The large bar–restaurant Destination Dogs, named for its breadth of wieners, sausages, hot dogs and veggie dogs from the US and from around the world is a phenomenal spot to hit up after work for some drinks and a dog. Its new Philadelphia location is its first expansion from its original New Brunswick, NJ location, and the restaurant not only serves adventurous wieners, but also has awesome specialty cocktails and a good variety of arcade games to steal your quarters for when you’ve had one too many of said cocktails. Be sure to show up with an empty stomach—each dog ranges from $7–12 and is topped with ample ingredients. The appetizer menu and sides are not excessive, but the dogs menu has nearly 40 different hot dog–style dishes inspired by states across the US and international destinations. The restaurant may not be the most sustainable by the time another economic decline comes around, but for now, it’s a delightful joint to go to for a massive lunch or dinner.
THE PRETZEL ($5.50):
The classic Philadelphia snack just didn’t blow me away. Had I purchased it from a vendor on 11th and Walnut streets where Dogs is located, I would’ve been dazzled. The restaurant–style pretzel was not anything special, but definitely a great way to break up the drinking that’s bound to happen at this place. It was quite salty, though, and the side of artificial cheese was much more notable than the side of spicy mustard—but both delivered some much–needed flavor.
THE HEBREW HAMMER DOG ($6.50):
Had to return to my roots on this one, and the all–beef kosher dog certainly did my Jewish heritage justice. Topped with mini latkes, grilled onions and spicy brown mustard, the hot dog smelled and tasted like a Mets game in summer mixed with a Hanukkah celebration in winter. It was a tad salty, but that’s to be expected with any dog, especially a kosher one. Much tastier than Hebrew National with an even greater snap in every bite. Unfortunately, I dropped the dog on my lap and went home with mustard stains on my dress. Worth it. Geshmak (Ed. note: Apparently this means delicious but I may be the only person at Penn who didn’t know that), as they say.
THE POI BOY DOG ($9):
One of the better culinary experiences I’d had in awhile. The Hawaiian–themed wild boar sausage was topped with a super–sweet teriyaki sauce, pineapple relish and Dijon honey mustard, plus extra meat in the form of pork belly. The relish is not aptly named, as it was more like a pineapple chutney— reminiscent of a Thanksgiving style cranberry sauce alongside a savory meat. All the buns are custom–baked to accommodate the heavy or light aspects of each dog. This particular bun was buttery and rich, holding all of its contents in place. A deep contrast from the previous Kosher dog, but delectable nonetheless.
THE CLEO MCDOWELL DOG ($7.50):
A slight adaptation of a classic ballpark frank. It had a combination of cheese sauce, slaw and onions. The variety of textures and flavors were abundant and delightful. The bun on this one was a bit more toasted and delivered a great crunch to contrast with the soft ingredients of the dog. the classic wiener-style dog was just what the doctor ordered. Definitely go for this one if you're not into adventurous dogs–like the python or kangaroo meat options.
LE POUTINE DOG ($10):
An onslaught of the old–time ultimate comfort food, Poutine (Le Poutine, for those less familiar). It was a gluttonous combination of duck sausage, rich brown gravy, French fries and cheese curd. By far the richest dog I ordered, and I barely made it through. Not one to be called a quitter, however, I soldiered on and ate every last morsel. Poutine, a dish native to Quebec, is typically just fries, gravy and cheese with the occasional addition of beef. I guess our Canadian neighbors have more to offer than just Drake and Bieber.