Monday, September 24, 2012

The Dapper Dog

Food Truck | Special Event
Moore College of Art & Design

I don't know how many people are familiar with Parking Day, but it occurred all over the world on Friday, including Philadelphia. To celebrate being part of the action, The Galleries at Moore hosted an event focusing on urban greening through a 'parklet' design competition and they invited The Dapper Dog to cater the event.

They're usually posted up at their small, stationary unit at 3rd & Poplar in Northern Liberties on the weekends, but for special occasions, there's a mobile unit that was recently put into action. Owners Harry & Seth:

The truck is outfitted with some fresh, killer artwork by local illustrator, Adam Smith.

For this occasion, they offered three menu items: a Coney dog, a Chicago dog and an Italian sausage. Because it was a catered event, there were no prices - the host set up the contract for 100 dogs and paid the invoice in advance. In order to recoup something, they sold food tickets for the wallet-friendly cost of $3, which got you a dog + drink.

The Chicago dog had fresh tomatoes, relish, pickled sport peppers, chopped red onion, a dill pickle spear and yellow mustard. Although this wasn't truly a classic Chicago dog, it was pretty delicious. It was missing the bright green sweet pickle relish, which lends an extra pop of (fake) color that I love – not to mention that tangy sweet flavor. Also, red onions? They have too much punch when raw, and in this situation, were a bit aggressive.

The buns definitely make their presence known in these constructions, and although they're quite good, it was difficult to get a bite that contained beef AND toppings. It was either one or the other. Maybe splitting & grilling the dogs would have taken care of the distribution issue. That said, all of the ingredients were high quality and well worth the struggle. Next stop, Coney Island.

Sort of. Dapper Dog's take on the Coney consists of an all beef dog, beef chili (Coney sauce), shredded cheddar and sliced green onion.

Again, they're really exercising their artistic liberties in the interpretations, but that makes it interesting, right? I really liked this dog, but it could use some more contrast in textures. Maybe the definitive crunch of chopped onion... but with all of the onion on the Chicago and given the limited menu, I can understand their decision in differentiating the two through varying ingredients.

I had no interest in the Italian sausage, but I'm sure it was also pretty good. All in all, the dogs were definitely dapper in appearance. The consumption part – not so much. Sloppy eating aside, they're tasty and worth consideration, especially for an affordable, catered event when you're looking for a gourmet spin.

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