Trying to find a place for lunch while downtown during this season of tourist and spring/summer events makes it challenging for someone to locate a suitable one and also be able to park their car, but I happened upon a little place on Frazier Avenue called “Good Dog”.
I had heard about it before so I knew this time it wasn’t a place to buy dog biscuits but an actual place to eat.
I must have come through the back from the Coolidge Park area because the doors that I came to made it quite confusing for an old lady.
I first went inside the opened door under the huge “Good Dog” sign – but it was an artsy place. I asked the salesgirl how to get to Good Dog and she told me it was the place next door.
When I left and turned to my right, I passed up the side-by-side door and went to the next door building. It clearly was not what I was looking for, so I saw a man sitting outside in front of the Good Dog sign.
He was taking a smoke break I guess and maybe I disturbed him because he wasn’t very pleasant. I asked him where Good Dog was and he waved his hand to the door I just came from. I said, “I was just there – it is an art place…” He then got testy with me and yelled, “Right there - its right next to it!” I wanted to take my umbrella and hit him over the head! My eyesight isn’t what it used to be – he could have been a little nicer. I’m sure if I had come to the front, it would have been easier.
I went inside the correct door and walked up the steps to the eatery. It was open and “old lady friendly”, signs telling you to order at the counter (I always like when they tell you what you need to do).
I grabbed a menu while waiting to place my order and saw that this “dog place” had quite a bit to choose from. I had no idea that you could do a dog so many ways! A Chicago dog! A New York Dog! Carolina, Philly, even a Dutch Dog! I honestly thought I would need to eat one every day to satisfy my curiosity.
I chose the ‘Simply GOOD’ Italian dog.
It had mild or hot Italian sausage, grilled peppers, onions and fresh tomatoes. There was a glass cake holder with cupcakes just staring at me. I believed that I better try one of those as well so I decided that I would not get the fries. “Just a dog and one of those mini-cupcakes,” I said. When I saw that they cut their own potatoes and saw that they had small sizes… I told the sweet girl at the counter to go ahead and add the fries.
She showed me about five or six different sizes pointing at triangles taped to the stove hood. I chose the “kiddie size”. I was told it would be about 20 minutes – as if that were a long wait. It would take me that long to make one myself at home and I don’t even have other customers. I grabbed one of their magazines in a display case to read while I waited.
I had asked for a to-go menu but they didn’t have one. They told me I could go online for their menu. At my age, I am online savvy, but some of my friends aren’t – it would have been nice to have a menu to take home to share. That would be the only thing I would change – the rest of my experience was fabulous (except for the crotchety old man outside).
There were many children inside – it was very kid friendly. It was fun to watch them. A few sat at the bar – reminded me of an old soda shop. The girl who took my order thought I wanted it to go, so she called me up to the counter – when I said I was eating in – she quickly made the changes but I grabbed my food so she wouldn’t have to bring it to my table. She handed me my tray and then my fries – which were in a paper cone.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them and when I got back to my table I noticed the pine holes in my table right away! How clever. I placed the cone inside the hole hoping that I was right and that was what it was for. Guess you CAN teach an old ‘dog’ a new trick! The Italian sausage dog was so enjoyable and I am not too fond of many sausages… but it was delicious!
When I grabbed for the ketchup bottle, I only saw a red sauce that looked like ketchup – I didn’t read it until it came out of the bottle with a different consistency than I was used to. It read, “Good Dog Curry Ketchup - Yeppers, we made it!” How nice! It was so good to see this little eatery use so many natural ingredients and to use ingredients from local farms. Made me feel good to know what I was eating.
I looked at the other bottles on the table. I added their own honey mustard sauce to my dog and then I spied the “wasabi ketchup” that they made! That was right up my alley! I love spicy – so I tried it on my fries and I have to say – it was the best ketchup I have ever tasted. I would love to have bought a bottle for my house! The server came by and asked how everything was just as I had tried it so I told her that ‘I loved the ketchup’. She told me they wash ketchup bottles each day and it’s always fresh. You just don’t get that at other places.
My “kiddo-sized” fries were still too much to eat. I couldn’t finish them – but I noticed that they were fresh potatoes and not greasy. I even checked out the paper cone and there were no greasy spots on the paper! Time for my little desert. There was no way I could have had a regular size muffin. But oh the big flavor in that mini muffin! The icing was made of honey from a local place called Salecreek Honey Company. It was a peach muffin. The flavors were harmonious together!
My ‘Simply Good’ Italian dog, with non-greasy fries and the mini muffin with a drink cost $16.77. That is more than I would spend on a regular hot dog meal plus dessert - but for the service, the home goodness of Chattanooga and the flavors that come with that goodness made right here – I would definitely eat there again!