Constantine and Skip are true New Orleanians, having known each other since they were just wee little New Orleanians in elementary school, making their way through high school, doing their own things as adults, and then finding themselves right back together after a number of years. And lemme tell ya, these two are some characters!
Skip said, “I’ve know Constantine since we were in grammar school, played football in high school and then the story ends. Everyone goes off doing this thing called life and then this thing happened in New Orleans. I forget, what’s it called? Oh yeah, Katrina.”
He continued, “I had lived in London for many years and became known as the hot dog guy, providing hot dogs for baseball and softball, and also putting hot dog stands in pubs. Katrina comes and goes and I'm the ‘King of Hot Dogs’ in the United Kingdom. I came back to New Orleans and started reconnecting with people. One day, I did these dogs for a Tulane baseball game. I’m talking about opening a hot dog business one minute, and the next minute, Constantine and I are actually doing it with absolutely no idea whether it was going to work at all.”
Well, did it work! On opening day, the Dat Doggers found themselves with a line all the way down the block. Dat Dog’s first location was across the street from their current one…a little hole in the wall with enough room for about three people. But now, they’re in some swanky new digs right across the street…plenty of inside and outside seating to sit and enjoy your favorite dog.
Constantine said, “When I went places, I would ask people, ‘Do you like eating hot dogs?’ and you’d be surprised how many people came up with a smile. It was like a secret society. And so it made sense. Truthfully, we really don’t sell hot dogs. Instead, we actually sell properly encased meats, which are frankfurters or sausages. I like to think that what we do is quality product and quality service that keeps people coming back.”
And quality product and service indeed! Don’t get it twisted, Dat Dog is not your typical fast food place. “We are a restaurant that is a family place, a community place,” Constantine said. “We believe in being part of the neighborhood. And hopefully, we are setting an example for other people.”
Dat Dog favorites include the traditional beef wiener, and the alligator and crawfish sausage. And for the vegetarians, they’ve got you covered with a veggie dog (spicy chipotle, black bean, and veggie patty).
So how does it work at Dat Dog? First, you gotta pick your dog, then pick your toppings… andouille sauce, guacamole, hummus, jalapenos, olive salad, sauerkraut, wasabi, among others. “If you get it wrong, we’ll tell you like, ‘Don’t put sauerkraut on a crawfish sausage.’ Otherwise, proceed at own risk,” said Skip. Couple that with the toasted sourdough bun and some chili cheese fries and we’re pretty sure you might slap the person sitting next to you!
We can attest to the fact that there’s no dog like Dat Dog! In the words of Dat Dog, “Put a smile on your face!”
For more information about Dat Dog, please visit their website, Facebook, and Twitter.
5030 Freret St.
New Orleans, LA 70115