Food

An Early Look at Haute Dogs & Fries in Alexandria (Pictures)

Oh, happy day—the Purcellville-based sausage spot has opened an Alexandria outpost.
The Eskimo dog at Haute Dog & Fries. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

You know a hot dog is great when you’re willing to drive more than an hour outside Washington to get it. We’ve been commuting to Purcellville, Virginia for our dog cravings at co-owners Lionel Holmes and Pamela Swanson’s Haute Dog & Fries, but the trip just got much shorter with the launch of a replica Haute Dogs in Old Town, Alexandria.

Unlike at many designer burger joints, the tastiness of the hot dogs doesn’t rely on extra-fancy ingredients like foie gras and short ribs. You’ll find all-beef Kayem hot dogs—the same brand hawked at FedEx Field during Redskins games—and a bun commissioned from a local bakery. The key is that both meat and bread are griddled on a hot flattop, with the bun getting the same swipe of butter and resulting crust you’ll find on a New England lobster roll (which the menu also features, along with sliders, fish and chips, and nachos.)

Toppings range from classic combinations—chili and cheese, the Chicago-style mix of hot peppers, relish, and celery salt—to less conventional creations such as the Monroe: caramelized onions, mango, pineapple, and jalapeños. Make sure to try two other unusual items: the simple, meaty lamb sausage from Loudoun-based Fields of Athenry, and the dessert Eskimo dog—vanilla ice cream scooped into a cinnamon-sugar bun and drizzled with caramel and fudge. Vegetarians can also find meat-free savory items, such as a tofu dog and a veggie-stuffed bun with slaw, cheddar, and chipotle mayo.

Holmes and Swanson aim for a neighborhood vibe with a cozy interior, free wi-fi, and a kids’ meal with a smaller dog or slider, fries, and a drink. Takeout is always available, but you’ll be able to linger over a meal with beer and wine as soon as this week. Hit up the slideshow for tantalizing shots of the wieners on offer.

Haute Dogs & Fries. 610 Montgomery St., Alexandria; 703-548-3891. Open Monday through Saturday 11 to 9 and Sunday 11 to 7.

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.