At Dogtown, it’s all about dogsDogtown
691 Monroe Ave. | 585-271-6620
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- The Junkyard Plate from Dogtown.
Owner Fran Basile had a simple idea — serve a variety of regional takes on the humble frankfurter. Take, for example, the Cincinnati Red Dog. It is an homage to Cincy topped with cheddar and a Cincinnati-style chili, much akin to Rochester’s venerated meat hot.
That concept quickly snowballed into 18 varieties of hot dog. There are the Hawaiian Poi, topped with pineapple, barbecue sauce, and bacon; the Fido Castro, a weiner-fied take on a Cuban sandwich; and the Chihuahua, topped with cilantro-lime sour cream, roasted corn, and black beans.
There’s an obvious pattern to the names of the dishes, and the decor inside Dogtown is even less subtle. Virtually every square-inch of wall space is adorned with photos of customers with their dogs.
“It’s unique,” Basile said. “When we opened, there was not any place that had this variety of toppings and this variety of hot dogs. And then, the quality and price.”
The foundation of every Dogtown dog is a Zweigle’s hot and a split piece of French bread in place of the traditional bun.
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Then there’s the Junkyard Plate. There’s a reason Dogtown consistently wins best plate, and why any Rochesterian worth their salt sends visitors to Dogtown for their first plate experience. A good plate is, despite common misconception, not a jumbled mess of greasy foods heaped onto a plate, but an array of textures, flavors, and temperatures balanced delicately inside a Styrofoam carry-out container.
The Junkyard Plate is a mashup of perfectly fried potatoes, flavorful macaroni salad, and a thin, liberally spiced meat hot that drapes every bit of the box. It’s crispy, starchy, spicy, salty, hot, and cold all at once, as a good plate should be.
Basile believes Dogtown’s menu, and the fanfare it receives, speaks for itself.
“We don’t spend any money on advertising, we just concentrate on putting a quality product out with quality service,” Basile said. “We’re built up through word of mouth.” — GINO FANELLI
Best “Plate” Finalists: Charlie Riedel’s Restaurant | Nick Tahou Hots | Jimmy Z’s Plates & Shakes