Combine sausages, world travel, a well-stocked bar, arcade games, and a whole lot of buns and puns and you have the high points of Destination Dogs, a frankly novel idea for a tavern that opens Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 1111 Walnut St., the former home of Farmers' Cabinet.
DD, which got rolling four years ago in New Brunswick, N.J., riffs on cofounder Jimmy Cronk's love of travel and food. The interior, much brighter than the Goth-gone-wild airs of Farmers' Cabinet, includes fling-out doors, travel posters and a retro look of long-ago aviation. Arcade games, including hockey, Ms. Pac Man, and shuffleboard, are set up across from the bar area.
The bar itself has 16 beer lines and international-theme cocktails.
All of the sausages (beef, pork, alligator, duck, lamb, wild boar, chicken, and even python, kangaroo, and - gasp! - vegetarian) are made on premises, says partner Sean Hosty.
The store-baked toasted milk-bread style rolls were designed to hold up to the generous toppings. "I didn't want one that would go to mush or fall apart," Cronk said.
The all-beef hot dogs are the 6-to-a-pound made by Best's in Newark, N.J.
Everything is grilled on a flat-top. You can go basic - that all-beef starts at $4, a bratwurst is $5.50, and a duck sausage is $8, for example - and add toppings. Specialty dogs (which top out at $12.50) are themed geographically.
For instance, the Rocky Bal-Boar-A, which carries the airport designation PHL, is an Italian-style wild boar sausage, with sliced steak, onions, peppers, cheese sauce, and cherry pepper relish. Le Poutine, which uses Montreal's omnibus airport designation YMQ, is a duck sausage topped with fries, brown gravy, and cheese curds. One Bite in Bangkok (BKK) is a python sausage with cucumber salad, chili sauce, crushed peanuts, and cilantro.
Not the wurst thing, but the menu also includes a grilled chicken sandwich, salads, potato latkes (also found on the Hebrew Hammer sausage), and such appetizers as deviled eggs, crab-and-artichoke dip, wings, a platter dubbed patatas ridiculas (fried potatoes, duck confit, bacon, two cheeses, brown gravy, jalapenos, sour cream, and scallions), and something called a sausage party - three sausages, dipping sauces, cornichons, and bread.