No Kid Hungry, which is working to end childhood hunger in America, is one of the restaurant community’s favorite charities. This year Dog Haus, a local gourmet casual hot dog and craft beer chain, is partnering with eight top chefs from around the country to create fundraising specialty menus. $1 of the purchase price from each of these menu items will be donated to No Kid Hungry. You can also round up your bill to the nearest dollar to raise even more money for the charity.
Dog Haus’ first chef collaboration partners actual “Top Chefs.” A competitor in this season’s Top Chef, Bruce Kalman of Union and Knead & Co, who is famous for his meatballs and porchetta, is paired with last season’s winner, Brooke Williamson of Playa Provisions, Hudson House, The Tripel and Da Kikokiko.
Chef Kalman collaborated with Dog Haus to create “Porchetta ‘Bout It”, which features “a custom porchetta sausage (made with Kalman’s signature porchetta seasoning), Kalman’s Italian giardiniera, garlic aioli and chicharrôn.” This dog has so many disparate ingredients, it might seem like they would not meld well. But the richness of the pork belly sausage, the gentle yet sharp heat of the giardiniera, subtle garlic notes and the crunch of the chicharrones balance out perfectly. The dog manages to be rich without being greasy. My only complaint is an overall issue with Dog Haus using Hawaiian rolls as buns. They often can’t hold up to the heavy ingredients and disintegrate in your hands.
Chef Brooke Williamson created the Salty Malty, “a salty caramel budino shake with a caramel swirl, malt and dulce crispearls,” to pair with the porschetta dog. When salted caramel first became a thing, a lot of people just added salt willy-nilly to caramel without any sense of balance. Now that salted caramel has proven itself to be more than a fad, we are lucky to have someone with the skills of Brooke Williamson who gets her shake pretty close to the fetish dessert, budino. Malt is an under-rated ingredient, and here it gives the shake a solid and nostalgic vibe. Now, what the heck are crispearls? They are those tiny chocolate balls you see sprinkled on fancy cakes and desserts.
Both of the specialty items are a lot more intense than we are used to in our “fast food.” You may want to split them with a friend and order the Bad Mutha Clucka grilled chicken sandwich with House Slaw to offset the uber richness.
The “Porchetta ‘Bout It” and the “Salty Malty” will be available through the end of February. Next up, we will see 2-month stints from renowned national chefs like Stephanie Izard, Ilan Hall, Alex Seidel and Dean Fearing. At the end of the year, we will receive a holiday present of specials created by hometown hero Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage Co, Hanjip and EsCaLa, alongside “a sweet creation” from everyone’s favorite pastry chef, Duff Goldman of Duff’s Cake Mix and Charm City Cakes.