If you follow local food news, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Haute Dog Carte. Featured in the likes of Baltimore Magazine, Urbanite and the Baltimore Sun, this barely 10’ by 10’, multi-grill little shack—snuggled into the garage owned by the Bonjour French Bakery and Cafe on Falls Road—has certainly had its share of praise.
Although I do have a bit of an oppositional streak (no comments from friends and family, please!), I have no problem going with the crowd if the crowd happens to be right.
Bringing gourmet dogs to North Baltimore, the Haute Dog Carte gives our neck of the woods a quick and easy outdoor lunch option. The choices offered are diverse (for hot dogs, that is) and constantly changing. The service is fast and friendly. And, most importantly, the franks are delicious.
I guess what I’m saying is: got room for me on that bandwagon?
The Haute Dog Carte offers six varieties of dog, including the “Chef Dog” and “Binkert’s Dog,” both of which change daily. On my visit, the rotating choices included a smoked country sausage and a sweet Italian sausage in marinara sauce. The menu has a few standbys, including the quarter-pound black Angus HD Signature Dog, a spicy Italian dog, and a “Tofu Pup” for the meat-averse seeking a meat-like experience.
As you can imagine, these aren’t the 2 a.m. hot dogs of our college years, or even the Kosher franks of our childhoods at Camden Yards or 33rd Street. These are top notch, locally sourced, and grilled to perfection. Cooked in front of your eyes, topped with unexpected condiments and delivered with a smile.
Still, as I stood eating my smoked country sausage, I had to consider whether this hot dog was worth adding an hour to my afternoon run. Every once in a while—as a treat—I think that answer is yes. While I don’t recommend making this your daily lunch solution, it’s certainly no worse than the pizza across the street or the tempura down the hill.
And, come spring, the outdoor Haute Dog Carte will certainly have a leg-up on atmosphere.
Haute Dog Carte
6070 Falls Road
On Falls Road near Lake Falls Village shopping center; attached to Bonjour Bakery.
Gourmet hot dogs.
The dogs go for around $5, give or take. Specials go for market price.
Limited seating—as expected at a roadside stand. But feel free to use Bonjour’s benches.
Haute Dog Carte’s daily menu rotations and specials make it a worthwhile follow on Twitter. Follow @hautedogcarte to see what’s on tap each day; or follow me @suitsandsoot – I’ll retweet anything interesting.
You want a quick (but often interesting) lunch, served from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Recent offerings include a chicken apple vindaloo dog and a bison dog with cherry chipotle BBQ sauce. When chef Daniel Raffel says gourmet, he means it.
Don't go if:
Don’t go for lunch if you can make it for dinner: Bonjour’s crepe night is on Thursdays, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and the Haute Dog Carte is open. Don’t forget to claim your complimentary glass of wine.