Dog Haus Biergarten, 4000 Bagpiper Way, Ste 110, Arlington. 682-276-6686. 11am-10pm Sun-Thu, 11am-12am Fri-Sat. All major credit cards accepted.
With locations in Richardson, Arlington Highlands, and new locations in DFW and Houston coming soon, Dog Haus Biergarten was bound to find its way to the North Texas locale where chains go to roost. Of all of the chains in Arlington Highlands, we can say this one’s a nice addition.
Dog Haus boasts a standardized industrial slick-chic décor with polished concrete floors and a series of pretty wood-topped bench tables and bartops. The place’s website calls the vibe “craft casual,” and to be honest, the restaurant looks a lot less fussy and cluttered than many of the neighboring chains.
The menu is dizzying, but once you have a chance to study it, you’ll realize it’s a lot of the same items packaged in different ways. Choose from eight different hot dogs (mixed meat, mostly wrapped in bacon, one wrapped in root beer batter), eight brats or sausages, or seven burgers. There are also a couple of chicken sandwiches and four plant-based non-meat burgers and brats to consider.
The Cowboy, a smoked bacon-wrapped dog covered in queso, fried onions, and barbecue sauce, arrived on three conjoined Hawaiian rolls that had been halved and grilled to golden perfection. There were almost too many flavors going on – the spicy queso clashed a little with the barbecue sauce, but the dog itself tasted fine. The fried onions and slightly sweet rolls provided a lovely counterbalance to the smoky flavors.
Because it’s unusual to find plant-based meat substitute at a chain, we also tried the Beyond Brat. Unlike soy hot dogs, which taste like the cardboard container they’re served in, Beyond products are made with pea protein and a little juice for color. The presentation looked amazing –– the brat with its seductive drizzle of good brown mustard and a bedding of sauerkraut and sautéed onions on more Hawaiian rolls looked identical to its meaty cousin. What was missing from the dog was the snap of casing. The sauerkraut and onions also went to war with each other –– the caramelized onions tasted more like a cloying jam. This brat won’t convert a meat lover to a vegan, but it was a good addition to the menu.
The Mensch burger is a giant patty with toppings overflowing the conjoined, grilled, buttery-sweet rolls. Pickles, pastrami, coleslaw, and the restaurant’s secret sauce all piled on my taste buds simultaneously. Either the slaw or the special sauce (or both) was just too overpoweringly sweet. Although, when I removed most of both, the white American cheese, pastrami, and real sliced deli pickles made magic with the beef. A word about preparation: If you want your burger cooked any temp other than medium well, speak up. The patty had a good amount of fat to it, so it stood up to the over-grilling.
None of the entrées comes with sides. The queso tots were a good-sized pile of fairly average tater tots accompanied by a small cup of queso topped with chopped peppers. It wasn’t the worst queso in town, and the cheese product definitely livened up the tots, which were bland and in need of spice or salt.
A friend who braved opening day traffic for a free hot dog observed that it’s cheaper to buy hot dogs and soft drinks at the neighboring Studio Movie Grill or either of the two Arlington stadiums, which is true – especially on the Rangers’ dollar hot dog nights. Of course, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be served a non-GMO, antibiotic-free, humanely raised beef and pork dog at Jerry World.
During happy hour, pints of local and regional craft beer, macrobrews, and cider are discounted by $2. The Dog Haus’ dainty shaded patio features an outside bar window that should prove quite pleasant come fall.
Does Dog Haus offer the plant-based dogs and burgers as part of a genuine effort to improve customers’ health, or do the California chain-owners know that if you’re dining with a vegan, the vegan isn’t choosing the hot dog joint? Either way, it’s nice to have options.
Dog Haus Biergarten
The Cowboy $6.49
The Mensch $7.99
Beyond Brat $7.99
Tots w/queso $8
Happy hour cider or beer $4.50