Saturday, 4 August 2012

Dirty Dogs are Hot - Port Street Beer House, Manchester

Who doesn't like a gob full of sausage? I'm one who can't complain when offered a mouthful of meat, so when I heard a pair of plucky food lovers were bringing their take on American style hotdogs to one of my favourite beer haunts I just had to go and see what all the fuss was about.

Dirty Dogs have a passion for good hotdogs; seeing that no one else was selling them in Manchester and feeling some love for the whole 'street food/pop up' scene, they've decided to give it a go. They also got a mission - feeling that hotdogs in this country give this American institution a bad name, they're determined to save us from a surfeit of substandard sausages.

Me and the poster lady; total sausage lovin'

Set up in the back yard of Port Street Beer House, the smell of cooking hotdogs and sweet, sizzling onions hung heavy in the air. We got there pretty early having been tipped off that there was a limited number available - good thing, the queue was already out the door.

Sausage fest

Opting for the night's special, The Port Street; a Barbakan bun was loaded up with sweet onions, a massive smoked Polish sausage, topped with IPA soaked sauerkraut and all cut thorough with lashings of dijon. The sausage was enormous and I had trouble fitting it in to my eagerly awaiting lips (yeah, I just had to get some smut it) - the flavours all worked supremely well - smokey sweetness cut through by the tangy sauerkraut and all pepped up with generous amounts dijon.

Smoked polish sausage with IPA soaked sauerkraut

We also tried the Dirty South - pork frank on red cabbage slaw all smothered in pulled pork and BBQ sauce; yup, that's pork on pork baby. The frank for this dog was smaller than the smoked sausage, but had a good bite, a sweet/salty taste and was not too fatty, which was a major plus. The pulled pork was a tad dry, but these guys were cooking on hot plate in beer garden - and this was 100% better than anything I've had in a similar setting.

Pork on pork loving with the Dirty South

The dogs ran out quickly, the topping quicker; fellow blogger Mangechester was left with a pork frank with an extremely arty lattice of ketchup and mustard. Nice, but certainly no cigar.

Dirty Dogs have started small; they're concentrating on getting the recipes just right, securing spot on suppliers and making sure they can please the crowds - they're well on their way to doing just that. There's a few things they need to pull up on; they're quite slow on the hot plate, they need to work out how many toppings they bring and that pulled pork needs work. But for a fiver, you get a big, tasty mouthful and I haven't had a better bit of sausage than this in my mouth round the back of a pub before.

There's the whole argument that this just jumps on the current trend for American fast food, tarted up and served street side - yeah maybe, but this being Manchester we don't have that much street food as we're ten steps/years behind London. Doesn't matter if it's on trend at the moment; Dirty Dogs' hotdogs taste good and I don't care if it's so now, so last week, or if it was never in anyway - the food tasted good and that's all I care about.

Where can you catch them? Check out their Twitter feed and hopefully you'll be able to take part in some hot sausage action; I know I'm certainly gagging for more.