Disclaimer: I dined courtesy of Phat Brats.
I have a massive soft spot, or is that oily spot, for sausages. I've always loved adding heaps of condiments to gourmet sausages. When I was in Chicago, I couldn't get enough of hot dogs with their wide variety of condiments and sausage choices. Finally, it seems that Melbourne is starting to get in on the gourmet hot dog style. Phat Brats is the latest shop to serve gourmet hot dogs. The boys, Matt and Damo, serve sausages which are just simple "honest" dogs, made from locally sourced wholesome ingredients. I went along with my hot dog eating posse, Agnes, I-Hua, April and Michele to sample some hot dogs and fries.
As we all love hot dogs, we decided to order a variety of them and some fries to share.
We tried the following:
*Beer smoked bratwurst: local beer smoked brat sausage with sauteed onions, sauerkraut, Bavarian mustard and green pickle relish
*Chili dog: wagyu beef sausage with spicy ground beef, house chili sauce, pb cheese sauce and spring onion
*Wagyu beef: wagyu beef sausage with house tomato sauce and mild mustard
*Lamb and rosemary: lamb and rosemary sausage with smashed minted peas, house gravy, raw slaw and crumbled feta
*Pork and sage: pork and sage sausage with braised apple and red cabbage, crisp shallots and horseradish cream
*Spicy chorizo: spicy Spanish pork sausage with pinto beans, shredded lettuce, sour cream, jalapenos and house tomato sauce
*Po’ boy: crispy battered fish, spicy shrimp, shredded lettuce and aioli ($8.90).
I exaggerate not to say that we literally inhaled the hot dogs and fries in under 10 minutes. We were like sharks circling the innocent cute white seals. I blame it on the cold weather rather than my gluttonous appetite to excuse the rate and amount of food that I ate. It was really delicious though.
I would say there wasn't a hot dog that I disliked, but not all hot dogs are created equally. For me, the highlights were the Beer Soaked Bratwurst, Chili Dog and Spicy Chorizo. The bratwurst was fantastic with the mix of sausage with onions, sauerkraut and pickle relish. Nearly all of my favourite hot dog ingredients in one thing. The Chili Dog contained my other favourite hot dog element, chili. I loved the chili mince and really enjoyed this hot dog. The Spicy Chorizo, again contained a beautiful pork sausage with jalapenos. I'm totally in love with jalapenos and ate that on everything for about 6 months.
With the fries, I was expecting to love the Chili Fries but found it was only quite good. I think the problem was the chili beans. If we had gone with the chili mince, I would have loved these fries, but since I-Hua doesn't eat beef, we went with the beans. However, the Cheesy Fries made up for the Chili Fries. We all couldn't get enough of the crispy fries covered in melting cheese goodness. They were truly sensational, a must order.
The restaurant is a small place with some simple wooden tables to sit down and enjoy your hot dog. You order and pay at the counter and receive your hot dogs in small plastic baskets. You can choose to get in there and eat with your hands, or like me, you can eat neatly with the plastic cutlery. At the moment, you can only order soft drinks and juices, but in a few weeks time when they get their liquor license, you can enjoy a refreshing beer with these wonderful hot dogs and fries.