No matter how you slice it, a hotdog is still a hotdog. Whether gluten-free, vegetarian or nitrate free, it’s still a hotdog. Point proven by Otis Jackson’s Soul Dog restaurant in North Hollywood.
Otis Jackson’s Soul Dog rests on the busy corner of Lankershim and Magnolia Blvd, a few stores down from Starbucks. Soul Dog is a hip and trendy blend of modern flavors and classic southern favorites; collar-greens, mac & cheese and sweet baked yams to name a few. The decor is intimate, with a few small tables, streaming jazz music and an impressive large-scale mural.
The charm began to fizzle at the counter. One hotdog was over $6.00! I admit I love the idea of nitrate and nitrite free food, but one hotdog for over $6.00 is a little steep for me. I ordered the The Original Soul Dog – Collard green cucumber relish, sweet potato puree’, bacon crumbles on an artisan bun. I took a number and my seat. The hotdog arrived to my table promptly. I took my first bite and it was amazing! The vinegar acidity of the relish mixed with the sweet potato puree was fantastic. But it ended there. The artisan bread was less than appealing and overpowered the hotdog and toppings completely. It was a mouthful of room temperature starch. Halfway through the hotdog I began to lose the charm of the first bite. The flavors weren’t as strong and the hotdog began to taste like any old hotdog.
I finished my hotdog wondering how pricey a side of fries and drink would have been and how I would have much rather spent my money on a Pinks hotdog. Otis Jackson’s Soul Dog isn’t doomed, the staff very friendly and they have passion for the success of their business. The atmosphere is laid-back and intimate. But something needs to make this hotdog worth the moderate price tag. I would suggest more toppings! For a $6.00 hotdog I want a boatload of toppings, so many that when I take a bite I don’t have to try to get all the flavors. The flavors should be jumping into my mouth and over the sides of the bun.
I love local business and I hope Soul Dog can lower its prices or increase its product to keep up with the competition.