Who cares how the sausage gets made? We’re back in Austin this week, and Man Bites Dog’s beef franks, brats, and sausages are so scrumptious that you’ll soon find yourself shoveling them in as if you’re part of a one-man hot dog eating contest. The front-runner was My Big Fat Greek Dog, a zesty Merguez lamb sausage, surprisingly boudin-like with its flecks of rice, loaded with fennel seed and garlic, without a hint of Windex in sight. Golden, light bun? Check. Creamy tzatziki sauce and decadent feta crumbles? You got it. Black olives, diced tomatoes and onions, and crunchy cucumber slices? Athens, I think we have a winner. And the dogs don’t stop there. If the snooty eatery’s cuisine in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off had been anywhere as good as the Abe Froman entrée here, there’s no way the sausage king of Chicago would have been late for his reservation. A split, grilled Vienna beef frank, yellow mustard, onion and tomato dices, pickle relish, and celery salt on a fluffy, grilled bun, topped with a dill pickle spear, there are no surprises, only a Chicago dog done to perfection. Frankly, the only slight disappointment was the special, a Live Oak beer brat with spicy brown mustard, tangy sauerkraut, and chopped onions on a pretzel bun. Delicious in theory, yes, but the pretzel bun proved too soppy, and the haphazardly squirted mustard overwhelmed the other flavors. But at the end of the day, it’s still a brat, which is pretty hard to dislike. If you’d rather scarf your sausages in the comfort of four walls, you’re in luck. Man Bites Dog is opening another location in the spring, this one a brick-and-mortar restaurant with the best brat accompaniment you can think of. No, not accordions. Beer! If you’re a trailer purist like me, though, don’t wait in line at Torchy’s on South First with all those other fools; instead, eat like a sausage king in half the time at the Man Bites Dog trailer next door. After all, you only have four months to train to beat Takeru Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut at this year’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. 1311 South First (512-445-5591). Mon–Thur 11–8. Fri & Sat 11–10. Sun 11–8. Posted by Megan Giller
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