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.


  1. They need to work on service? You need to work on writing blogs & don't get all self important because you work in a shitty admin job and now you want to write a mediocre food blog in your spare time. Have you worked in the industry, do you know how service works? Doubt it!!

    1. A) I don't work in admin.
      B) Yes I have worked in the industry, altough it's not what I do now.
      C) This is a blog, it's subjective, it's my opinion.
      D) It's up to me what I do in my spare time and I happen to like writing a mediocre food blog, thanks.

      I'm sorry you don't like my blog, however the internet is a big place, so I'm sure you will find something you do like. Hope you find what you're looking for.

  2. I really hope anonymous isn't affiliated with Dirty Dogs! I missed this despite living round the corner, shame, sounded good Sarah!

    1. Shame you missed it, they were lush. That's my first 'troll' - shame they didn't put their name up!

    2. certainly wasnt one of us, we were more than happy with your blog and glad we left you gagging for more

  3. Hey 'Anonymous',

    Does it make you feel better about yourself to hide behind your keyboard making snarky comments to people you clearly know nothing about?

    I happen to think this is an excellent blog and it has given me some great tips on places to get good food over the last couple of years. No-one is forcing you to read it, so if you believe it to be so mediocre, why are you even here?

    Sarah- thank you for this review. I'm really looking forward to trying one of these!

    1. Thanks Natasha - that's my first 'troll' - ah well, plenty more blogs for them to go and read hey?

      Glad you enjoy the blog and it's been useful to you - keep checking back for more tasty treats, and there'll be a bit of a blog overhaul in the next few weeks (fingers crossed!).

  4. Hahah. Trolls are stupid.

    I wish I lived in Manchester. I need to get a Dirty Dog in my face as soon as possible.


  5. They do move around and often go to food festivals, so keep an eye on their Twitter (or just ask them to rock up round yours?!). Hope you manage to track one down as they were scrumptious.


    Ps Yes I totally agree about trolls!