh heck yes.
The Happy Fatz experience is laid back and relaxing. I thought the restaurant was a great place to kick back and catch up with a friend and expand my palate. I appreciated how there were local artists hung on the walls and mention to animal adoptions hosted by the Happy Fatz community, these are all the elements I like to see in a local establishment that engrains it into the community members and brings a sense of belonging to customers.
Lastly, I have my eye on the Lotus Blossom (Fresh spinach, red cabbage, Happy Fatz white cheddar pimento cheese on a jalapeno bun) or a Build your Own dog with grilled onions, grilled peppers, hash browns, feta cheese & salsa verde. Also, I didn’t have a stomach capacity to explore the Specialty Desserts so a second visit to Happy Fatz is in my future.