Top photo: Basic dog with mustard, catsup and relish.
Editor’s note: Members of our staff, aka the Lunch Bunch, go out to lunch to give you the rundown on the food and the atmosphere at local restaurants. This week: The Dog House.
By Sally Mahan
If you live in Bluffton or Beaufort or points in-between, you know that some of the best places to eat are quintessential homegrown joints that reflect the area: casual, colorful, sit-back-and-relax-style places.
The Dog House on Sea Island Parkway is one of those Lowcountry spots, where the drive there is a treat, the simple fare is done really well and the service is friendly.
Owners Blake Moyer and Vicky Web bought the restaurant from Geraldine and Dick Purdy in August, and have expanded the menu at this long-time, family-friendly local eatery.
As you drive down Sea Island Parkway, you’ll get a taste of the Lowcountry: salt air, beautiful marshes as far as the eye can see.
But as you get closer, you’ll have no problem spotting The Dog House. The fluttering flags draw your attention, and as you drive up you’ll see the bright umbrellas over the red outdoor picnic tables. This is super-casual dining, after all.
First on the menu, of course, are hotdogs: a basic dog with mustard, catsup and onions or relish; a chili dog with slaw; a ballpark with sauerkraut and spicy mustard; a Chicago dog with all the “stuff” on a poppy seed bun; the Big Dog, which is a grilled ¼ pound Hebrew National; and the Hoffman’s, which is two Hoffman’s Casing Dogs and your choice of toppings.
But patrons can choose any topping they want, including the aforementioned mustard, catsup, onion, sauerkraut, coleslaw and spicy mustard. Other toppings include grilled onions, spicy giardiniera, sautéed peppers and onions, pimento cheese and a dill pickle spear.
The expanded menu offers a variety of sausages, including the Fuhgeddaboudit (Italian sausage, peppers and onions on a hoagie); Deutsh (bratwurst with sauerkraut and spicy mustard on a hoagie); kielbasa; Andioulli; and the Lumberjack (sauerkraut and spicy mustard on a hoagie).
There are also shrimp burgers, which one of my dining mates ordered and raved about. The Dog House also offers a shrimp basket, a shrimp po’boy, lobster rolls, a Chicago Italian beef sandwich and a grilled bologna, which is butcher-cut and served on a toasted Kaiser roll.
Sides include fries, onion rings (my personal favorite side dish that comes with a really tasty sauce), macaroni salad, potato salad, chili cheese fries and chips.
There are also daily specials. For instance, on Mondays, military, police and rescue personnel get 10 percent off; on Tuesdays, teachers and other school district personnel get 10 percent off.
Overall, we loved the food, the casual, clean atmosphere and the friendly service.
The Dog House is at 381 Sea Island Parkway. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Sally Mahan is the editor in chief of The Bluffton News and The Island News.