Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Now Open: Tot Dogs from Lucy Blue's

I checked out downtown Cincinnati's newest purveyor of upscale hot dogs at lunch Tuesday. From the owner of Lucy Blue's Pizza, it's called Tot Dog and tucked into a tiny storefront at 634 Vine Street. So small, in fact, there's no room for dine-in seating. So plan accordingly to sample their take-out-only offerings.

The emphasis is on a variety of hot dogs and sausages. This week's featured specialty dog (called Best in Show – get it?) is an apple chardonnay chicken sausage with smoked gouda and blackberry mustard. With visions of Hot Doug's dancing in my head, I ordered it almost without looking at the rest of the menu, and enjoyed the unexpected combination.

In addition to more familiar options like brats, metts, Italian sausage, and Andouille, Tot Dogs plans to feature game sausages (including venison and rabbit) as well as seafood and salmon dogs. An array of toppings and sides are also available. The owner told me he sources locally when possible and turns to reputable distributors for some of the more exotic sausages. He also makes some of the condiments and sides himself, including the Asian slaw. Here's my slightly wrinkled copy of the current menu.

The Tot Dogs website hasn't gone live yet (the owner is still fine-tuning the menu). But you'll be able to find it here, and can go ahead and sign up for the email list.

Tot Dogs is near the southeast corner of 7th and Vine, just north of Turquoise. I'm telling you this because, even armed with the address, I somehow walked right past it the first time. Until they get larger signage in the window (it's coming soon), keep an eye out for these brightly colored curtains.
And this plaid-clad dachsund logo.

Forgot to mention when I first hit publish, but Tot Dogs is currently open only for lunch. They would like to do breakfast eventually and are definitely planning to be open late night, as their sister store, Lucy Blue's Pizza, is.


Boxer said...

Seafood dog? Oh. Hello.

So sorry they're not in Seattle.

Nice review I wish them well and hope they're new business thrives!

Mike Rudd aka @marketingmiker said...

Looks tasty!! We have Dirty Frank's up in Columbus...very similar only they have dine in and a very small bar should try it next time you are up here...great eats!

Buzz Kill said...

I like the fact that they don't have fries on the menu. Looks like a "healthier" bunch of dogs. Game sausage dogs sound interesting but not the seafood ones. You'll have to let us know when buffalo dogs (won't you) come out (tonight).

We had a chain open up about 6 months ago called Cool Dog Cafe.

I ate there once and didn't go back. It was OK - and that's it.

Diana said...

I like the combination you had, that sounds like an almost upscale hotdog.

Sarah said...

I just had this for lunch with a side of Asian slaw, and holy mole was it good! This just might be the best thing to ever happen to a bun.

Anonymous said...

hopefully this will help the people of Cincinnati realize that places don't need to charge 9 or 10 dollars for a hot dog.