I was so super excited for this lunch at Showdogs. I’d wanted to go since I’d heard it was opening because I love hot dogs and I like fancy new stuff. Also, I was meeting up with friends, and that’s not always as easy as it should be. I biked from the Fidi to 7th and Market in a state of high anticipation.
It was a pretty gorgeous day. I say that now, though I’m pretty sure at the time all I did was complain about how hot it was. I’m so delicate. I can appreciate though that conditions lent themselves perfectly to my activities that afternoon, those being eating outside and drinking cold drinks.
The outdoor eating area is pretty roomy, though a little narrow, and preferable to the indoor seating situation. The interior dining room was kind of dim, despite the restaurant having floor to ceiling windows nearly all around. Inside is also not as good for people watching, which you’re going to want to engage in if you’re here in the daylight hours.
The promise of a variety of well made sausages is enticing enough, but what I’d heard about the wealth of beers available at Showdogs was equally intriguing. They also offer an opportunity each day to get beer free! It’s practically unheard of. I certainly couldn’t pass up such an offer. I produced my work badge to get a baby 8oz glass of Hell or High Watermelon, and my friends shelled out for their beers and lemonades.
Enough setting the scene, huh? What’d we eat? Well, Sarah ordered the Wild Boar sausage.
Which was topped with a cherry apricot chutney, arugula and a pickle. Bryan got the chili cheese dog
Which was probably the most delicious looking thing that was ordered by our table (Justin had one too). They shared an order of onion rings; I tried those and they were pretty good, crispy and not greasy. I think in the overall scheme of things though I’m not crazy about the thinner cut onion rings. I like a bigger burst of onion flavor.
I had the merguez with fig chutney and that same arugula and pickle that were on the wild boar sausage.
I had never had arugula on top of a sausage before and really wasn’t sure how I would find it, but I liked it a lot. The slightly crunchy texture was nice with all the softness going on in the sausage and the bun, and the fresh flavor offset the greasy and more mellow qualities of the meat and bread. The bun was very good, firm and with a nice crust and a fair amount of chewiness. I love the way a normal hot dog bun steams and melds with the hot dog, but I also love me some good bread. The fig chutney was delicious as well, the only thing I was really “meh” about was the merguez. It was not the most flavorful iteration of the sausage I’ve ever eaten, in fact, it was pretty forgettable. I wished that I had tried the 4505 hot dog or the pickled hot link, I doubt that those would be lacking in the spice department. Oh well, it gives me a good excuse to go back!
Probably the most exciting thing ordered was Jessie’s corndog. Mostly exciting because it had to be the biggest corndog I’ve ever seen.
The photo doesn’t do a good job of expressing that unfortunately. It looked scrumptious and made me rethink my stance on corndogs (my stance, by the way, is that I hate them). It came with a house mustard, and Jessie also ordered these fries;
Which he said he didn’t care for, but I found to be pretty good. This is a meal I would consider ordering if I went back.
If you’re down near Civic Center and you’re looking for a place to get a moderately priced lunch with outdoor seating where you might even be able to get a free beer, this is the spot. Our group sat for some time just watching everyone walk by (we saw one Grizzly Adams-looking dude who was using a large antler as a walking stick; I tried to get a photo but he was across the street and none of them came out, and that is a tragedy) and I could have sat there a lot longer. Certainly on a lazy sunny day I can see myself sitting at Showdogs, drinking beer and eating fries for an hour or two. That sounds pretty nice right now actually…I think I know what I’m doing this weekend.
1020 Market St