Thursday, May 1, 2014

Dirty Bones, 24th April

Firstly, I've got to commend the soundtrack in Dirty Bones - a mixture of soulful old school funk, and sultry modern R n B. Everyone I was with thought the music was excellent and completely matched the 70s retro lounge feel of the place.

So, good impressions from the start and happily the food also lived up to these.

I'd actually already had a Dirty Bones hot dog from when they launched and were giving away dogs for free, so I knew, in essence, that I already liked their hot dogs. But those were just the classic yankees - some ketchup, mustard and spring onion. I wanted to try some of the speciality hot dogs, and found it very hard to choose between the Mexican (topped with pulled pork, cactus salsa, lime sour cream and guacamole) and the Asian (topped with wasabi mayo, seaweed, sesame seeds and kimchi). As much as I love Mexican flavours, I thought the Asian one sounded unlike any other hot dog I'd tried so I wanted to see if it would work. A couple of people had the Brit Dog (treacle bacon, mature beer cheddar and curried gherkins) while one person did have the Mexican, and someone had the Frenchie (chives, celeriac remoulade, crispy shallots and roast garlic puree) but on a veggie dog.

We enquired about the 'Dirty fries' and found out they were their regular triple cooked fries but topped with cheese and jalapenos and onions. They sounded amazing but with my Asian dog I though it might be a bit much. As it happens, these dirty fries are done in quite an understated way and I wouldn't have felt like a right pig if I'd ordered them as well. I satisfied myself with regular fries as well.

While we waited for the food, we all had a cocktail each. I couldn't resist having something whiskey-based and had the Big Apple - JD, lillet rouge, peychaud bitters, and it came with a warm slice of toffee apple on the top which was absolutely delicious! Quite a lot of people took a risk and ordered the highly alcoholic sounding Deputy Dog (a lot of the cocktails are dog-themed) which had tequila in it, plus solerno and fresh mint, making it quite similar to a mojito. But it was also topped up with Ting and was a long drink, rather than a short one so wasn't quite as potent as everyone thought it might be. 

Our hot dogs shortly arrived and I liked the look of mine straight away. Eating it was even better. My hot dog had a good girth to it, even if it was a little 'short'. I would say it still stings a little to be paying £8.50 for a hot dog, but the price is comparable to other places, and if I were to directly compare it to, say Bubbledogs, I would say I liked this place a lot better. The hot dogs available are more interesting, bigger, and, well, better!

I loved my Asian dog - all the flavours added up to a delicious bite every time, and still retained the hot dog taste underneath, not overpowering it. The crunchy seaweed on top was worth ordering this one alone, and the wasabi was at a perfect level for me - like English mustard, I can't handle too much.

Everyone else was full of praise for their hot dogs, and the girl who ordered the veggie version was loudest among them. I think she was genuinely surprised to find herself liking a hot dog so much, not having been much of a fan of them before, and she said more than once how impressed she was. 

The fries were great, nice and crunchy. I must say though, that even though I'm sure they were triple fried, does it really need to be mentioned on the menu? They're really good fries but by highlighting that they're triple fried it almost gives me expectations way beyond what I'm actually getting. 

We left after we ate because, even though we liked the place, there's no denying it's pricey. Cans of beer (yes, cans' not bottles) were £5.00 and although wine looked priced normally, I suspect that was for small measures (they didn't specify on the menu). Even then we might have stayed but it was the day before pay day.

So, everyone liked the place. Which was a relief. I've got myself a bit of a reputation for knowing the 'cool' places to go and keeping on top of the Zeitgeist and this was the first place we had all been on my recommendation. So thanks Dirty Bones, for keeping my rep' intact!

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