Friday 8 April 2016

Restaurant Review: Dog Eat Dog, Islington

Working late in Islington one night I didn't leave the office until nearly 9pm and knew I couldn't wait until I got home (nearly two hours as I wasn't in my regular office) to have dinner and didn't really fancy what I knew was on offer at the train station.

I'd earlier spotted a new restaurant just a few doors down from the office I was in (I go there once a month and this place wasn't there last time) called Dog Eat Dog - a fast casual hot dog restaurant. I'd wanted to go to Bubbledogs for ages after it opened as I loved the idea of gourmet hotdogs, but the only time I was in the area, the queue was out the door (they didn't take bookings) so I decided not to bother.

So when I was leaving the office in Islington - not my usual place of work, as I was spending the day with an agency - and saw Dog Eat Dog I decided to go in for a quick bite. I ordered at the counter and sat at a high table on a stool - I think there were booths too but it seemed the sort of place you'd have a quick meal or go for a drink with friends. Dog Eat Dog is owned by bar chain Brewdog and offers craft beers alongside the hot dogs, but as well as the extensive drinks menu one of their USPs is that they source a lot of their ingredients (including the meat and the bread rolls) from local London suppliers.

This is definitely casual dining – the hotdogs are served in cardboard boxes – but they have more than a casual approach to the menu. Flavour pairings seem well thought out and quite adventurous – for example, Voodoo Cajun sausage with pineapple salsa and spicy mustard, or Tandoori chicken dog with mango chutney and mint raita.
I had the former, but it was a bit too spicy for me. The hotdog had so many toppings that it was pretty hard to eat and I had to scrape some of it off, and then the bread roll started to break down so I had pieces of bread coming off. It ended up falling apart and I got quite messy!
It wasn't something I'd eat again mainly because the Cajun sausage was a bit too spicy but I thought it was a really good concept - so I'm surprised that in the couple of months it's taken me to post this review, Dog Eat Dog seems to have closed down. There's talk online that it's a temporary closure while they "re-evaluate the concept" but it's been a while now. I did ask Brewdog on Twitter if it had closed but I haven't had a response yet, so if anyone knows I'd like to find out!

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