DOGS OF THE WEST

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By Angela Watters

The West is the home of the Western Bulldogs and also home to some of the best hot dogs Melbourne has to offer. 

The mention of a new hot dog at a local venue excites me so much, and for the past year I have been eating my way around the selection on offer in the West. 

The following is a guide to some of the best current, local hot dogs that I have personally sampled –

New Dog On The Block Award – Latin Foods and Wines (Maidstone) 

Completo – Frankfurt, tomato, avocado, and mayonnaise. $15.90

The first thing I did when lockdown ended was have lunch at Latin Foods and Wines in their new store in Maidstone

This is without a doubt the greatest and most authentic Latin American food shop in Victoria (big call – but I stand by it!). Their Completo (Spanish for complete) only makes me wish I could find a Chilean, to marry and make me these every day, so I could then be complete.

This is the only hot dog on the Latin Foods menu and it is hidden in the sandwich section. It starts with a soft bun, avocado, mayonnaise, and tomato. There is no doubt this dog is the real classic thing with chips on the side. 

The Original Dog In Town – 8bit (Footscray)

Wonder Boy – Smoked frank, bacon, grilled onions, cheese sauce, BBQ sauce, spring onions. $8.50

It’s hard not to mention the original hip hot dog place in the gentrified West – 8bit. 

Since 2014, 8Bit has had two hot dogs on their menu – Wonder Boy and 8bit Dog. 

As it was a Sunday in lockdown with only UberEATS as an option for food, I was ecstatic to see the long box of the Wonder Boy when it was presented to me out of the paper bag. 

In essence, this hot dog is a classic American dog with all the extras except for preservatives. It is sweet in flavour, and generous in sauces. Can’t go past it for a classic American wiener experience.

Exotic Dog Award – Hot Dog Hustle (Footscray & Braybrook)

The Hustler – Caramelised onions, kewpie, Hustle Mayo, fried shallots, furikake and nori. $ 11.00

The meticulously prepared ‘The Hustler’ by The Hot Dog Hustle

The shear length of time it took me to make it to Hot Dog Hustle was ridiculous, but now my Sunday routine may forever be changed. 

When I first read the menu with their LA x Asian fusion style toppings – I was intrigued to see if it worked. I ordered The Hustler – all my basics requirements (I’m all about the onions and mayo). I sat and watched as my Hustler was assembled. 

The process was mesmerising – each ingredient was meticulously prepared. Furikake and Nori taste excellent as toppings and the location is also ideal, opposite Footscray Railway Station and just next door to Footscray Market – you can’t miss the bright red building. 

And the most important part – all hot dogs are $10 on Sundays – what an amazing ending to any weekend!

The Day After Dog – Piggy Smalls – Burgers & Hot Dogs (Altona)

The Hangover – Pickles, jalapenos, crispy bacon, frank hot sauce laze, pickled onions, melted cheese and American mustard. $16

Sometimes you know exactly what you want to eat and other times you need options. Piggy Smalls offers you choices galore for a personalised hot dog experience. 

The Hangover hot dog gave me all the toppings I need in life to feel like a human again on a rough Sunday, including being able to add more and choose which dog style I wanted – hot dog, beef sausage or cheese kransky. This packs some spice too, with hot sauce and jalapeños but the pickles are what sets this dog apart. 

Highly recommend The Hangover hot dog to bring you back to life!

The Breakfast Dog – Brazilian Taste – Hot Dog (Laverton Market)

Brazilian Stye Hot Dog – Minced beef, mashed potato, vinaigrette, cream cheese, mayonnaise, caramelised onion, corn, sealed with cheese. $12.50

A mammoth meal – The Breakfast Dog by Brazilian Taste

Laverton Market has the best priced hot dogs on offer, with most food outlets selling a hot dog or kransky, $4.00 per hot dog or $6.50 for a kransky! 

The aromas oozing from the different buses turned food trucks, make it hard to hold off buying the first dog you smell (the smells at this market made my mouth water). 

After navigating the M80 roadworks, I navigated my way through the maze of stalls and hordes of personalities to find a recently recommended, Brazilian Taste

This place has one dog on the menu – Brazilian style dog – which comes flat pressed with an eclectic variety of ingredients, sealed with a block of delicious, melted cheese. Only halfway through this dog (which is a mammoth meal) did I realise it also contained mash potatoes (not what I would ever think to add) cream cheese and corn. 

If all Brazilian food comes sealed with cheese, I know exactly where I am heading when the international borders open!

Special Mention – Migrant Coffee Pop Up (West Footscray)

Completo – Sauerkraut, mashed avocados, diced tomatoes, mayonnaise, and salsa Chilena – Chilean Independence Day Special (One Day Only). $14.00 

The Completos, Migrant Coffee’s Chilena Independence day celebration

Usually a hip bagel and coffee shop, Migrant Coffee hosted a one day only Completos event in recognition of Chilean Independence Day. 

Their Completos had soft yet slightly crispy rolls with just the right amount of toppings. They also made vegan based hot dogs which were excellent too. 

And lucky for me, they were selling signature t-shirts with the exact ingredient list on them in case I ever want to make my own! 

I have all my fingers and toes crossed this one day only event will be repeated in 2022.

 

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