Friday, February 14, 2014

Gettin' The Low Down on One of Our Favorites - Detroit Underdog

Many of you that frequent Ferndale may be aware of a tasty treat you can pick up behind the WAB a few nights a week. Detroit Underdog sets up base in the parking lot behind the WAB Thursday thru Saturday from midnight 'til 3 a.m. They are there to serve up some of the best hot dogs around before you head home for the night. But, these aren't your normal hot dogs.
Although there is a hot dog buried in there somewhere, these dogs are topped with a whole plethora of toppings. Some of them include Mac 'N Cheese (Mac-Daddy Dog), Pulled Pork and Coleslaw (Detroit Underdog), or even Cool Ranch Doritos (Stoner Special). I'm normally not huge on hot dogs, but it's hard to pass up a stop by the stand when I'm heading out of the bar.

Carrie Laux and Vic Reyes from Detroit Underdog have been out there all winter long manning their stand through these harsh temperatures just to bring people their hot dogs. Not only have they had their stand behind the WAB, but they also have been stepping inside New Way Bar just down the street. On Tuesdays, they have been serving your favorites from the Detroit Underdog stand inside the bar for lunch and dinner. So now you can pick up your favorite dog, along with some Faygo and Better Made chips in the middle of the day too, instead of just in the middle of the night.

Pretty much any time I am down in Ferndale I have to stop by Detroit Underdog after a night of partying. Since most of my friends do the same, I just thought this great food stand was public knowledge. After finding out that a friend of mine was in the dark about Underdog, I realized that there are a whole lot of people that are missing out on this this wonderful deliciousness. So, we decided to catch up with Carrie from Detroit Underdog to find out more about their business and hear some fun stories too!

HID- What made you guys want to open a Hot Dog stand?
Detroit Underdog- "Our friends actually owned it for a season. We had worked it for them a few times. One day they called us up & said they had to sell the business & they really wanted US to be the new owners because they knew that we could make it successful & take care of it. We talked to our families & decided to take a huge leap of faith & buy it!"

HID- How do you come up with all of the crazy combinations?
Detroit Underdog- "We get inspiration from EVERY WHERE! Sometimes we will just find some really nice produce or cool local product & say "what can we do with this?". We also watch a lot of cooking/food shows. Recently, we were watching a show about tacos & BAM! the al pastor dog was on the specials board! Customers give us ideas too. The Seattle Dog was born out of a suggestion from our pal, Sean Whaley. He mentioned that they put cream cheese on their dogs in Seattle. Hesitant, we thought we'd kick it up a notch & whip the cream cheese with garlic & herbs & add some scallions. At first it was just on the special board but it became so popular that it has made it's way onto the main menu."

HID- What is your most popular item on the menu?
Detroit Underdog- "The Detroit Underdog, our signature dog, is topped with pulled pork & BBQ sauce & sells out nearly every night. We roast A LOT of butts :)
The Mac Daddy is also a huge fan favorite. We made it once for a special & it's became a staple. We've had people actually leave if we don't have it."

HID- Since your hours are mainly late night, we're sure you get a lot of "fun" customers. What's the craziest thing that has happened at Detroit Underdog?
Detroit Underdog- "Now this is a hilarious story! We did kind of a soft opening before we actually started operating regularly. It was St. Patrick's Day of 2012. I (Carrie) was cooking away while Vic had quite a line. All of a sudden a man runs up & starts putting his personal belongings wallet, phone, etc) on the grill! I take them saying, "honey, the grill is hot" & bent down to put them on the cooler when I notice the man has NO PANTS ON!!! His friend is in tow with his pants & the two of them struggle to get the pants on all the while Mr. Underwear is screaming "I want a hot dog" repeatedly. His friend looks at me stating he only had $2. I gladly took it & sent the duo on their way."

HID- What's the best part about having this stand?
Detroit Underdog- "We have both been in the restaurant biz since we were teenagers. We just love feeding people! When customers tell us they dream about our food or that've driven from Novi just to get a dog, it gives us a huge sense of pride & happiness. FOOD = LOVE!!!"

HID- I think we saw something on your Facebook about a food truck a while back. Is that something you guys are still looking in to? Any plan to expand in the future?
Detroit Underdog- "We would LOVE to have a truck; that is our dream! It would allow us to expand as far as being more mobile, but the funds just aren't there right now. We will continue to work for it, though."

HID- Speaking of expansion, this is sort of along the same lines. You guys have been serving food up at New Way Bar lately. Tell us a little about that. Can customers get the full menu and same favorites there?
Detroit Underdog- "The New Way has generously allowed us to do a pop up every Tuesday, which is especially helpful to us in this frigid winter we've been having. Originally it was just going to be lunch hour but we found people wanted to come after work so we started staying open til about 7pm. We do an indoor service with our full hot dog menu plus a $5 plate with two pulled pork sliders, Mac n cheese & coleslaw. You can't beat a plate of home cooked goodness for $5!"

HID- How many hot dogs do you end up eating in a week?
Detroit Underdog- "Haha!!! We TRY not to eat too many & a lot of times just share one (lessens the guilt :) )"

HID- Which is your favorite?
Detroit Underdog- "Vic really likes the Seattle but usually has it with a polish sausage instead of a dog. I'm a fan of the Mac daddy with bacon but my all time favorite is the black n blue that we rotate out on the special. (It has bacon, bleu cheese & blackened spice!)"

HID- Anything else that you would like our readers to know?
Detroit Underdog- "We really love what we do! We really appreciate all of the support from our customers & the businesses that host us. We would not be here without them!"

So next time you are out on the town, swing by the parking lot behind the WAB, The Loving Touch and Sneakers to pick up a snack before you head home. We're sure you will not be disappointed. You'll actually probably dream about hot dogs the rest of the night. Make sure to head over and "Like" Detroit Underdog on Facebook too so you can keep up to date on when the stand will be set up for shop!


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