A.W. Dawgs opened up last month, continuing in the same tradition as its big brother, A.W. Shucks.
The hot dog and taco joint is actually located inside the venerable seafood establishment; the dining area is partitioned by several decorative doors.
Vintage metal lunch boxes — “Six Million Dollar Man,” anyone? — dot one of the walls, drumming up a bit of nostalgia.
The menu, available until 2 a.m., focuses on Vienna beef franks served on poppy seed buns.
Just like the classic Chicago Dawg ($3.75). It almost comes in layers: dill pickle spear, diced onions, sliced tomatoes, green sweet pickle relish, vinegary sport peppers and yellow mustard. Each of the ingredients are separated, the peppers and Vienna link both providing good snap.
Take a swing at A.W. Dawgs’ other offerings, including the Junk Yard Dawg, a mishmash featuring onion straws; the Philly Dawg with sauteed onions, peppers and provolone; the Chuck Town Dawg with chili, onions, yellow mustard, cheese and coleslaw; or the Snoop Dawg (or is it Snoop Lion?) dressed with french fries and cheese sauce.
There’s The Big Brat ($4.50), too, procured from Johnsonsville with sauerkraut and brown mustard.
Need something extra?
Hit up the condiments bar for relish, slaw and onions, or ketchup and brown and yellow mustards.
The tacos ($3.50), unfortunately, are more suspect. These are more or less flat tortillas cooked and lined with shredded cheese and lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, etc. Once folded, the grease from the ground beef quickly escapes, pooling into the carton below.
As local hot dog havens go, A.W. Dawgs wouldn’t make my short list of favorites. It’s just not up there with, say, Perfectly Frank’s or Johnny’s. But, hey, if you need a frankfurter fix at 1:45 a.m., at least you’ll know where to turn.