Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bo-Dogs Food Review

Look who's finally getting some love? The everyday hot dog takes center stage at Bo-Dogs, appropriately nestled inside Penn Quarter's unofficial theater district. Is it worthy of the spotlight? At four bucks a pop, it's a stretch; but one thing's for sure, a visit here won't break the bank (unlike the majority of nearby restaurants.) Plus, it's a lot more fun to chow down on burgers and dogs... than a $20 bowl of pasta, wouldn't you agree?

It looks a lot bigger from the outside, where bold red signage grabs your attention from the busy corner of 7th & E Street. Bo-Dogs even has outdoor seating (for warmer weather dining.) Once you come inside however, the real estate shrinks considerably. It's a relatively tiny space with room for a line of hungry people, and a narrow counter that fits half-a-dozen folks comfortably. The color theme... black & red, reminded me of a checkers board; and there's a large Michael Jordan (why not Bo Jackson?) art print against the back wall. SiriusXM's 70's on 7 music plays at a nice decibel overhead.


I stopped by around 11:30 AM (they open at 7 during the week) hoping to beat the lunch rush. Success! When I arrived, there was only one other person eating here (that changes soon enough, trust me.) Bo-Dogs' friendly grill man took my order for a Bo-Dog and Bo-Burger ($4 each) with a side of fries ($3.50) and a fountain drink (Fanta Orange.) Everything's cooked to order, but I'd hate to be the cook when it gets busy... It's a tight fit back there.

Kudos to the chef, who clearly takes pride in his work. That said, it's burgers & dogs; so don't get too excited, but still. Food is presented stacked in a cute box, and looks delicious. But does it pass muster the mustard?


The Bo-Dog is surprisingly rich in flavor, butterflied with a simple dressing of ketchup (take that Chicago) and mustard. It's a bit small for the price; but if you grilled the bun, I might just love it. Nice zip. Unfortunately the burger fails to keep pace, tucked inside a cold potato bun (they need a bigger grill... for the buns alone.) The 100% Glatt Kosher-beef quarter-pounder's taste can best be described as strange. Not off, mind you... just different. I wouldn't order it again; although I like the fact that toppings are placed under the patty, instead of on top.

Far as I can tell, the best item on the menu is the fries. That might explain why they jump from $2 (their listed price on the website) to $3.50 in house. Don't get me wrong, they might just be worth it... especially when dipped in Bo-Dogs' special Bo-Sauce (a ketchup-mayo blend.) I'm also a big fan of crinkle cuts, so there.

French Fries with Bo-Sauce

Other items on the menu include Steak Sandwiches, Corn on the Cob and Potato Knishes... quite a mix, no? It's only been open for just over three months, so there's still time to work out the kinks (grill the buns!) but there's a great deal of potential (bo-tential?) especially at this price point. The two-man crew works well together, and both possess strong customer service skills. Dog lovers rejoice.

Atmosphere: B- (It's a tight fit, but grill man makes dining-in close to a joy.)
Burger: D- (Not my cup of tea beef.)
Hot Dog: B (Nice taste, but pricey at $4. Also, please grill the buns!)
Fries: B (They'd taste a lot better at $2, not $3.50)
Price: C- (Sorry Bo-Dogs, prices could/should be lower.)
Overall: C+ (Bad burger and at these prices, food has to be perfect each time.)