This past Saturday I went to a client's establishment for a rare Saturday appearance. On the way there I noticed a Bar-BQ truck/trailer/vendor in a bright red truck and trailer on a vacant lot along Highway 11 just west of Dearfoot Parkway. I asked my clients who have a fixed base operation less than a mile away if they had ever tried it. They had not. Even so, I was hungry and thought I would stop and get some Bar-BQ. So I stopped at the red truck and trailer with a couple of guys sitting next to it in lawn chairs.
My experience is that these side of the road guys often have some really good offerings, which was the case here. Although I wasn't looking for dogs, I immediately noticed them on the menu. I was in the mood for Bar B Q so that had to be part of my order; but I also asked about the dogs.
I was told that their hot dogs have a special seasoning that brings people back asking for more. That was enough to get me to order one. I asked the guy at the window how he liked his dogs. The answer I got was far from creative; he likes catchup and mustard... that's it. I must say it kind of dampened my enthusiasm a little. I did finally order a dog with kraut, catchup and mustard. I tend to default to what the "house" thinks is good. Somehow I missed the optimal hot dog experience at Ho Down as mine was lukewarm and seemed to have no special seasoning. It was OK but nothing special as far as I was concerned. The menu offered dogs with chow chow or with slaw but there was no "signature dog" that they had decided was the way to serve a hot dog. Perhaps they should give this a little attention.
As I talked with these guys I learned that some customers have requested a hot dog topped with Bar-BQ (think Q-dog) or moon dog. It seems a shame that they haven't put enough creativity into their menu to push their own unique hot dog.
Now on the other side, the Bar-BQ is wonderful. You will not find better Bar-BQ anywhere. I like lots of different kinds of sauces, but when I find a bar BQ that tastes this good in a mild sauce like theirs, I know I have found the real thing. Even if they don't know how to market a hot dog, their Bar-BQ is good.
Now a little more about Ho Down: This trailer is an engineering marvel. If you are there ask about the trailer. The roof is covered with solar panels so that they have no need to connect to Alabama Power and pay no power bill. They cook meat 24/7 with the use of gas to heat the cooker supplemented by a wood chamber that provides smoke.I would like to see them figure out how to smoke the dogs before they serve 'em. And maybe serve them a little warmer. Regardless of the dogs, this rig is a real marvel.
I had a recent comment about Lulu's in Trussville. This a long trip for at lunch time; but we plan to visit Lulu's soon.