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Jul 21, 2009 04:31 PM

Show Dogs?

Anybody know about this place? Looks like a hot dog stand by the Foreign Cinema people. Menu looks pretty good.

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  1. Went with a friend today and tried the corn dog, the duck sausage and the lemon chicken sausage... Also had the barbeque fries and onion rings...

    Corn dog was lacking... Odd batter/crust... Didn't really have any corn flavor and was kinda soft/soggy... Hot dog was OK... Crust... Fail. I'd pass on this...

    Duck sausage was tasty... But I like kimchee... So dunno how others will feel about this garnish... The pasilla BBQ sauce was fine too... Sausage wasn't dry, but not bursting with juiciness either...

    Lemon chicken sausage was OK, but better than I thought it be... The words 'lemon chicken' strike fear in me, since I had some God awful lemon chicken Chinese dish (I'm Chinese, BTW) in Washington, D.C. ages ago... So... Since I am somewhat bias about this one item... You can probably ignore my opinion on it... ;)

    Will go back to try some of the other offerings...

    Onion rings were OK... I liked the barbeque fries... Was like eating the french fries version of BBQ potato chips...

    4 Replies
    1. re: slew

      Thanks for the first report. I'm looking forward to trying those dogs. I probably would have avoided the corn dog anyway, since it's the least interesting item on the menu. I'm glad to see they are open until 8pm too.

      1. re: Shane Greenwood

        There's another thread here:

        but sheesh the dog in the Thrillist post looks so unappetizing to me.

        1. re: grayelf

          Ah, thanks. It wasn't coming up in my search because of the different spelling. The place is "Show Dogs" not "showdogs".

          1. re: Shane Greenwood


            Show Dogs
            1020 Market St, San Francisco, CA

    2. I just came back from Show Dogs for lunch with a couple of friends. It was... a bit of a curate's egg, really, although my opinion may be skewed by high expectations. Overall, I thought the food was good, but I have some quibbles. On our plates:

      1. Wild Boar Sausage with remoulade, arugula ($7.50) The sausage itself was nice, with a dense, somewhat gamey flavor that I liked. The remoulade was tangy and complemented the meat well, although I didn't personally think the arugula added much to the experience. (My friends disagreed.) This dog, as well as the others we had, were served on a toasted sesame seed bun, which I thought was a good choice -- it held all the ingredients in place.

      2. Organic Duck Sausage with pasilla bbq sauce, kimchee ($8) Again, the sausage itself was fantastic. The main problem was that it was largely buried by the flavor of the kimchee. I actually think the combination could work very well, with perhaps half as much kimchee (maybe mince it up too?), but as it was, too much. The bbq sauce was great, and paired well. Overall, I still thought it was nice, if not the home run that other people said it was.

      3. Ryan Farr's Organic 4505 Dog with diced onion, sliced tomato, house mustard ($7.65). I thought this one was the most successful of the three I tried, as the combination of the ingredients worked best together than in the other dogs (and it's hard not to notice that it's halfway to being a Chicago hot dog). I was quite pleased with this one, although it was also the least interesting, with respect to ingredients. Still, good is good, and this one was.

      4. 49'er All Beef Schwartz Dog with house mustard, house sauerkraut, arugula ($5.75)
      I don't know what this tastes like, because my rapscallion of a friend inhaled the whole thing before I could try it. I mention it because he got to try all four of our dogs, and he liked this one the best (hmph!). This was also one of the cheapest dogs on the menu.

      5. Barbeque Fries ($3.75)
      These we did not think were good. They were basically regular French fries with bbq dust liberally sprinkled on top, the same sort used for BBQ potato chips. I'm not personally a big fan of that flavor, so it didn't do much for me, but the fries themselves were soggy and bland. Without the bbq dust, they would be mediocre or worse, in fact in my opinion they would be worse than McDo fries. When I asked the guy which condiment I should use for the fries, he generously gave me a cup of remoulade, which helped some, but not enough to make them tasty. We didn't finish the fries.

