Show Dogs Unleashes Upscale Wieners on the Tenderloin

Categories: Brody, Dogged

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Meredith Brody
A lamb merguez sausage (left) and the 4505 dog.
The irony of passing two long soup kitchen lines to sample upscale hot dogs at the new Show Dogs sausage emporium in the Tenderloin didn't escape us.

But owners Gayle Pirie and John Clark's Foreign Cinema has had a singularly salubrious effect on revitalizng its swath of the Mission, and this stretch of Market Street is in dire need of destinations far beyond restaurants. Besides, Show Dogs is convenient for grabbing a haute dog before a show at the Golden Gate Theater. Alas, not after the curtain goes down. Dogs closes at 8 p.m., and on weekends, it never opens at all.

It's stylishly fitted out with church pews, marble-topped tables, and French aluminum chairs. There's a carefully curated assortment of local drafts, including Anderson Valley Oatmeal stout, Deschutes Brewery Black Butte porter, and Rogue Dead Guy ale, priced from $2 for 4 ounces to $5 for 16 ounces -- far beyond the reach of the guy outside guzzling a three-buck 40-ounce.

We tried Ryan Farr's Organic 4505 dog ($7.50), served with diced onion, sliced tomatoes, and house mustard. It was long and pale, nicely spiced and with a bit of heat, but fatally soft. It lacked both snap and juiciness. An organic lamb merguez with fig chutney, mustard, and arugula ($7.75) was better. The kitchen is justly proud of its custom seeded Acme rolls, and sausages are from Fatted Calf, Farr's 4505 Meats, Let's Be Frank, and Golden Gate Meats. The menu lists about a dozen offerings, including a corn dog ($5.50) and an organic pork knockwurst piled with sautéed peppers and onions ($7.25).

Show Dogs 1020 Market (at Golden Gate), 558-9560

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Meredith Brody
Sausages are cooked on an open grill.

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Meredith Brody
Can upscale dogs spark a revival in this part of the Tenderloin?

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