5:15 a.m., Feb. 10
“Established 1894,” says this sign on top of the brick building. It’s the old Wonder Bread building that Mission Brewery has taken over (1441 L Street, 619-544-0555).
But it’s what’s outside that interests me. There’s this truck that looks like a, well, dog shack. And Dog Shack is what it’s called. As in hot dog. The deal is when they’re here, you can order dogs and take them in to the brewery and chow down with your beer.
Bill, Jessica his daughter and Erika are trying to keep up with the beer crowd here.
They have straight “Diego Dogs,” on a stick or on a bun, for $3.50, or $5 for a quarter-pounder. “The Boxer,” wrapped in bacon goes for $4.50/$6.
And whoa: wish I was man enough for the scrumptious-sounding “Great Dane,” – two battered ’Diego dawgs “sandwiched together with shredded cheese, chopped bacon, chili, and crushed tortilla chips.” Oh man. Only trouble is they cost $7.50, or $10.50 for the quarter-pounders.
But in the end I go for the ’Diegos: one in a bun to take to Carla, one on a stick for me.
Jessica plunges my dog into the deep fry while Erika makes up the bun dog.
I forget to put any of the condiments on, but take the dogs in to the big barn where Mission makes and serves its beer. I’m in a rush, so just get two sampler size $1 glasses of the most delish beer (in my book) they’ve got: the dark stout-ish “Shipwrecked” double IPA out of the barrel. Think the gal says 11 percent alcohol. Usually it’s 9.25 percent. At this level, two sippers is about all you need.
But what I find is that they’re the perfect match for my dog on a stick. It is totally delicious, beefy, not salty like most hot dogs. Even without those condiments, it really tastes of beef. And the batter has a sweetish thing going on. Dang, but it’s good.
I glug the two little glassfuls down and head back out to the Dog Shack.
“How come it tasted so good?” I ask Bill.
“Well, family recipe,” Bill says. “It’s all in the batter. We’re actually working on changing that a little bit. Sweeter? Still experimenting. But the hot dogs themselves come from Lodi, California. Millers. 100 percent beef. Heck they’ve been making them since 1910.”
Gosh, almost as long as Wonder Bread right here.
Where to find them: See The Dog Shack website, and on Twitter.