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The yellow lunch truck’s parked in front of Mission Brewery (1441 L Street, at 14th, East Village), not far from Father Joe’s.

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Gal sticks her head through the delivery hatch. “Like something?”

“It’s a Dog’s World,” says the logo on the side.

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They have a menu on the side of the truck. Oh, right. Mostly hot dogs. Names like Goofy Foot, Thai One On Dog, Surf Dog and Ain’t No Shrinking Violet. That one looks really interesting: Sunny-side up egg, chorizo, spinach and cilantro salad, grated manchego cheese, $6.

But the fact is I’m kinda pressed for time. Fifteen minutes till the bus at 12th and Imp. Actually came here for a quick Dark Seas Stout, in the brewery here. So gotta move fast.

“Which dog's the best today?” I ask the gal, Lauren. No time to decide.

“Well I kinda like the Goofy Foot,” she says. “It’s like mac and cheese. Four cheeses and macaroni, plus queso and chives. It’s $7. Like this one.”

She says it as she hands a plate down to the guy ahead of me.

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Wow. Looks like those close-up pictures of Mars. Golden-red, with yellow pebbles all round, which turn out to be roasted corn kernels. The white globular stuff on top must be the queso fresco.

“OK. I'll take one. And sliders?”

I see they have sliders, salads and a couple of sandwiches.

“We’ve got a nice gouda slider plate today,” she says. “Gouda cheese, plus mango and pineapple on top.”

Now I notice another sign on the truck. “Our toppings make the difference,” it says.

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Hey, maybe they mean it. This sounds original. Mango on a hamburger? It’s $7 too. What thu heck? I get that too.

Got to say. When she hands me down my Goofy Foot, my first thought is: But where’s the dawg? Must be buried under the crispy-golden matting of the mac and cheese.

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This is a totally beautiful surrounding to the beef wiener hiding below. And with fresh salad leaves. The whole thing is the first new hot dog idea I’ve seen since Oscar Meyer rolled out his Wienermobile. Cheesy, beefy, salady. Man. I’m sold.

The sliders? The mango and pineapple turn it into a gourmet moment.

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Truly, the grilled beef, the tangy gouda, the sweet mango meat, it’s a beautiful little combination.

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These two – Lauren and her dad Robert, turns out – ain’t no strangers to the restaurant biz. “Our family has had six restaurants in 20 years,” says Robert. "Our last one, Magnolias Authentic Southern Dining, had 22 employees, 5 thousand square feet."

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So why throw that away for a food truck?

“We wanted something simpler. This is beautiful for us.”

Dang. Only fly in the ointment: I forgot to ask how come they call my dog “Goofy Foot”?

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Comments

suzieq July 9, 2013 @ 7:19 p.m.

Very close to home. I cant wait to try this truck. Thanks for sticking so close to the real part of my San Diego!

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Ed Bedford July 11, 2013 @ 3:12 a.m.

My pleasure Suzie. These guys were such a nice surprise, and so danged original!

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Ian Pike July 14, 2013 @ 1:22 p.m.

I am headed back to SD after time away and hot damn do I want one of those dogs right about now!

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