Friday, July 26, 2013

"Craft Hotdoggery" abounds at Hotshots

UPDATE: HotShots has since closed.

With all the hoopla of late over Hotshots – the "craft hotdoggery" recently opened by Cafe di Scala owner Tony Lemmo and businessman James Bruton – I had to make a visit.

Hotshots tricked out chili dog, the Steve McQueen, offers an all-meat Cincinnati chili with a chili powder influence, plus shredded cheddar, diced onion and tomato, cilantro, sour cream, and fried rice noodles atop a meaty beef frank. The chili is quite moist and flavorful, but for me its the cilantro that rocks this dog.

The Evel Knievel, built on a lengthwise cut-in-half andouille link, sports buffalo sauce, sauerkraut, blue cheese crumbles, and chopped South African Peppadew peppers, celery, and scallions. Sweet peppadew and sour kraut marry well with the funky blue cheese. The porky andouille is superb but is a bit overwhelmed by all the other delightful flavors.

The Softail – with a lengthwise cut-in-half kielbasa, caramelized onions, chopped scallions, cream cheese, and diced jalapeño – is nothing short of onion nirvana. Flavorful kielbasa stands out, offering a little skin snap when bitten. Jalapeño lends a light zip, while the cream cheese provides some rich decadence.

The simplest and cheapest dog in the Hotshots lineup is the Cruiser, a beef frank adorned with playful drizzles of ketchup, mustard, and chopped onion. Basic, tasty, kid-friendly.

Beyond the dogs I tried the most popular side served here, the Hotshots-Tots. The deep-fried tater tots are deeply spiced without being too salty. The dipping mayo is quite nice, but I prefer my tots nude.

Hotshots also serves up more creative dogs built on Italian sausage, duck sausage, and an option to swap out your meat with a veggie link. I look forward to trying the latter on a Cruiser soon.

Hotshots Craft Hotdoggery on Urbanspoon

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