Mark Jannetty has taken a concept attempted by many—the condiment bar—and expanded it exponentially. You’ll find him and his wife Angela at Chef’s Dog House early in the morning, preparing thirty different condiments by hand. Hot dog connoisseurs who love relishes will howl at the moon here: Mark makes six different kinds (red onion-mustard, pepper, green chile, burger, sweet, and hot dog relish), all of which are top-class. Like peppers? There are hot pepper rings, roasted long peppers, roasted sweet peppers, jalapeños, and more. More of a mustard guy? Six homemade mustards, including one lip-smacking concoction made with chopped sweet onions, are ready for sampling. Feeling more Spartan? There’s always the ketchup and mayo options as well.
The specialty dogs are hard to pass up. The Junkyard Dog is wrapped in bacon and topped with chili, nacho cheese, and grilled onions. Mark’s savory chili only adds to the overall enjoyment. The Southern Dog comes topped with pulled pork and cole slaw.
The best way to experience the condiment bar is to order a plain dog (a custom all-beef frank made by Kayem of Massachusetts) and try as many toppings as possible. Among our favorites are Chef’s burger relish, Fire House Sauce, and Cajun mustard. All dogs are nestled in New England-style buns, their sides grilled to crispy perfection.
As superb as the hot dogs are, burgers must not be ignored. Fresh, never frozen, ground beef is formed into 1/3-lb. patties and grilled, then sandwiched in superior bakery-style buns that provide enough bready substance to keep the burger and toppings together without disintegration. A daily special on our visit was the Onion Mayhem: sweet onion-infused burger, A-1 mayo, and Tabasco onion frizzles (thinly fried onion strings, Mark’s signature topping). That you could actually taste every element was remarkable, but what was even more amazing was the fact that the bun held the proceedings together to the final morsel! Fresh-cut potato wedges are perfect for scooping up jalapeño ketchup or—even better—chipotle mayo.
The menu also includes soups and to-go salads, breakfast sandwiches and a Brunch Burger that is a bacon cheeseburger topped with potato frizzles and an over-easy egg.