I am pleased to report that New Orleans is now home to a top-notch purveyor of hot dogs. Even pre-k, this was an area of our culinary scene that was severly lacking. I am qualified to say this because I ran a website devoted to hot dogs and I sampled many around the city. Nobody specialized in hot dogs, and the places that featured them on the menu universally sold an inferior product. Pre-k I would have said that the little food counter at Sam’s Club was your best bet for a hot dog. Thankfully this is no longer the case.
East bank residents need look no futher than Shaggy’s Seafood & Sandwich Shop, at 4413 Banks St., next to Banks St. Bar & Grill. Formerly the Gigi Asian Bistro, this little hole in the wall carries all Vienna Beef hot dogs, plus po-boys and other standards. Vienna Beef means a quality hot dog, and Shaggy’s is the only place in the city that carries them. Today marked my third visit, and the third time was a charm, as I can now safely say that Shaggy has perfected the art of the chicago-style hot dog. It was a completely authentic rendering, right down to the neon green relish and the mushy poppy seed bun. If you don’t like your hot dogs “dragged through the garden” you can get a plain “New York style” dog as well, plus there are daily dog specials — including a “muffaletta dog.” Shaggy also recommends the pork chop sandwich, which I have yet to try.
For west bankers there’s a somewhat new place called Easy Dogs in Gretna. I can’t vouch for this place but it sure is nice to see people taking the hot dog seriously in New Orleans. And as I’m only a few blocks away from Shaggy’s, I hope they stay there for some time to come.