a good dog gone wrong
This past Monday, my beer snob friends and I were out for a night’s worth of dissing beers at John Harvard’s Brew House in Harvard Square. As Alex said in his last post, we shared a moment of synchronicity that evening: just after ordering a hot dog, Alex sent a text along that he had just ordered a dog at a new stand. Egads!
To tell you the truth, I was a little hesitant to order this hot dog. Maybe it was the four beers I already had in me, and the fact that the guys were giving me a hard time–regardless, I ordered it. Sure, it was called the “Good Dog!” which gave it some advantage. But the way the dog was described on the menu caused more than one moment’s worth of hesitation. You remember getting high with your friends and thinking up the most awesome-sounding recipes, things that are delicious on their own but, when combined, must create an explosion of flavor for your taste buds? Hell, if you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re probably still doing that. This hot dog was just that type of concoction: it was the bastard child of some drug fiend’s addled judgement.
The “Good Dog!” is, as described on their menu, a
house smoked beer braised all beef frank wrapped in a toasted flour tortilla with cheddar cheese, bacon, shredded lettuce, BBQ and our house relish. Served with cedar spiced steak fries and a smoked tomato horseradish dipping sauce
Well, for starters apparently a “toasted flour tortilla” means dumping liberal amounts of the french fry spice on a tortilla and heating it in a pan. This was a shame because it totally killed the flavor. Second, a big ass tortilla is the most awkward way to eat a hot dog–c’mon guys, what really keeps you from using a hot dog bun? Third, I couldn’t tell whether or not the dog had been either smoked or beer braised; the only thing I could tell was that it was an all-beef frank. Fourth, I think mine didn’t come with the relish, but I didn’t eat more than four or five bite’s worth of the dog, so maybe it was waiting further on down the line.
The waitress, when clearing our plates, noticed I hadn’t eaten much of my dinner and asked how it was. I honestly told her it was pretty bad, and it didn’t surprise me when she said that was most people’s reaction. Almost as disappointing as the hot dog was her reaction, however, for two reasons: she didn’t try to make amends for serving a plate full of suck; and the restaurant will keep serving a meal that patrons don’t enjoy.
My experience ties in with a reoccuring conversation my beer snob friends and I have every time we have a brew pub outing: namely, that you can find a brew pub that serves excellent food and horrendous beer, or excellent beer and horrendous food, or just does both as equally poor, but you will be hard-pressed to find one that does both to a high level of satisfaction. But I’m game to keep trying until I find that one.