      It must be noted that the staff, who are best described as young, merry hipsters, are extremely friendly. In fact, for this sort of fast food, they are by far the most courteous and helpful servers I've encountered in a while. So they get kudos from me here.

      The main problem is that it is too expensive. While all the dogs were decent, none of them were outstanding enough to justify the price. I personally ordered two dogs, the fries, and a Diet Coke, and my bill came to $23.27. $23.27! Without alcohol! (Of which, there is a fair selection of local brews.) That prices it well above most quick food options, and I cannot honestly say that it was vastly superior to, say, the $3 bahn mi sandwiches in Little Saigon, which isn't too far away. The fries in particular get a demerit for cost: nearly $4 for French fries? Just how expensive is bbq dust, anyway?

      It must also be noted that all three of us were hungry again an hour later, although all three of us have high metabolisms. Light eaters may be okay with one dog, but most active people will want at least two.

      It's hard not to compare this place to Hot Doug's in Chicago, which I suspect was the model for this place. Hot Doug's is, alas, vastly superior, and it's no contest. Locals will probably compare it to Rosamunde, and... well, I prefer Show Dogs, and I think it is now the best sausage place in San Francisco, but I would not be surprised if some disagreed.

      In any event, all the sausages at Show Dogs are of very high quality, so I think it's just a matter of matching the sausages with good dressing combinations. I think very highly of the Foreign Cinema gang, and I believe they will eventually pull it off (the food, at least. The somewhat coarse neighborhood makes it a tough business proposition.). I will definitely go again, but so far I'm not blown away, as I had hoped to be. It's at least worth poking your nose in if you're in the area.

      23 Replies
      1. re: dunstable

        Any updates on this place? We're thinking of doing a dog off btwn Show Dogs, Zog's and Da Beef in November...

        1. re: grayelf

          Two of us went two nights ago. We split an order of rings, an order of fries, the wild boar dog, and a merguez. Both dogs were really flavorful, well-spiced. I too felt that the arugula was superflous - the sausage outweighed any peppery flavor of the greens. LIked the remoulade. Can't remember the sauce on the merguez, but the dog itself was really good - nice lamb flavor, not oily. again, no real point in the arugula - or there should be a lot more of it to stand up to the flavor of the dogs. The fries were ok - we got regular instead of BBQ, tho we asked for BBQ. The rings were really good. I'm not a total fan of rings usually - but these were very crisp and lightly battered. The counterman gave us a taste of a watermelon ale that went really well with the dogs, very refreshing and light, so we ordered one to split. i felt the prices were ok - even though they are hot dogs, they are FC hot dogs, so I didn't expect to pay less than $7 or so apiece. The only problem to me was the ambience. We were there at about 7:30-8:15, and sat outside because it was a nice night. It's not a nice strip of Market - there was an homeless man yelling at the top of his lungs at another unfortunate homeless man in a wheelchair, and a lot of panhandlers, not to mention the sirens every few minutes. I'm sure FC is hoping the area will gentrify, as the strip of Valencia they are on is doing . . . it's not a destination place, but I have to say I really liked the dogs, and would try the other dogs (and bbq fries) if i was in the neighborhood.

          1. re: mariacarmen

            Very helpful, esp re the onion rings which I am a huge fan of when done right -- we're planning to go at lunch this Friday so I wonder if the ambiance will be any different.

            1. re: grayelf

              It's supposed to rain, maybe, so sit inside - that may help with ambience. remember, tho - i'm not usually an onion ring person, so they may not be up to your standards!

              1. re: grayelf

                i forget, do you put malt vinegar on onion rings?

                1. re: wolfe

                  ??? are you kidding? i've never heard of that. malt vinegar goes on fish and chips only, as far as i know . . . are you just pulling my leg? i can be very naive!

                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    Even though my background is English, I don't love malt vinegar. I don't know of any stricture against using it on whatever you might like it on. I, however, love white vinegar on onion rings, FWIW.

