HD1: Richard Blais and Barry Mills’s tricked-out, much-buzzed-about new hot doggery in Poncey-Highland. It opened last night. So we put on our monocles, piled in the UD Wienermobile... and then we did our due diligence.
Hype Factor: The consensus seems to be that the “haute” dog thing is nothing more than a fleeting trend.
Ruling: Come on, it’s hot dogs. They’ve been trending since the 1800s. And this place is keeping it simple. You’ll walk in, place your order at the counter, grab a spot at the communal table in the center of the small, dark dining room... and then you’ll eat hot dogs and drink canned beer. Simple. Effective. Not going anywhere.
Hype Factor: Seeing as the molecular gastronomy shtick put Blais on the map in the first place, the rumor mill may have you expecting Bunsen burners in the kitchen.
Ruling: Aside from the occasional pepper jack foam sighting, this is pretty straightforward stuff (at least as straightforward as hot dogs topped with ox tongue and tripe hash can be).
Hype Factor: Surprisingly absent.
Ruling: The booze here walks softly but carries a big stick. All 20 beers (Dry Blackthorn, Yoho Tokyo Black...) come in cans. And the cocktails: bourbon and rum only. We liked the Bluegrass Sunset with bourbon and ginger beer.
And then we liked it again.