Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dognation, Melbourne CBD by Big Fil

Dognation appears to have very rapidly become a bit of a foodie favourite. It ticks a lot of the boxes – it's small, new, unusual and, if you didn’t know it was there you’d be unlikely to come across it by accident.

Actually it’s one of the smallest hole in the wall style places I’ve seen, the sort of place that makes an actual hole in the wall look spacious. It’s mainly oriented for takeaway too with only one small table in front. Located in a laneway it still manages to generate a surprising amount of atmosphere, mainly I suspect because of one of the friendliest and most vivacious hot dog sellers I’ve come across.

One thing though where I think it’s a bit misleading. I don’t consider what they sell as hot dogs. To me eating a hot dog is like eating a condom filled with unidentifiable bits of what can only be hoped is fresh meat. On a good day you can hope for hoof or snout, on a bad one I don’t even want to think about it. Instead of being about the meat it’s more about the toppings served with the hotdog. Dognation certainly serves good and unusual toppings but more importantly it uses much higher quality sausages, to the extent I think it’s more accurate to describe them as gourmet sausage buns rather than hotdogs.

Given the small size of the cooking area it shouldn’t be any surprise that only five options are offered. What is more of a surprise was that I wanted to try all five of them. However, given the limits of a belt with only so many notches I decided to go with the London, a variation on the classic sausage with mushy peas, mashed potato and gravy. Have to say that I loved it. I mean, take a classic recipe, use decent ingredients, put it in a good bun and voila, potential fast food classic. Good texture, great flavours and avoided that dread fast food ambush of too much liquid resulting in gravy/sauce running down your arm.

Snooze though was in a more patriotic mood and headed for a Melbourne Dog. The ingredients brought a classic New York hot dog to mind but far outstripped her usual expectations using a substantial sausage, good quality bread and topped with masses of grated cheese, onion, tomato sauce and mustard. Both a winner and a serious stomach filler.


It’s fast food Jim but not as we know it. A little more expensive than your typical hot dog but you're only paying a small price for a much higher quality option. And what’s more a second shop appears to have opened on the corner of Little Collins and Russell.

Food – 8
Ambience – 7.5 (if you can get the table)
Service – 8
Price – 7.5

Shop 2, The Causeway
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: 0423 083 287

Dognation on Urbanspoon


Bureaucrat said...

interesting post, big fil. but it begs a question... and at the same time, it has made me see you in a whole different light.

Anonymous said...

The answer is I have a good imagination. Fil

Bureaucrat said...

you'll understand if i don't believe you? ;)

ming said...

Haha, ambience 7.5 (if you can get the table) made me laugh :) I have to agree with you though, it's surprisingly nice if you do manage to get it.

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