Hours: Lunch, dinner: seven days
Open late: Friday & Saturday till midnight
BYO gourmet hot dog stand from Dion Antic.
Located in the space that used to house restaurateur Dion Antic's Bagel on Damen, the Haute & the Dog is refreshingly free of the stripper pole and other trappings found at his last foray into creative wieners, the short-lived Rockstar Dogs. The menu shows less restraint: there's a bacon-wrapped dog, one topped with barbecue pork, another smothered in mac 'n' cheese, and the menu specifies that all of the dogs are "jumbo." Of course, there are things that sound less gruesome—a classic Chicago dog, an all-natural German sausage with sauerkraut and mustard, a chicken sausage with Gouda and apples—but I have a passive suicidal streak. I ordered both the green-chile mac 'n' cheese dog and the bacon-wrapped dog with poblano relish, onions, and cheddar, and a side of baked beans. The last were good—a little soupy, but made with three different kinds of beans and packed with smoky bits of pork. The bacon dog was a lot less horrifying than I'd imagined, though the DayGlo zip of yellow mustard overpowered all of the other nice things (poblano-jalepeño "relish," a pimento-ish spreadable cheese) that were happening. The mac 'n' cheese dog was surprisingly fun, the bland-by-itself macaroni a creamy backdrop to the salty dog. And nothing on the menu is more than $5 (the mac 'n' cheese dog is only $4, and it basically comes with a side item that lives on top of it). No, it's not Hot Doug's, a complaint so guaranteed it makes Antic look like a masochist. But eventually we have to get used to the fact that there can only be one.