John Goes Back For Moore Dogs
Let’s get the fun, ironic part of this entry out of the way first: I discovered Moore Dogs, in Carver, MA, on my way back from a run to a health food store. Truth be told, I had already used said run as an excuse to re-visit Danish Dogs, which currently parks in front of a Home Depot conveniently located across the street from the health food store, and banged out two of their signature dogs and a Coney. I drove home via a local state park, which dumped me out onto MA Route 58 and as I wended my way along, belly already full of encased-meat goodness, what to my wondering eyes should appear but this:
To the avowed Hot Dog Hunter, the serendipitous appearance of the roadside stand is like getting a sign that the universe wants you to be happy. Or obese and unhealthy. Hey, you pick your partners and fill out your dance card. Go, life. For me, a slightly beat up—let us call it “well loved”—truck in a vacant lot on a weekend afternoon is a calling I can’t pass up. I probably broke a traffic law or two whipping into the lot.
Moore Dogs serves more than dogs. There’s a breakfast menu, burgers, fried dough pizza and other treats. I have a feeling I may sample more of their wares in future visits. First, however, there was the matter of the dogs to attend to. I hastily ordered a bacon dog and a chili dog.
So good. Moore Dogs uses a Boar’s Head beef frank popped onto the flat top. It’s got good snap, and a nice shot of peppery flavor. The bacon still glistened with a little grease from being rewarmed, and had that distinct flat-topped flavor as well. Real bacon, not irradiated to get it reheated. The chili is homemade. No beans, but bits of green pepper, which I don’t normally want in my hot dog chili. But the flavor here was so good, delivering a little heat-kick to the tongue, that I could let them get away with the peppers.
I drove away from Moore Dogs knowing I’d be back. There was more to try (I promise I’m not riffing on “Moore” puns here), and I want Boy to eventually try it as well. As luck would have it, just the other day another health food run was called for. At noon. I headed straight down Route 58.
This time out, it was a bacon and cheese dog, and something I’d seen on the menu on the last trip and wished I’d ordered—The Messy Dog.
I twitch when I see the term “cheese sauce” because I know it’s this kind of sloppy melted Velveeta death wish, but the only thing I’d say to Moore Dog on this is: ease up a little. This sauce is so dense, light falls into it. It didn’t help the bacon dog any—next time around I think that order just gets a schmear of brown mustard and maybe some onion to bring it to another level. But on the Messy Dog, a hard-to-resist combo of pulled pork and cheese goop, it worked better. Again, there should have been less goop. Let me illustrate by showing the carnage that occurred after I lifted the bacon and cheese dog from the plate.
The combined mass of goop and a generous serving of delicious pulled pork made the dog roll to the side. The goop immediately adhered the the plate and tried to become permanent. I was glad to have some of it off the dog. With less goop, the flavor of the so-tender pulled pork came through. A bit over-sauced, maybe, but nicely sweet and smoky. The dog gets a bit lost in this flavor onslaught, but it was well worth the 4 bucks and change.
I usually write up these posts after one trip to a joint, but from that first trip to Moore Dogs I knew I would hit it again. They’re using top-grade dogs, making their own chili, keeping things out of the microwave, and they’re just truly nice people to boot. My only advice: maybe say no thanks to the cheese sauce and avoid the picnic tables at the lot. The ants get very busy over there. But at least they’ve got good taste.
Local folks need to hit this joint pronto.
92 North Main St. (Route 58)
On Facebook here.