Oh hell yes I went to Brodburger’s new venture, BrodDogs, on the day they opened. I rushed out there straight after work and arrived by 5:51pm. I know the time exactly because my friends, who I said I would meet at 6, were calling me telling me to hurry up because they wanted Hot Dogs, dammit!
It wasn’t hard to find that famous red caravan, sitting in the corner of the Westfield Belconnen top car park – near the entrance which houses Fernwood, Outback Jacks, Yoghurtland – it was already lit up and waiting for the dinner rush.
There were a few people lurking around the caravan, most of whom seemed to have already ordered, and one guy in front of us in line. It took us a few minutes to decide on our orders and then place them. It’s the same system as Brodburger, you order at the window and you get a number. When you’re number gets called you skip merrily with glee to the window and collect your bounty.
I had a little trouble making up my mind of what to have, but mainly because when people order they stand in front of the sign and it took me ages to read the descriptions in between people’s butts in the way. (apologies, I wanted to get a picture of the menu… but too many butts)
There are about 6 or 7 combinations of hot dogs to choose from on the menu, most of which allow you to choose your preference from four types of sausage: Vienna (beef and pork); Weisswurst (pork and veal); Kransky; and a pork free sausage. You can also chose a range of additional toppings, including coleslaw, onions, pickles and a variety of sauces. There are vegetarian options, and a chilli cheese fries that sounded pretty awesome (next time!).
I ended up ordering The New Yorker with weisswurst, pork belly pieces, sauerkraut, mustard and corn relish. The price was $9. My friends ordered the Chili Cheese with Kransky, just Chili with Vienna sausage and an Aussie version. The guy taking the orders was lovely and friendly, and the other two guys in the caravan were buzzing around making the food. They certainly didn’t move fast, but you could see an air of concentration and dedication of their faces. While we waited I watched the guys in the caravan making the dogs – I actually saw one of them grating cheese from a block on to the dog! I can’t imagine too many hot dog places do it that fresh.
We didn’t wait long at all for our order (5 hot dogs) to be called out, probably about 5-10 minutes – each dog name is yelled out individually, so as not to mix them up (thankfully they also write the type on the cardboard box they come in). As it was freezing cold, we grabbed our dogs and said good bye to the beautiful red caravan, and hello to the warm, but over crowded, food court.
The New Yorker was a classic hot dog, a firm sausage with tasty (not too tart) sauerkraut and delicious American mustard. The corn relish gave it a little sweetness, while the bread was toasted and crunchy. I couldn’t really distinguish the pork belly, though, and the sausage itself felt like the wrong choice – it wasn’t flavourful enough to compete with the sauerkraut. Next time I will order a Vienna or a Kransky instead – something with bigger, bolder, flavour.
My friends who ordered the Chili dogs were all very happy with their dogs. However, my friend’s son, who is a
bottomless pit teenager, commented that he wasn’t satisfied and could have gone a second dog.
BrodDogs is definitley worth a visit, it’s fresh and filling (unless you’re a teenaged boy) – while not blow your socks off tasty, it does provide a nice alternative to crappy food court options.
For me, though, it’s about the red caravan. It’s a beautiful sight, that red caravan with fairy lights; it reminds me of sitting in the car with friends on a cold winter’s morning, fogging up the windows with the heat from our Brodburgers – so there’s definitely a nostalgic reason to check it out too.
When we left Westfield about two hours later, the line up and amount of people lingering around was much larger – I’m not sure what their wait time was like, sadly. But I can say that ours was fast, the service was friendly and the food was enjoyable.