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The Short Version: In a few short years, Dat Dog has become a hotspot for daters in New Orleans. Dat Dog has now opened three locations to fulfill the massive demand for its gourmet hot dogs, tater tots, and French fries. For couples who don’t enjoy hot dogs, the menu includes chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, battered cod, and vegan sausage. Dat Dog makes for a unique, fun date night with its colorful decor and lively atmosphere. Since COVID-19 restrictions have eased in New Orleans, couples can decide whether they want to take their Dat Dog order home or eat in the courtyard.
New Orleans couples looking for a fun date night can head down to Dat Dog, an upscale hot dog restaurant.
The restaurant is a unique place with interesting lights, brightly colored walls strewn with national flags, and a “Welkom” sign at the door inviting patrons inside.
“The casual, colorful atmosphere at all of our New Orleans locations does what it was designed to do: draw in locals and tourists, friends and strangers, and people from all walks of life,” said Laurie G. Fisher, Dat Dog Director of Marketing.
One customer may order a Jimmy’s Chicago Dog, made with a Vienna frank, onions, tomatoes, sweet relish, peppers, mustard, and celery salt. Another may opt for the adventurous Rougarou, consisting of alligator sausage, onions, jalapenos, barbecue sauce, tomatoes, mustard, and bacon. And they can even split tater tots and enjoy a couple of beers.
“They all come together to relax, have some unique hot dogs, cold beers, and indulge in the vibes,” said Laurie.
Couples can also pencil in one of Dat Dog’s live music nights for a fun date. Pianist Joe Krown plays a regular gig on the balcony at the Frenchmen Street location . In fact, the restaurant was the first establishment in the area to start hosting live music again after COVID-19 restrictions eased in the city.
Other Dat Dog locations have hosted live music by driving a truck with a piano in its bed for concerts. It is all part of the restaurant’s mission to bring fun and high-quality hot dogs to its customers.
Dat Dog is an excellent date spot for both new and long-term daters because of its welcoming atmosphere. One reason the restaurant feels so friendly is because of the team.
“I think the energetic atmosphere our team creates is what draws in the variety of customers we serve. Our team is as diverse as our customers. We’re like all the elements in the melting pot, dressed in Hawaiian print shirts,” Laurie said.
If Dat Dog sounds intriguing, couples may want to figure out which location they want to visit for a date. While all three locations have a laid-back, funky vibe, each has a different flavor.
“Magazine Street tends to be the day-drink-and-shop hub, and Freret Street is often where late nights begin. Frenchmen Street is where late nights end,” Laurie said.
But the big decision couples will want to mull over is how creative they’re willing to get with their order. Tater tots are a good bet for those who want to stay relatively plain. Laurie recommends the WTF Tots topped with guacamole, sour cream, bacon, tomatoes, cheese, chili, onion, and jalapenos for the more adventurous diners.
“The tots themselves are fabulous, either plain or topped with something. They’re also the perfect shape and size to lovingly feed by hand to your special person. Of course, you’ll probably want a pump of complimentary hand sanitizer first,” Laurie said with a laugh.
She also mentioned The Crawfish Special as an option that won’t force people to use too many napkins. The diner favorite is made with crawfish sausage, crawfish étouffée, sour cream, onions, tomatoes, and Creole mustard.
Those completely comfortable with getting messy may choose to build a hotdog with all the toppings they can imagine.
Dat Dog designed its menu to be straightforward, without any pretentious items that people don’t understand. At the same time, Dat Dog is a big step up from the typical hotdog cart. The restaurant strikes that balance by securing unique, high-quality ingredients.
Diners have two general paths to take when choosing their meal. They can choose from the restaurant’s House Specialties, which include The Rougarou, or they can build their own hotdog with as many or few toppings as they want — all for one price. Dat Dog likens this second kind of ordering to “jazz improvisation in a bun.”
Dat Dog’s sausage selection is also much more varied. Some of the more unique options include crawfish sausage with cajun seasoning, along with the alligator sausage. Gourmet options include a duck smoked sausage and a Guiness dog, a bratwurst infused with stout beer. The popular Vaucresson hot sausage is seasoned with paprika and cayenne.
“We have many different types of hot dogs, from traditional Vienna beef and smoked brats, to alligator, crawfish, and duck, to ground beef burgers shaped like hot dogs. We also have fried chicken, fish, veggie, and vegan options, and approximately 30 different toppings,” Laurie said.
The toppings are both the standard hotdog fare and more unusual options, including Andouille sauce or blackberry sauce. Ranch, bacon, and Nana’s slaw are more traditional offerings.
Couples also have plenty of options for drinks. All three locations offer local craft beers and daiquiris, while the Freret and Frenchmen Street locations also have “sno balls” to which couples can add rum, vodka, or tequila.
Dat Dog recently reopened after COVID-19 precautions temporarily shut down restaurants in New Orleans. And guests can be sure that Dat Dog is committed to creating a safe environment for guests.
For one, couples can always order food to take home. And all three Dat Dog locations have courtyards where couples can sit outside and safely social distance. That gives diners peace of mind, and they can even bring their dog.
“For those on a date with their dog, we welcome the pets in our courtyards. We just added the ‘Good Dog’ to our menu. It’s a small plain beef dog grilled and cut into chunks, especially for your BFF (best furry friend). Milk-Bone garnish is available upon request,” Laurie told us.
New Orleans diners on Yelp also add how safe they’ve felt dining at Dat Dog during these strange times.
Quinn T. wrote, “I felt very comfortable dining at Dat Dog. There was one entry point that had postings requiring face masks and social distancing. All workers were wearing masks and gloves. They even sanitized the pen I used right after I used it. No inside seating, but their patio is open for sit down with the tables being spaced out accordingly.”
Jill C. agreed and wrote, “Our second venture out since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. The patio was open and social distancing was in order. It felt good to be out and about and have some semblance of normal.”
Though date night at Dat Dog might not look exactly like it did before, the restaurant still gives couples a sense of fun and community.
“We’re offering more than just food; we’re offering a place to make your day exactly as you’d like it,” Laurie said.