Given that Melbourne has been completely saturated with American-style food, it was only a matter of time before we jumped on the bandwagon. No, not tacos; the theme of the day is hot dogs.
1. Snag Stand, Melbourne Central
The first time we sampled Snag Stand’s gourmet ‘haute dogs’ was at Westfield Sydney… and it was awesome. So despite having to catch a tram to get there during lunch break, we had to try out the branch at Melbourne Central. Located right on the corner of Latrobe and Swanston St, the tiny shopfront is definitely more suited for grabbing a take-away dog, but there is limited outdoor seating in the form of cheery, bright yellow stools with a couple of matching tables for those looking for a bit of fresh air.
Time was limited, so I defaulted to one of the classics; the Backyarder, with a juicy beef sausage smothered in sweet, smoky Coopers Ale BBQ sauce, tangy slaw and crumbly cheddar.
For S, the American classic; wood-smoked frankfurter, mustard and tomato sauce, with sweet relish for a bit of a twist. Normally served on brioche (divine, buttery goodness) but she was able to get a gluten-free roll.
We also had a side order of perfectly cooked, golden fries, with a mild curry ketchup.
With a tonne of different options under $10, can’t really go wrong here.
2. Dog Nation
When one of our regular coffee-spots started serving up gourmet hot dogs, it didn’t take a lot of convincing to get the gang together for a lunch-time run to Guava Bean. Thankfully, a group decision was made to get there before the mad Freshwater Place lunch rush, and we were able to avoid the massive queue that formed right on 12pm.
The menu is simple; 5 dogs for 5 nations, including a Tokyo, London, Berlin, Mexico City and our very own Melbourne dog.
We had two takers for the Berlin Dog; German bratwurst sausage, with sauerkraut, onion and German mustard.
Next up was the Mexico City Chilli Dog; a Mexican beef, pork and bean sausage, with spicy chilli con carne, cheese and jalapenos.
I had to go with the Tokyo Dog; seaweed-wrapped pork and beef sausage, with miso mushrooms, wasabi Kewpie mayo, okonomiyaki sauce and nori flakes.
If coffee with a hot dog is a bit too weird, there are also ‘drinks of all nations’ to pair with your lunch, including Japanese Ramune, German Bionade and Mexican Jarritos.
Thumbs up from the whole group for the juicy snags, good proportion of sauce/sausage/bread and a pretty cool way for re-inventing classic, recognisable flavours. For those who like a bit of wasabi, I definitely recommend that Tokyo Dog.