Susan Paden knows what you’re thinking: Hot dogs for breakfast? No way.
With the opening of breakfast service at Good Dog on Frazier Avenue three weeks ago, the mornings in Chattanooga just got a whole lot spicier, and the definition of a “hot dog” just got an upgrade.
The same artisan care the crew at the North Shore restaurant brings to its specialty dogs and sausages, its housemade cupcakes and its hand-cut fries is now part and parcel of its breakfast experience.
“I think we have so many great breakfasts in Chattanooga,” said Paden, owner of Good Dog. “But we thought there was room for another breakfast if it was a different breakfast—a good complement.”
On the plate
In taking stock of its neighbors on Frazier Avenue and the restaurant industry as a whole in Chattanooga, Paden and her team, which includes manager Jack Corey, saw a space to fill in either the late night or early morning menus.
There were diners and cafes galore for old-fashioned Southern biscuits and gravy. There were plenty of trendy kitchens sending out pancakes and waffles. There were bistros and restaurants serving up mimosas and decadent brunches.
What didn’t seem to be available was a meat-a-rific breakfast created with an eye for turning local ingredients into tasty, cheesy, saucy, spicy and sweet dishes piled on top of potato hash or griddled slices of Niedlov’s bread.
Conveniently, Good Dog had all of those things on hand already.
The morning menu features a regular pork, a chicken-apple, a chorizo and a black bean-based vegan sausage that can be served with varying additions as either a breakfast sandwich or a hash plate.
The highlights include the chorizo—the dish’s namesake meat with egg, cheddar cheese, jalapeño, tomato, avocado, lime, cream cheese and salsa—the chicken 'n' gravy—chicken-apple sausage, egg, cheddar cheese and housemade white pepper gravy—and the vegan breakfast—mild or spicy vegan ‘sausage,’ Veganaise, roasted red peppers, tomato and lemon-dressed arugula.
For the traditionalists, there is also the option of having an egg and cheese or sausage, egg and cheese sandwich. Extras include homemade granola with milk, granola parfait, Greek yogurt and morning muffins. There is even a “life-changing” special sauce of malt vinegar, Sriracha and the Good Dog fritessaus.
Breakfast libations go from Velo coffee and PG Tips tea to beer cocktails. The morning menu is available seven days a week, 7 to 10:30 a.m.
Made with care
The new service continues Paden and her crew’s mission to redefine the hot dog. The good dogs on Frazier Avenue are not the typical, plastic-wrapped grocery store fare.
From start to finish, the kitchen to the table, each item is a Good Dog product. The restaurant uses local meat, takes pride in its marinating duties, cooks the meat with fresh ingredients and cases the sausages all in the back kitchen.
“The meat marinates overnight, and then we cook it with fresh herbs,” Paden said. “It’s really a beautiful process of food making.”
The fries, hand-cut from cases upon cases of potatoes, are in the authentic Dutch tradition. The red velvet cupcakes take three different batter bowls to make correctly.
Paden has often joked about setting up a kitchen video feed to demonstrate the culinary happenings at Good Dog.
“The handmade element adds to making this a more interesting food city and food culture. I don’t think people know that’s what Good Dog is,” Paden said. “Our breakfast if more outside of the box, and in this town, we thrive on that.”