We’ve been packing on the pounds this summer.
And by summer, I mean that sauna-like series of months between Mother’s Day and the technical first day of fall, September 22. In fact, in just the last few weeks we’ve chowed down at Pi Pizza, double scooped at Amorino, tested our skills at making the perfect burger (Hunky Dory-style) and continued our BBQ Beat at The Pit Room, which opened just a few blocks away from our address. We will consider installing a treadmill in our office soon.
So should we have been so antsy – driving by daily, checking their Twitter account – about Good Dog Houston‘s Montrose location opening? We didn’t need another reason to overindulge, but Good Dog has been one of our favorite spots since opening a brick and mortar in The Heights in 2014. And now that the 1312 West Alabama location is open and within walking distance of My Table headquarters, we’ll be sprinting there often. (Just kidding about the sprinting bit.)
Anything new at Good Dog’s Montrose location? Right now, the menus are largely the same, with the exception of a few items like onion rings (a fryer in the new location makes that possible). Owners Amalia Pferd and Daniel Caballero tell us that they’re incorporating seasonal ingredients grown in the Plant It Forward garden just across the street, such as the grilled squash in the Summer Thyme Panzanella salad ($11). Another non-weiner menu item, the Holy Smoked Hot Wings with house-made ranch dressing ($9) were a dish we tried that we hadn’t dabbled in at The Heights location, mostly because hot dog cravings beckoned us there.
When we visited earlier this week, we ordered a steadfast favorite – the chocolate rocky road milkshake ($6.50) and two hot dogs: the special-of-the-day Popeye ($7.50 – think spinach dip and parmesan) and the Sunshine dog ($7.50, pickled red onions, fresh dill relish and cream cheese, photo below). We sat at the well-stocked bar of the restaurant, which was previously Brick & Spoon and before that, Bocados.
As it turns out, Pferd and Caballero met years ago while working at Chatter’s, the bistro on South Heights, near Washington. Caballero’s father was a restaurateur in South Texas – that’s where the Ol’ Zapata hot dog name and inspiration come from – and Pferd’s culinary roots stem from her family as well. The signature house-made fizzy mint limeade and pickles were passed along from her grandmother. When I asked the couple if they imagined themselves “slinging fancy hot dogs” years ago when they were kids, they both answered yes. In Caballero’s case, the industry kept pulling him back in – Pferd jumped in willingly after studying culinary arts.
The new restaurant, just like their Heights location, was originally a house. They’ve kept the look of the space very homey, even preserving the gas-burning fireplace that mixes well with their custom-made modern picnic bench in the main dining room. The front deck has been updated, and the back patio is an ideal spot for larger groups and watch parties. (They intend to use a projector to show games and films in the future.)
If you’ve looked for a Montrose-area restaurant that is child-friendly, you’ll note that there isn’t much selection in the neighborhood. Good Dog caters to families and continues to offer vegetarian hot dogs and dishes for non-carnivore members of your group. If you’re interested in their grand opening on October 15 — Olive Oil, the canine “owner” of Good Dog will make a special appearance, and there will be live music and more — keep your eyes on their Facebook page for event details.
Good Dog Hot Dog – Montrose location, 1312 West Alabama bet. Graustark & Yupon, 346-800-DOGS(3647), gooddoghouston.com