Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Underdogs Review

When I heard about this 'haute' dog joint near work, I knew I had to check it out. Since then, I've been back three times. So when the GF's brother and cousin came to visit from Michigan, where did we decide to go on our first night? Underdogs of course!

If you're heading south on 17th street, look to your right and a bit down, and you'll see the 'under'ground steps to Underdogs. Almost makes you feel like you're in the know. There's an ATM right outside - and for good reason. Unfortunately, Underdogs is a cash only joint - surprising, as orders can easily total over $20 if you go with a friend. Apparently they do BYOB after 5PM though, so there is some satisfaction there – for others perhaps.

In any case, on to the onslaught of haute dogs! 

Chihuaha ($4.50 / $7.75 with small soda and fries) 
Chorizo sausage with sautéed onions, chipotle mayo and queso blanco

This dog had a slight bit of heat to it - the chorizo definitely came through. This was nicely balanced by the queso blanco cheese topping the dog as well as the chipotle mayo, which added a nice creaminess to the dog. Definitely one of my favorites. The "buns" that these dogs come on are pretty hefty - more of a roll. Once you get through about three of these - you feel that wear and tear on your jaw - but it's totally worth it. There are no soggy buns here.

Chicago Style ($3.75 / $7.00 with small soda and fries)
Yellow mustard, relish, chopped onions, tomato slices, sport peppers, dill pickle spear and celery salt

If the Chihuaha dog was more savory - this was definitely more fresh and even sweet. The fresh tomato slices and dill pickle definitely brought Chicago to light - cool, fresh, and bright. The sport pepper added a spicy kick and was nicely accentuated by the celery salt and chopped onions. No ketchup needed or wanted here!

The Michigan ($3.75 / $7.00 with small soda and fries) 
Beef chili, cheddar, chopped onions and mustard

The Michigan dog was ordered by both the GF and her brother. I sampled a few bites of her dog (not the first time this has happened!) and declared it a hit. The chili was of the creamy variety and it had a small kick to it. The chopped onions were a nice foil to all that savoriness. The hot dog itself was plump and juicy. A solid dog.

You can see the fries to the right - and let me tell you - they do not disappoint. They are not necessarily the most crispy of fries, but are well seasoned (a tad over-seasoned with salt) and delicious. An order of small fries or a combo nets you one of there different dipping sauces - I typically go with the garlic aioli or the chipotle mayo - perfect complements to greasy, delicious fries. If you order a side order of large fries - be prepared for a massive dose of fries and two complimentary complements to your fries.

My only other gripe (the first being the fact that Underdogs is cash only) is that the sodas that accompany any combo are not only ridiculously small - they are filled with 75% ice. Knowing this - on this visit, I clearly asked for no ice in my soda (it was also freezing outside). Lo and behold however, ice packed my cup. It was not a big enough deal to ask for another soda, so I took a sip of it. One sip and it was done (ok ok, maybe two sips).

Other than this pet peeve of mine (really? who needs that much ice?), Underdogs is a great place to go for a quick, tasty bite in the Rittenhouse area. If you're closer to South Street however - I hear Hot Diggity is great as well. I'll need to do a taste test between the two haute dog joints one of these days. In the meantime, Underdogs gets it done for me.

Underdogs on Urbanspoon 

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