Thursday, July 31, 2014

No Chance of Ending Up in the Doghouse After Eating Here

Dog Haus
105 N. Hill Ave. #104
Pasadena, CA 91106

Now that I'm engaged, there's so much stuff to do. For the most part I leave almost everything up to Katie and her family. Not that I don't care about stuff, but I'd just assume get married at the courthouse, or Vegas, but those ideas did not fly. So here we are having a large wedding, and getting farther and farther behind in planning it. My job right now for the most part has been to ask my five friends to be my groomsmen. I'm doing this all in person, so that's what brought us up to Pasadena on this afternoon.

The friend that I have known the longest, since kindergarten, is Ed, and he recently moved back here from the East Coast. I'm real glad he's a lot closer, but I'm also glad he moved to Pasadena, which has some pretty good restaurants. Might as well get some blogging done while we are up here, right? I had never heard of Dog Haus before, but they started following me on Twitter a few months ago, and it piqued my interest. After checking out their website, I liked what I saw, and I knew we would hit this restaurant up eventually, and that time is now.

Dog Haus first opened in Pasadena in 2010, and just four years later they now have four locations running, with four more coming soon, including one in our own backyard, at Main Place Mall in Santa Ana. From what I can gather, a group of three friends opened this place, which offers 100 percent all beef skinless hot dogs, sausages, and black Angus burgers all served on King's Hawaiian rolls. They have a very aggressive franchise plan with 51 planned locations on the horizon, with some of those being in Utah and Colorado. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to eat here, and I guess to also ask Ed to be in my wedding. Let's see how everything worked out for us at Dog Haus.

We'll start with the man of the hour, Ed. He's a pretty light eater, so he just had the Frickin Chicken ($6.99). This was off of their sausage portion of the menu. This starts with a chicken sausage, house made marinara, melted mozzarella, and a basil leaf, which you can not see in this picture. Kind of an Italian sausage sandwich feel to it. Ed liked this sausage, and finished it with no problem.

Dog Haus has a great option for those that do not want a full sized hot dog, like Katie. This Hot Dog Slider ($1.69) was about a fourth of the regular size, and topped with cheese sauce and bacon. Of course this is not for everyone, as I could have finished this all in one bite, but Katie was happy with this slider.

Not the most photogenic burger shot of all time, Katie's main meal was this Little Mule Burger ($6.99). This burger comes on a King's Hawaiian Bread bun, then is topped with fried egg, pepper jack cheese, tomatillo sauce, cilantro aioli, and sliced avocado. Usually Katie likes a simpler burger, and she liked this burger, but felt it was a little too rich. The beef got a little lost here with all of these toppings. The Hawaiian roll bun was a real highlight for Katie. She'd definitely go with a simpler burger on her next visit to Dog Haus.

Katie must have been real hungry on this afternoon, as she also had these Cheese Fries ($2.99). The fries here were just okay, and I was not really a big fan of their cheese sauce. It was a little too runny, and I'd rather have grated cheese melted on top of my fries. Not my favorite side item at Dog Haus.

These Tater Tots ($1.99) were much more to my liking. Tater tots always remind me of being a kid, and having these at school. These were way better than the soggy ones we had in our school cafeteria. They had a good crunch to the outside, and the soft potato inside made these a winner. Hopefully tater tots are making a comeback, and will be featured on more menus.

I admit that I went a little overboard here, because I did not know when I was going to come back, and there were so many things I wanted to try on their menu. The first of my three things to have was this Little Leaguer Hot Dog ($5.99). Kind of like a Frito pie on a hot dog. The all beef hot dog is topped with chili, shredded cheddar cheese, onion, and Frito's. This hot dog was pretty killer. The chili was good, but not a spicy chili. Good consistency, it added some moisture to this. I kind of missed the snap of the hot dog, but with everything else going on here, it made up for it. I also appreciated that the bun was toasted. Really a solid chili cheese dog.

In retrospect, I should have probably tried one of their sausages, but this Old Town Dog ($5.99) really caught my attention. It starts with a bacon wrapped hot dog, then caramelized onions, sauteed jalapenos, chipotle mayo, and cotija cheese are added. Really big flavors here. The bacon wrapped hot dog added a salty element, while the jalapenos and mayo added a bit of spice. The sweetness of the onion tried to balance things out. A good hot dog, but a little overshadowed by the toppings.

The last of my Dog Haus trifecta was the Holy Aioli Burger ($6.99). Now this was a rich burger. Smoked bacon, white American cheese, caramelized onions, and just for good measure, some garlic aioli is included. A really strong burger. I liked the meatiness of the beef, the aioli was not slathered on, but there was enough of it on there that you could taste it, and the sweet bun helped break up the saltiness a bit.

Needless to say, I was pretty happy that Dog Haus started following me on Twitter, because it got me in here to try them out, and learn that they are coming to OC soon. I liked everything I had, even though I kind of overindulged. When they open up closer to us, I will have a little more self control. I felt that the toppings on the hot dogs over shadowed the hot dog itself, and I think I might have even enjoyed their burgers a little bit better than their hot dogs. This is more of a casual spot, so service was not an issue, but it did take awhile for the food to get ready, but that just insured that it was freshly made. Can't wait for Dog Haus to open at Main Place, it will help fill the void of the departure of Pee Wee's Hot Dogs and Game Day Hot Dogs in Orange, which both shuttered last year. Oh yeah, and for the record, Ed said yes to being in my wedding, so, that's one thing I can cross off of my list, so now we're making progress.

Out of five huskies, (because my beloved University of Washington Huskies have played in the Rose Bowl more than any other college that has a dog mascot), five being best to zero being worst, Dog Haus gets 3.5 huskies.

For more information about Dog Haus, go to their website here:

Dog Haus on Urbanspoon

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