Here to Stay: Bowery on McKinney Avenue is Crazy Good

the moroccan: housemade lamb merguez sausage, harissa slaw, apricot jam

banh-mi: pork sausage, pork belly, cucumber, scallion, pickled daikon, hoisin sauce

sweet potato tater tots

chicago dog (love the steamed, seeded bun and fresh condiments)

cool vibe, too

By the time your food is delivered to your table at Bowery, the new haute dog joint in Dallas, you’ve already endured three obstacles. First, parking is a trick. It’s easy to miss the thin driveway that leads to the back of the rehabbed house-turned-restaurant. Of course you cant back up, because cars are already queued behind you on McKinney, a one-way street. So you circle around the block, find the path, then pray there’s also an open spot.

Second, there are issues with the menu. Too much of it sounds good. Beer-braised brats, duck sausage with foie gras and blueberry jam, a banh-mi with pork sausage and crispy pork belly plus cucumber, scallions, pickled daikon and hoisin sauce–these are Sirens. Show me a carnivore who can pass up one of those (or a classic Chicago hotdog tucked inside a poppy seed bun and annointed with sour pickle spears, diced onions, tomatoes, relish, mustard and peppers), and I’ll show you an unhappy human in the throws of miserable diet without a bottle of carb blockers and too little Lipitor.

Third, and most importantly, these are not pedestrian hotdogs. These are thoughtfully crafted entrees stuffed into fresh, steamed buns baked from scratch by Dallas’ Village Baking Company. Bowery does with a bun what Velvet Taco does with a taco shell: recruits it as the vehicle for transporting bold flavors and creative, fresh ingredients from  a plate to your mouth, no spork required.

Rarely has so humble a food been so deliciously elevated. Natural casings, fresh produce, from-scratch condiments, too. Duck sausages with seared foie gras and blueberry jam? Merguez lamb sausages with spicy harissa slaw and apricot jam? These are happy hotdogs.

Bowery’s owners are tight-lipped about which chef or gastronaut is behind this magically delicious food, but they will tell you this: Nearly everything is house-made, from the sausages and crispy pork belly to the tangy mustards, umami-rich ketchup and sweet relish. So are  the waffle fries, the bracelet-size onion rings, and, yes, even the planet’s best corn dog, whose light, flaky crust and deep corn flavor drain every imagined State Fair taste from your memory banks.

I’d skip the kale chips (too greasy) and the sweet potato tater tots (too odd), but that’s just so you’ll  have room for an excellent Mexican vanilla milk shake or a chocolate brownie ice cream malt (both too good to pass up).

Bowery’s urban chic decor and cozy lighting will make you want to linger, which partially explains why the late night bar crowd hangs out till well past midnight sipping sangria spiked with Champagne, pear margaritas and cocktails laced with beer (!).

Bowery aggressively undersells itself. I fully expected to be nonplussed. After all, it’s just a hot dog, right? But don’t sell Bowery short. You’re going to like this place. A lot.

3407 McKinney Avenue, Dallas (214) 965-9110