"No self-respecting Cherry Creek snob would go to someplace named 'Wrap Dawgs,'" wrote a frequent Cafe Society commenter when I announced that a new hot dog joint, whose name was Wrap Dawgs, planned to open at Second and St. Paul.
"Yeah...that. Our original plan was to open near college campuses, and we wanted a rap theme, which is why we initially chose that name, but there probably isn't a lot of rap in Cherry Creek, so we changed the name," explains managing partner Jeremy Mayer, who began doling out his dough-wrapped "hawt" dogs last week. "We're calling our dogs 'hawt' instead of 'hot,' because there's a lot of spice to our food and because 'hawt' means having a good time, and we've created a cool ambience to hang out, watch TV and eat really good food."
The hot dogs and sausages, most of which are procured from Tonali's Meats and Continental Sausage, which also supplies Biker Jim's, Uber Sausage and Rock-N-Dogs, are grilled, stuffed, rolled in fresh dough from City Bakery and baked -- and if nothing else, the formula guarantees a dog that doesn't drip, drool or leave anything behind on the plate. "That's what it's all about: taking it up a level by stuffing everything in the bread until it's hot and golden brown and nothing falls out, which is something you don't see very often in the hot dog world," says Mayer. "Regular hot dogs, he adds, are "hard to eat, they fall apart, or the bread isn't good, but you won't get any of that with these dogs. We wanted to think outside the box."
His sausages -- spicy andouille; chicken apple and garlic; hot Italian pork; Santa Fe turkey sausage; pork-and-beef smoked Polish sausage; a smoked buffalo cheddar and jalapeno brat; an Avalanche ale pork brat; and a tofurkey sausage, along with a Hebrew National all-beef dog -- are all dolled up with everything from a Cajun shrimp jambalaya to burrata to shaved pastrami and roasted garlic. "Aside from the sausages and dogs, nearly everything is made in-house -- the dressings, the croutons, all of the sauces, chips and tater tots, and we're spicing the pickles and will eventually start pickling our own," says Mayer, adding that the majority of his products are all local. "We like keeping it in the 'hood."
And in April, when Mayer gets his liquor license, that locality will expand to beer: "I know Brian, the owner of Renegade Brewing Company, and I love their beers, so we're going to have a bunch of their beers on tap as soon as we get our liquor license, which should be in April."
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The Cherry Creek store, Mayer says, is one of many that he hopes to open across Colorado. "We opened this as a footprint for many more to come."
For more information, call 303-355-4296.