On Thursday, November 1st, Stokes Croft will become home to brand new “haute” dog and waffle joint Stray Dogs, brought to you by Nathan Muir from the Robin Hood’s Retreat and head chef Chris from Zazu’s Kitchen. The new concept will be located in Stokes Croft venue The Bank, and all hot dogs will be half price on the first night…
Says Chris: “The idea for Stray Dogs is something that has been gradually forming for quite a while now. Me and Nathan have worked closely together for a number of years and both share a love of unfussy, fun to eat food that is quite far removed from what we normally do day to day. This isn’t to say that we don’t enjoy cooking and eating restaurant food, but I don’t think anyone wants to eat that sort of food all the time.”
The idea came from when the pair spent time working at a boutique hotel in Wales last year, and lived on site. “We got into the habit of making ourselves a sandwich at the end of each day to take back to our rooms. This quickly became one of the highlights of the day and started to get a bit out of hand. We were continually trying to outdo each other by making increasingly extravagant sandwiches and towards the end we were spending most of the day talking about either the sandwiches from the night before or the ones that we were going to make that evening. We actually started deciding on the contents of the evening’s sandwich first thing in the morning so that I could tailor bake bread to compliment the particular sandwich of the day!”
As their sandwiches had already started heading down the hot dog route, Stray Dogs was a no-brainer…and when the opportunity at The Bank cropped up, it was too good to miss.
The menu features a range of hot dogs – not just with different toppings, but using a variety of meats and vegetarian sausages. They may not be locally sourced, but there’s a good reason for it. Chris explains, “We spent a lot of time trying out sausages of all types from many different places. We were struggling to find the right combination of quality, texture and taste as the hot dog is obviously quite distinct from other sausages and a lot of the sausages we tried just weren’t up to the standard required. We then found a small supplier who imports sausages directly from a network of small family run butchers in southern Germany (many of them his relatives) and knew instantly that we’d found the right ones. We’ll be using a range of sausages, most of them smoked (largely with Beechwood), including 100% beef sausages, jumbo frankfurters (definitely the best I’ve ever had!), chicken sausages, spiced sausages such as paprika, chilli & garlic etc., and will also be using others such as bratwurst and vienna for our special ‘dog of the week’.”
Alongside the hot dogs, expect waffles – both sweet and savoury – and a full on brunch menu including sausage and pulled pork beans on toast alongside “some more regular breakfast stuff”. Fans of food challenges will be able to take part in the “Yard Dog Challenge” – more details coming soon! The pair will also be putting their own twist on table settings and decor at The Bank to give the venue a retro diner feel.
Stray Dogs opens at The Bank on Stokes Croft on the evening of Thursday, November 1st. For more information and the full menu, visit the website at www.eatstraydogs.com.
Find Stray Dogs on the Bristol Bites Directory…