                    I didn't realize that there was an option to sit inside at Show Dogs so that is a great piece of info. I had convinced myself it was a stand only despite the clear reference to church pews in the OP's post ;-).

                    Show Dogs
                    1020 Market St, San Francisco, CA

                      1. re: mariacarmen

                        Too soon, I think it's on their schedule for tomorrow.

                    1. re: mariacarmen

                      Mariacarmen, yes. When I lived in Detroit I used to go south to Canada for chips with vinegar. Just joshing the young lady from Vancouver.

                      1. re: wolfe

                        Hey, I remember travelling in parts of the States years ago where they looked at you like you were mad if you requested vinegar of any kind instead of ketchup with your fries/chips.

                        1. re: grayelf

                          The fact that malt vinegar is more and more available in the US makes me wonder when Poutine will make its way south of the border...

                          1. re: BernalKC

                            They have Poutine at O My Dawg in Oakland. Not sure how authentic it is, but it's dangerously tasty.

                            O My Dawg- CLOSED
                            463 2nd St, Oakland, CA

                            1. re: Mola

                              Cheap too. The way it ought to be. I sense a lunch expedition in the making...

                            2. re: BernalKC

                              Trader Joe's sells cheese curds now, and I imagine it's for Poutine . . .

                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                Malt vinegar on poutine = Wolf and Montcalm revisited. Don't do it.

                                Cheese curds spotted (and tasted) at Jack London Square market. Not fresh enough to squeak and egad to the garlic and spicy versions but they are there, and the same vendor was at the Tuesday FPFM FWIW.

                                Back on topic, our dog off got rained out and we ended up at Miss SaiGon instead. More on that later...

                                Jack London Square
                                70 Washington St # 207, Oakland, CA

                                  1. re: grayelf

                                    I dunno, grayelf... I lived in Toronto for a bit and it was common there to put malt vinegar on poutine. I like it. :)

                                    1. re: adrienne156

                                      Wow the OP must be tearing his hair out :-). I lived in TO for a few years too and never encountered that particular poutine combo. Of course, poutine in Toronna is not poutine in Quebec or even Ottawa... but that is grist for a different thread, ya?

                                    2. re: grayelf

                                      Yeah, Springhill makes cheese curds, but they never squeak. I think it's because the milk they use is very high in fat, which makes the curds kind of greasy and not squeaky. The only decent cheese curds I've had around here are from Oakdale Cheese.

                      2. re: dunstable

                        dunstable, I had to post this photo which quotes you (under the generic alias "chowhound").

                      3. I had a "Let's be Frank Dog" there a couple of weeks back, and although prepared well, this was the worst excuse for a hot dog, or any kind of sausage, that I've ever had. It was almost tasteless with an unpleasant grainy texture. These dogs used to be good but they seem to be getting worse and worse. So while it seemed to be prepared correctly, Show Dogs loses points with me for choosing to serve such a poor product.

                        Show Dogs
                        1020 Market St, San Francisco, CA

                        1. Went here the other night and got the house merguez with fig preserve. Absolutely incredible, way better than anything I've ever had at Rosamunde's. On one hand, I feel they're hurt a bit by the location, but on the other hand, it's nice to see them trying to improve this area.

                          1. Went to Showdogs for a late lunch on Sun. It's on Market not too far from Powell, heading towards Civic Center.

                            I got Organic House Merguez - $7.25 from the menu it's: house made with lamb and pork, fig chutney, house mustard, arugula. To me it's a skinny, hot dog maybe 3 index fingers long & thin. Fig chutney was ok, house mustard - nothing special, arugula - just raw greens. Bun was ok.

                            A. got House Maple Bacon Pork - $7.00 house brown mustard, arugula. He seemed to like it.

                            Service was nice & they brought the food to us by our number they gave us.

                            Happy Hour 4-7p Every Day beer for $3.

                            My total after tax $7.94, A. paid his own. Credit cards taken

                            M-F 8-10
                            Sat 10-10
                            Sun 10-6