On a second trip to Retro Dog we found a larger menu based on the
same burger/dog shop staples. The new additions are mostly toppings
for said staples. We went with burgers today, a straight up cheese
and something called the hula ghost. Steph’s cheeseburger had a
flash of pink running through the center. I don’t mind it in a place
with good holding and some skill. Saw on their website that is what
they aim for, unless something else is requested. On behalf of those
who have been conditioned for terror should anything but brown
appear in their cow sammitch, you gotta ask. You will literally
scare people away.
First things first…the fries were so much better than our first
visit. Don’t know if they changed something or if our first try was
an off day; tasty, not chewy. The toppings were pretty good to a
point on both the buffalo and toxic waste fries. I’m not sure what
the peculiar gray sauce reminiscent of Italian dressing was doing on
top of all the lettuce atop the basket of buffalo fries and I would
have preferred much less alien pickle and more sriracha on the toxic
waste basket but both had good elements, and much better fries.
Oh, they serve wings now. We tried the buffalo and the banzai
sauces. Both baskets had good sized and well fried appendages. There
was a mistake in the order and we got the buffalo wings instead of
the ordered buffalo fries and they were offered gratis to make up
for the wait. Both options were pretty good but the multiple and
rounded layers of the banzai wings were our favorites.
Steph’s straight up cheese burger was fine, scarily pink in the
middle for some, but fine. She also ordered the retro float with the
house made root beer and vanilla custard, very happy with that. I
tried the hula ghost burger with provolone, bacon, lettuce, grilled
onions, grilled pineapple and ghost pepper sauce. The pepper sauce
was about as piquant as that served by Wendy’s (I would like more
bite but it did exist) and the sweet fruit worked well together.
Strangely, my burger patty was cooked through. Retro still offers
some pretty tasty and unique options. If we were closer we might
frequent the place and have some information on their many other
combinations. Still worth a try.
|Change in Ranking|
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But Many Had An Element Keeping
Them From Advancing Higher
Last night at the Roger Hoover and
The Hurt album release we were given suggestion for a new
restaurant in the Falls. What I didn’t bother to remember is that
95% of the restaurants in the Falls are closed on Sundays. So was
this one…look for it this week and thanks Kristin. So, we drove
around for a while and ended up at Steels Corners at a place I had
first mistaken for a gas station, Retro Dog. The name is a bit of a
misnomer, there are retro features to the place and there are things
so far from retro to make the name a bit of a joke, like a number of
The biggest retro standout is the car hop service along the long turquoise structure in the center of the parking lot. There are also windows for ordering food and ice cream (custard) along with a couple of picnic tables. Inside was much nicer and maybe more deco than I had expected. Definitely upscale for a dog shop. There is an open kitchen pretty fully staffed tasked with dogs and whatnot. It took us a while standing at the counter inside to decide how much was too much to order and then got a little bit more.
We ordered a root beer float two dogs, a burger, a sausage sandwich,
fries and onion rings. My experience with the menu was as
interesting as the place itself. They make their own root beer and
frozen custard and while I can’t vouch for how they taste separately
they are darn good together. The lightly eggier richness of the
vanilla custard and a full bodied root beer are a long standing
combination for a reason…and it is really good here. It made me wish
I had ordered some of the odder combos.
Their Custard & Root Beer Go Well Together
Chewy But Tasty Fries? What Is That?
Ketchup & Mystery Sauce
You can get you float in black cherry, orange cream, red strawberry
or cream soda. You can also get the custard in various machinations
such as cone, sundae, shake or marble which is a blizzard knock off
now that everyone has one.
First the sides. The fresh cut fries tasted really good, nice
doneness, appropriate salt, available malt vinegar and ketchup. The
only thing is they had a strange texture I have never experienced
before. They were chewy, like moving towards rawhide chewy. Strange
and little off-putting they did taste good. The tempura battered
onion rings were fried to a dark brown and the batter provided
enough flavor to make it more about the crunch than the onion.
Enough so to make Steph not hate them, I enjoy oniony onion rings
but these were still pretty tasty overall.
The Retro Dog Was Unimpressive
From Either End
The Red Hot Was Much Better
From Many Ends Of The Flavor Spectrum
The dogs. I ordered a retro dog and a red hot. The retro dog was
nothing to get excited about. The dogs themselves, at least the
natural casing regulars, aren’t overly special, not really any more
so than the Sugardales at Jib Jab or
the sausages at Dan’s in Medina. They
certainly aren’t going to compete with Hot
Doug’s or Gene and Jude’s or even
Boss Frosty’s. They do have other
specialty sausages on the menu and if we get back and they are worth
mentioning I will add something. Back to the retro dog, topped with
homemade coney sauce, cheese sauce and onion, I found it all a
little flat and disheartening. Not bad, just wouldn’t want to cross
the street for one. The red hot was an improvement of some
significance. Same dog but topped with their Hot Chow-Chow relish
and stadium mustard, this one had something the retro couldn’t
manage, enough to keep you interested. The stadium mustard has that
little kick but the difference is in the Chow-Chow which does sport
some spice (not a lot) and a nice vinegary slap that does wonders
for the whole deal. There are a number of other options…we ordered
knowing we wouldn’t be finishing what we had and try to minimize
waste, I am curious about other offerings like the white hot and the
Chicago and the Carolina but those will have to wait.
Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Cheese?
The Big Sal Was Awesome!
The burger arrived looking something akin to glorious. Steph ordered
a double cheese burger and at Retro Dog the double applies to the
burger AND the cheese. Dear Sweet Mother Prudence, this thing was
redolent with cheese. I hate to say it…I kinda hate myself for
saying it…it’s sacrilege according to my belief system…this burger
has too much cheese on it. I feel dirty, but relieved. I took a bite
of this towering sandwich and was overwhelmed with cheese. I thought
it would make me happy, this sense of cheesy abandon, it made me
miss the burger and accompaniments. Still, you can scrape off some
cheese and the burger is legitimate but short of spectacular.
I ordered the Big Sal. An Italian sausage patty topped with provolone cheese and something called retro rocket sauce. First my confusion. We got a little cup of sauce along with our cup of ketchup which I suspected was the retro rocket sauce. It looked more like the cheese sauce atop the retro dog…and the Big Sal had another sauce hiding under the provolone after I poured some of the other sauce on top of the cheese. The darker sauce under the cheese was chock full of sweet, heat and aromatic veggies.
That was really tasty…put it atop a sausage patty that is intensely
spiced with Italian awesome, covered with provolone and set in a bun
loaded with darkly baked sesame seeds and the unexpected find on the
menu was the standout. Not everything at Retro Dog is retro or
delicious, but some of it is and it’s more than enough to be
interested in the rest of the menu.
Is This The Retro Rocket Sauce?