What’s more American than having a hot dog with some lemonade on a summer day? Toss in some corn on the cob and you’ve got an image worthy of Norman Rockwell. You can find all of this and more at Bam!Dog Righteous Hot Dogs.
The fresh-squeezed lemonade ($4) was refreshing and not too sweet. A variety of tater tots beckoned; we tried garlic Parmesan ($4) and chili cheese ($5) The garlicky tots were golden and crispy, with just enough salt and plenty of cheesy-herby goodness. Mild chili with beans and a ton of cheese turned the other tots into an amorphous mass of spuds—not necessarily a bad thing.
A mixed order of hamburger and pulled pork sliders ($7 for three) was shared. The burger patty was very thin, topped with American cheese, pickle and ketchup, and didn’t have a lot of flavor. The pulled pork sammies were much tastier—with plenty of meat, pepper Jack cheese, pickle and barbecue sauce. Because I can’t resist, chicken wings ($13 for 12) joined the party. Though moist, they weren’t crispy and were served slathered in barbecue sauce. The young man who took my order must have misheard me saying, “Buffalo.”
The sausages are a good bet. All of the rolls are baked in-house, and the sausages are provided by a local producer of high-quality tubesteaks. Although they do offer a classic pork and beef frankfurter with fixings, we chose to share a variety of specialty dogs. Both the New York bomber ($5) and all American picnic ($6) start with a frank made of certified Angus all-beef brisket. The former includes kraut, onion and a choice of condiments served on a basic roll; we chose spicy brown mustard. The picnic dog was served on a sesame-seeded roll topped with chopped tomato, bacon, scallion, potato salad and a swirl of barbecue sauce. My wife loved it. I thought it was just OK.
Another pair of dogs—the Buffalo Bill ($7) and Aloha addict ($8)—featured a chicken kielbasa that was created specifically for Bam!Dog and is available for retail sale in the shop. The Buffalo Bill was really tasty, with shredded carrot, chopped celery, blue cheese dressing and hot cayenne pepper sauce. Everyone in our group enjoyed this one. Slightly more divisive, the Hawaii-inspired creation included an onion roll topped with mango salsa chopped bacon, scallion and macadamia nuts, finished with a swirl of teriyaki sauce. My daughter liked it, but I didn’t love the flavor profile. The sweet salsa and teriyaki were fighting for attention instead of enhancing the high-quality meat.
Mild Italian sausage is the heart of the Italian stallion ($7), topped with grilled bell pepper and onion, housemade marinara sauce, grated Parmesan cheese and parsley. The marinara was a bit sweet. Pairing it with a spicier sausage would help.
Last were the Mexican madness ($7) and Wisconsin Cheesehead dogs ($8). Spicy chorizo on a jalapeño cheddar roll with sliced avocado, pico de gallo, fresh cilantro and a healthy dose of nacho cheese put a big smile on my face. The smiles kept coming with the other dog’s pale ale and cheddar bratwurst—made with local beer—topped with chopped tomato, bacon, scallion and a pile of housemade macaroni and cheese. It was yummy, insane and messy, and it should come with a bib and moistened towelettes for clean-up.