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Dog é Style: Getting Behind Buffalo’s Love Affair with the Wiener

Update: Dog é Style has closed it’s doors as of December 2015.

128 Genesee St, Buffalo, NY 14202  |  (716) 256-1560

While they might be a staple at tailgate parties across America, the idea of sitting down at a restaurant to eat a char-grilled hot dog is uniquely – and somewhat bizarrely – Buffalonian. The popularity of charcoal-grilled hot dogs is so popular – it’s widely attributed to thwarting Nathan’s attempt to establish franchises, with their flattop-grilled dogs, here back in the 1990s.

The latest evolution of Buffalo’s love affair with the wiener can be found at Dog é Style and while the name of the restaurant – and the double entendres that it lends itself to – can be moan-inducing, the staff at Dog é Style takes their position very seriously.

Ted’s is probably the best place to start when discussing grilled hot dogs in Buffalo. Opened in 1927 under the newly constructed Peace Bridge by a Greek immigrant, the little shack run by Theodore Spiro Liaros had enough success to allow for a second location to open on Sheridan Drive in the Town of Tonawanda – just as the post-war Ken-Ton baby boom was in full swing. Others soon followed – Red Top in 1946, Louie’s Texas Red Hots in 1967 – and the Baby Boomers readily embraced the char-grilled tradition that they then passed along to their children.

On its official website, Ted’s essentially lays claim to establishing the de facto char-grilled hot dog experience in Western New York. Dogs are available in a range of sizes, cooked to order in an open kitchen and topped with everything from mustard to relish right in front of the customer. Diners then have the choice of either eating inside or underneath umbrellas outside the restaurant.

While the operators of Dog é Style readily embrace this tradition, they also see their restaurant as a throwing down a marker for char-grilled change. Instead of just offering the standard franks covered in onions, relish and mustard, Dog é Style has a also range of gourmet hot dogs that feature tastes from outside Buffalo.

The NOLA dog brings a bit of Bourbon Street to the Queen City with its olive salad and fried oysters – a hat-tip to the Big Easy’s Muffaletta and seafood heritage. The Banh Mi dog features pickled veggies, cilantro and chilies – in a nod to the Vietnamese sandwich. By far the most decadent dog is the $12-French-inspired Fat Duck Dog, with chunks of foie gras and truffle aioli.

Designed to resemble an industrial shipping container, the restaurant’s modern, minimalist décor is also a switch from the greasy spoon feel of a Louie’s or Ted’s location. Upstairs, a garage door at the front-facing end of the restaurant opens up – allowing diners who still want to eat their dogs in the elements the chance to do so.

With a number of other restaurants slated to open near Dog é Style in the coming months, this end of Genesee Street could be hopping soon and it’s good to know that a restaurant steeped in Buffalo tradition is leading the way.

 

Dog é Style Details

128 Genesee St, Buffalo, NY 14202

(716) 256-1560

 

Hours:

Mon – Thu: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm

Fri: 11:00 am – 12:00 am

Sat: 4:00 pm – 12:00 am

 

 

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