DogHaus “Sooo Veggie”: It will fool the most rabid carnivore
Stopping at the DogHaus on a recent trip to LA was almost an afterthought. We had been there before, and we were just looking for a cheap place to have a few drinks and snacks. It was the Friday after Thanksgiving, and the Dog Haus in Pasadena had $1.25 sliders and $3 drafts and house wines from 3pm to 6pm. It seemed like an obvious choice.
However, once we arrived, our group of six (four eager-to-imbibe adults and two active kids) grabbed one of the long picnic-table-like seats and started to scrutinize the menu. While the idea of $1.25 sliders was tempting–in fact, it’s what brought us there–the creatively named menu items quickly caught our attention.
If I were ordering on name alone, a decision would be nearly impossible. The Pig Lebowski, Reservoir Hog, Free Bird and The Hangover would have easily won me over. But coming off of the biggest meat-eating day of the year and being in Southern California, a veggie option seemed more appealing.
I found one! And I decided give it a try–despite its boring name: “Sooo Veggie.”
DogHaus’ “Sooo Veggie” is a veggie smoked apple sausage topped with tomato, avocado, wild arugula, crispy onions and a spicy basil aioli, nestled inside a sweet “bun” (essentially, three connected King’s Hawaiian rolls sliced into bun form).
If even reading about the toppings and bread alone don’t make you immediately salivate, just wait ‘til you try the veggie sausage … which is what I did next.
This is what I call my “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” moment. Despite the wonderful texture and flavor of the perfectly balanced toppings (that is, balanced in texture and flavor only–the thing fell completely apart in one bite), I was immediately distracted by the sausage itself. I was convinced it was 100% animal flesh. I’m not a vegetarian, so I wasn’t angry or offended–just sure a mistake had been made because it was simply too good not to be meat.
And here’s why…
When I took that first bite, I heard and felt that wonderful snap of a natural cased sausage. And the texture of the sausage was firm and juicy–not mushy and soft like the many many many other veggie hot dogs and sausages I’ve had throughout my life. And finally, it was perfectly seasoned–exactly as one would expect from a high quality artisan 100% meat sausage.
I pulled a piece of the sausage out and looked at the “meat” closely. Still not convinced. I called on my husband for his opinion. He looked at it, tasted it. Now neither of us were convinced. Not until I brought my sister-in-law (a former years-long vegetarian and frequenter of the Pasadena DogHaus) in for her assessment was I finally sure this was it–the best goddam veggie sausage I have ever had in my life.
So if you’ve been looking all your life for that fake meat that actually tastes like real meat, you’ll find it at the Dog Haus. And if you haven’t been, it’s worth having your own “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” moment.