Ever since my mother came home positively raving about Dog Haus, I had been meaning to go there. Double that intention and desire once I found out that the creative minds behind Kings Row Gastropub were also the mad men slinging us these rave-worthy burgers and ‘best of the wurst’ dogs & sausages. When I first met the Kings Row/Dog Haus collective, we of course began to talk about our favorite kinds of dogs, burgers and sausage. I remember saying how much I love sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions and cheddar – not American – cheese.
“That’s the Maria burger!” one of the owners exclaimed, pointing to his fiance, Maria, who designed the burger. Maria and I shared a high-five and I vowed that the Hail Maria would be my first meal at The Dog Haus.
I know these guys are on the right track when I checked out their menu online and saw “The Abe Froman” listed under their wurst menu. Google it if you’re not laughing.
Cut-to this week when I decide to treat my sister to a burger as she works long, unusual hours now and deserved a treat. First thing I’m going to say about Dog Haus is how pissed I am that it did not exist when I was attending Pasadena City College – as it’s a mere two blocks up from the school. Parking is behind the building, street or in the church parking lot next door (except for Sundays for obvious reasons and only in spaces clearly marked as reserved for the 105 building).
Inside is a spacious, clean counter-service with picnic-style tables and a dry marker board made to look like traditional chalkboard deli service. All burgers, dogs and sausages are listed with prices, plus drinks, desserts, side orders and the build-your-own feature for those who don’t want a premade burger.
My sister went for The Ringer – cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, bbq sauce, onion rings. She loved it, though she did omit the BBQ sauce. It was large, crunchy, meaty with just a bit of sweetness from the bun, which Annette was surprised to find out was Hawaiian bread.
Hail Maria – sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, mayo. I swapped out the mayo for aioli and I advise Dog Haus to make that a permanent swap because it just added a whole new level of flavor and texture to an already delicious burger.
I gave up trying to eat the burger with my hands; as you can see, these are massive! 1/3 lb. patties generously stacked with their toppings with Hawaiian bread for a bun. My burger in particular was sweet, I think from the abundance of juicy caramelized onions, creamy aioli and the bun itself. I finally had to just go at it with a knife and fork.
The tater tots were good, but the burgers were so filling that my sister and I could not finish them. The fries, unfortunately, left much to be desired. They look amazing, but tasted as if they had been precooked and warmed up. Easily remedied, which I am sure they will eventually.
The burgers shined in this outing and at half the cost of a burger from The Counter, my other favorite burger joint, I know I will be back. I can’t wait to go back and report on the hot dogs!
Would I recommend Dog Haus? Absolutely. Affordable, filling and delicious, how can these burgers go wrong when they are so very, very right!
Would I return to Dog Haus? Already in the works to go back and have a taste of them hot dogs! I’m sure my family will insist on tagging along with me, too. Expect a follow-up review!
105 North Hill Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91106-1916