Now, that’s a good dog
Duke’s in Patchogue serves up gourmet hot dogs
In America, hot dogs have gotten a bad reputation.
They’re seen as a quick dinner, easy barbecue food, or even looked down on when made with highly processed ingredients. Duke’s Dogs in Patchogue, a brand-new hot dog joint on South Ocean Avenue, has flipped that perception around. After all, these are no typical backyard dogs.
The Avino family — Mike and his father Jim — owns Duke’s (they also own Avino’s Italian Table in Bellport and Catch Oyster Bar in Patchogue), with friend Ron Siders. The group opened the space previously occupied by Fry Daddy’s in late June. The menu features several gourmet hot dogs, as well as other meat-centric creations, like bratwurst and bologna. The meats come fresh from the other side of the wall — Karl Ehmer Quality Meats, also located on South Ocean Avenue.
WHAT WE THINK
The hot dogs come stacked, so hopefully you can stretch your jaw to get a full bite.
The Mac Attack features a pork and beef hot dog with mac and cheese mixed with jalapenos, caramelized onions and bacon. If you have a cheat day coming up, you’ll want to reserve this for then, and it will be completely worth it. The mac and cheese stands well on its own, but the hot dog adds a great texture to the meal. The cheese is creamy; for an extra sting, take a bite of one of the sliced jalapenos placed on top.
The Maui Wowie puts an Asian spin on a traditional American food. This hot dog is wrapped in bacon and topped with pineapple-jalapeno relish and teriyaki glaze. The bacon was cooked well and didn’t add a super-fatty character to the dog. The relish gives a good balance to the saltiness of the hot dog and makes it feel a bit lighter, while still packing flavor.
The Polka King is a sliced bratwurst topped with sautéed red cabbage and brown sugar mustard. Bratwurst and meats like it are characteristically salty, but the red cabbage provides an acidity and crunch that helps give more depth to the sandwich. It’s a great option for a quick lunch that you want to feel high-end.
Perhaps one of the most unique hot dogs on the menu is the Tuscan, which puts all the ingredients and flavors of a typical Italian panini into a hot dog. Bread coated in pesto, and a hot dog surrounded by tomato and mozzarella and topped with balsamic vinaigrette create a truly special hot dog to satisfy any Italian-American.
If you’re still not crazy about hot dogs after all that, consider the bologna sliders, which take a thick slice of bologna topped with cheese and caramelized onions and place it between two buns. The cheese gives richness to the sandwich, a nontraditional form of comfort food. The bologna, again coming from Karl Ehmer, is simply delicious.
Overall, Duke’s is knocking it out of the park when it comes to American comfort food, in a town overrun with restaurants, no less. But now Patchogue finally has a chance to elevate its summer grub game all year long.
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