Tasty Thoughts (Fall 2016, Sept 26th)

A review of Hilo’s own Saucy Dogs

Contributing Writer and Photographer Alexandra Huizar

Saucy Dogs is a brand new local eatery that specializes in gourmet hot dogs and other comfort foods like nachos and sandwiches, and more.

Owned and staffed by a young couple, Saucy Dogs is located at 14 Furneaux Lane in Hilo, between Moonstruck Patisserie and Sugar Coast Candy in the heart of downtown.

With only eight seats available for eating indoors, Saucy Dogs is a small establishment - but despite the small space, they still provide big taste. Moreover, they boast an impressively large menu, both in literal size and in food options. While many food options are available while still specializing in hot dogs.

Mac Attack

There are many creative combinations that transform these typical American dishes into local Hawaiian inspired treats, like the Lava Dog (pepperjack cheese, onions, jalapeños, and spicy mayo), the Aloha Dog (pineapple, red onion, cilantro, jalapeños, bacon, and teri-mayo) , Macho Nachos (nachos with olives, cheddar, avocado, jalapeños, tomatoes, onions, and kalua pork), and the Toasted SPAM-wich (spam, cheddar and teriyaki mayo on sweet bread). Or, if you don’t want to try one of their original creations, you have the freedom to customize your order however you want!

Prices at Saucy Dogs range from $5 to $8, so it’s pretty affordable on a college student budget, and whether you are eating in or taking out, you are sure to get a hearty helping of whatever you’re craving at the moment.

On top of their ono food, the service at Saucy Dogs is quite ‘frankly’...’top dog!’ With great prices, great portions, cute decor, and friendly staff, chances are you’re going to enjoy your experience at this ‘saucy’ joint.

My visit to Saucy Dogs was with friends, so I was luckily able to sample a few items. I personally ordered the Mac Attack hot dog, with ¼ lb hot dog instead of a regular-sized frank.

The Mac Attack consist of a toasted bun topped with fresh homemade mac n’ cheese and fresh bacon bits served with Maui onion potato chips on the side. This interesting combination proved to be gratifying and packed with flavor. The beef frank paired well with the savory bacon and naturally complimented the thick pasta and cheese flavor of the mac n’ cheese. My only complaint would be that the amount of cheese on the mac n’ cheese was not as hearty as it could have been. The dense flavor of a generous amount of cheese would have completed the succulent flavor of the beef and bacon combination, but instead the plain pasta flavor overpowered the cheese and left the meat flavors feeling a bit tainted. Despite this, I enjoyed my meal and it left me feeling full and satisfied.

The top dogs of my visit were the Kalua Pork Dog (a hot dog topped with kalua pork and your choice of sauce) and the Macho Nachos. Those of us who have lived in Hawaiʻi for some time know good kalua pork when we taste it and when I took that first bite into the kalua pork within these dishes, I was transported to my tenth birthday where I tasted kalua pork for the first time. The immense and authentic flavors drenched throughout the pork flowed through my mouth like a juicy, savory river that carried me through a torrent of memories. The same happiness I felt on my tenth birthday was what I felt at the moment of eating Saucy Dogs’ kalua pork and my eyes couldn’t help but tear up from this enjoyable experience. The perfect blend of taste, tenderness, and juiciness filled every corner of my mouth with full-bodied flavor and left me wanting more. I did not expect to find such mouth-watering tastes and menu options at Saucy Dogs, and I ‘relished’ in my experience at this eatery. I now have the desire to try everything on their menu, in order to find new tastes and gems similar to their kalua pork within their menu, so it’s a good thing that Saucy Dogs is affordable.

I would rate Saucy Dogs a solid four dogs out of five to commend the quality and care put into their product. And I would suggest that you get your ‘buns’ over there and try it!

Kalua Pork Dog
Kalua Pork Dog

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.