I figured there was no better time to legitimately say something like that than your birthday. (Do you know of any other more obvious reminder of celebrating the mere fact that you’re still alive?) Plus, I hadn’t posted since November 2011. That was almost 9 months ago, so it’s actually kinda necessary.
Now that that’s out of the way though, I want to talk about one of the things that I love most in life – food. I took an all-expenses paid (birthday) visit to the kind of place junk food addicts like me love; the Dog Haus in Pasadena, California. (Hat tip to my brother-in-law, sister & fam).
It’s a local independent business that serves up just the right combination of carnivorous excess and the sloppy, dripping deliciousness wandering hungry folks like myself live for.
I’m talking massive burgers and hot dogs morphed into unique works of art, each with perfect yet seemingly random groups of ingredients blended together with the soft, sweet taste of Hawaiian Rolls.
Do you love the taste of Italian sausage, pastrami or a handful of Hawaiian rolls? Of course (who doesn’t), so why not have them all at once? That’s where “The Fonz” comes into play (pause), as in the Dog Haus’ own mix of spicy Italian sausage, hot pastrami and 2 toppings under globs of melted mozzarella and served on toasted rolls.
If that doesn’t do it for you, there’s the “Big Ern McCracken,” which pairs two succulent 1/3-pound Angus beef patties smothered in melted cheddar cheese with a sliced jumbo-size all-beef dog smack dab in the middle. Add a fried egg (yolk intact) with some mayo and the aforementioned toasty rolls and you’re in for one messy trip into food heaven. The towering creation is like an adventure with every bite, each requiring great care and focus but rewarding you with such a satisfying taste. It left a first-time Dog Haus visitor like me with quite an impression.
I also got a look at their “Downtown Dog” aka a hot dog wrapped in smoked bacon with mayo, mustard, ketchup, sautéed onions & peppers. While not as fancy as its culinary colleagues above, it was certainly no slouch.
Neither were the onion rings, which were crunchy and moist, at the same damn time! Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
They had at least half a dozen toppings for fries and sides like onion rings, including the standard fare (ketchup & mustard) as well as deli and Dijon mustards, chili, BBQ sauce and the classic must-have ranch dressing.
(The meal pictured above was for 3 adults and included 2 sodas, 1 milkshake, onion rings and came out to a very reasonable $35 total.)
Aside from the great food the Dog Haus is also very affordable, with all their “Haus Dogs” costing $5.95 and the individual burger prices range from as little as $4.50 for a cheeseburger to $8.50 for the Big Ern, with extra toppings like bacon, fried eggs, cheese or mushrooms adding on anywhere from 25 cents to one dollar.
Sides (tots, fries, onion rings and chili) start at $1.95 each and max out at $4.50 while fountain drinks come with free refills and are $1.60 for a regular and $1.95 for a large. The staff was very friendly and eager to accommodate their customers, which hovered in the “15-20 at a time” range on a Sunday afternoon. They have two locations (Pasadena & Alhambra) as well as a “Biergarten” that serves beer.
All in all, it was well worth the trip to Pasadena and I know it’s a place I’ll be frequenting for years. With its signature style, affordable prices and heaping serving sizes, for once, men will be clamoring to be in the Dog Haus.
Are you a Dog Haus fan? Spread the word or share your experience with me on Twitter @TheCherchLife.
The Dog Haus Business hours:
Dog Haus (Pasadena)
Open daily 11am-10pm
(626) 577 HAUS | (626) 577 4289
105 N Hill Ave
Dog Haus (Alhambra)
Open daily 11am-10pm
(626) 282 HAUS | (626) 577 4289
410 E Main St
Dog Haus Biergarten
Open daily at 11am
(626) 683 0808
93 E green St
Old Pasadena 91105