Friday, June 24, 2011

Burgers and Taters and Dogs Oh My!!

Owning a hot dog stand was the dream. It wasn’t however, the dream of Markin Dornan but that of his father. For about 35 years Mr. Dornan had wanted to have his own hot dog stand in his native Montreal.
On business in Birmingham, Alabama, Montrealer, Markin met a young UAB student named Kim. As fate would have it they fell in love, married and set up life in Hazel Green, Alabama where they started a family. They also decided to go into business together. They’d realize Mr. Dornan’s dream but add their own spin. In 2010 after a year and a half of tasting and testing, testing and tasting in their home kitchen they had it down. It was time of take the “Leap of faith” and open Taters n’ Dawgs in neighbouring Meridianville. Hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, all fresh, never frozen in a family friendly atmosphere.101_0528Kim and Markin almost literally poured their hearts into the business. Aside from food development they also tried their hands at (among other jobs) architecture, painting and carpentry. Kim says the local contractors were very patient with their “Crazy ideas.”   101_0527The interior they designed is basic. Tables with benches line the wall in a white almost operating room like setting. The kitchen is open and reveals one of my favourite things. The flat top. This is where ground beef (and many other foods) turn into culinary gold. Outside they also have picnic tables for those who want to enjoy the weather.
As we know though, the weather sometimes turns vicious in that area. Fortunately there’s people like Kim and Markin. Following the April 2011 tornado outbreak that devastated parts of northern Alabama TnD held a fund raiser in support tornado relief. It was of course a huge success and shows the commitment they have to the community. As does their nightly support of a different local charity.

So on with the food they crafted. Taters, dogs, burgers and drinks (they serve coke products.)

For those who’ve never heard of it, poutine is a staple dish in the Montreal area. Fresh cut fries are served up with cheese curd and brown gravy. Described by Tony Bourdain as a “Gastronomical train wreck” it’s high cholesterol at it’s artery clogging best. TnD’s take on it swaps mozzarella cheese for the curd flawlessly. The other two components are perfectly executed as well. The gravy is spot on and the fries are fresh cut and great. The “Tater melt” as they call it is excellent.
The chili dog is terrific. The wiener itself is all beef and very tasty. The home made hot dog chili isn’t spicy and very tomatoey. They messed with the notion of having beans but a good dog chili doesn’t have beans. I added some cheese as well. The whole mess comes on a steamed bun. I think next time I’ll add some diced onion.
The cheese burger was simply fantastic. When I say simply, I actually mean it. It’s the classic American burger. A simply seasoned 1/4 lb patty with sliced cheese and a simple bun. Standard toppings as well. Keep it simple. This is my favourite type of burger and this one ranks right up there with the best.
The “Slawdog” had a nice, fresh cabbage slaw with very little in the way of vinegar or creaminess. It had a good crunch and worked well. Again the dog itself was very good and would be great plain.
A very enjoyable lunch was had by all.
You can find Taters n Dawgs at 12835 Hwy 231/431, Meridianville, Al.

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You can also like them on facebook
 Taters N' Dawgs on Urbanspoon
Well that’s it for this time in the foodcourt. Y’all come back now ya hear.


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