The Dog House is a tiny shack on Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that's been serving up burgers, chili cheese tater tots, hot coffee and their signature foot-long hot dogs to truckers, locals and tourists alike for at least 60 years. The food is fast and cheap, and you know you're in New Mexico when the chili comes with a choice of "green or red."
No, I haven't discovered the long lost "green chile hot dog," although I'm sure they would make you one, but the red chili they put on the dogs is something special—much spicier than the standard "Texas" chili you find at most hot dog stands. The sauce starts with ground beef, either pureed or just cooked into oblivion, and the result is a pale red sauce that's sort of a cross between "hot dog sauce" and real New Mexico red chile sauce.
The dogs are foot-long skinless beef and pork franks, split and grilled, served on toasted buns and garnished with brown mustard and/or any combination of red chili, cheese sauce, and onions. No kraut or relish here. Also available in half sizes for anyone that's not a 400-pound truck driver covered in wizard tattoos.
The menu is classic New Mexico highway food: green chile cheeseburgers, chili and cheese tater tots, Frito pie, milkshakes. Devoured at the counter, small dining room, or in the comfort of your 18-wheeler.
The dogs themselves might not impress the real tubular meat connoisseurs out there - but if you're in New Mexico it's definitely worth a stop for the unique red chile sauce and the awesome Route 66 atmosphere- the kind of place that should be around every corner on a good road trip.
1216 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque NM 87102 (map) 505-243-1019
Hawk Krall is a Philadelphia-based illustrator who has a serious thing for hot dogs. Dig his dog drawings? Many of the illustrations he has created for Hot Dog of the Week are available for sale: hawkkrall.net/prints/.
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