Not your ordinary wieners! Not even ordinary buns. The hot dogs served at Short Leash come wrapped in naan breads, tortillas, or pretzel rolls. Condiments range from mango chutney and peanut butter to chipotle cream cheese and avocado sauce. The tube steaks themselves can be all-beef, chicken dogs, spicy-beer hots, brats, or meat-free.
It is possible to select a wiener and have it dolled up and bunned exactly as you like – you even can ask for a plain-Jane regular (beef and pork) frank topped with only yellow mustard; but the house signature dogs and premium dogs are intriguing enough to demand investigation. I first tackled one close to a classic – the Chili Dog, which is an all-beefer topped with vegetarian chili, grated cheddar cheese, and chopped raw onions. It’s a fine, snappy-skinned frank, its chili coat more cumin-flavored than fiery, a comfort-food selection cradled in a round of buttery naan bread.
For heat-seekers, I recommend the appropriately named Devil Dog, which comes adorned with roasted red peppers, green chilies, sautéed onions, sriracha sauce, melted cheddar cheese, and enough chopped-up jalapenos to clear sinuses. It also comes in a trough of naan bread, which in this case is a welcome fire-dampening agent for the tongue.
Want to sample something weird? Have a Sunny Dog. It is a chicken wiener topped with grilled fruit, a sheaf of prosciutto, goat cheese, honey, and peppery arugula. It adds up to a fascinating whirl of flavors that, for me, do not quite scratch the hot-dog itch, but satisfy hunger in a completely unexpected way.
Good side dishes include mild mac ‘n’ cheese with crunch to its breadcrumb top, thin French fries that arrive well-peppered and salted, and fried pickles that are a teeter-totter of sweet and sour inside their crisp coat.
There are a few indoor tables as well as a sunny adjoining patio to which the staff will bring your meal.