It was a dog day afternoon Saturday when I pulled into the parking lot of Broome's Grocery in Ocean Springs and stumbled upon the grand opening of The Dog House.
Just outside Broome's sits The Crawfish House, a kitchen with a walk-up order window and a shaded outdoor seating area. On this day, there was a notice announcing the end of crawfish season and the temporary conversion of the business to The Dog House.
Frankly, I had reservations about how adventurous I might be when ordering a hot dog. I've never been one to go beyond putting chili and cheese on a dog.
Those reservations went out the window when I saw the menu. With 27 toppings in their kitchen, the owners crafted a selection of 10 mouthwatering gourmet dogs. All of them are made with grilled Nathan's Famous hot dogs and are topped plentifully.
I chose the Sonoran, named for the northwest Mexican state Sonora. Accordingly, the dog has an avocado pico de gallo made of tomato, avocado, red onions, cilantro and lime juice. It also is topped with a mayonnaise sauce and crispy bits of bacon. It was an exciting combination of flavor and undoubtedly the best dog I ever ate.
All the gourmet dogs on the menu are $5, and I can't wait to get back and try the others.
The Aloha Dog has avocado and a mango salsa with mango, tomato, red onions, jalapenos, cilantro, honey and lime. The Columbian seems a little over the top even for my newly adventurous taste buds, but I'm going to try it, too. It has pineapple sauce, coleslaw, crushed potato chips, ketchup and mustard.
There also is a Philly Cheesesteak hot dog with grilled peppers and the Daaa' Chicago, which has a poppy seed bun, tomatoes, onion and peppers, dill pickle spears, mustard, Chicago relish and celery salt. Kids and some adults might like the Puppy Dog, which is topped with macaroni and cheese and bacon.
For those who want to build their own, a bun and dog setup is $3. Mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup and sweet relish are free. Their 23 specialty toppings include spicy mustard, grilled mushrooms and any of the aforementioned toppings for $1 each.
The Dog House also has chips, cookies, sodas and domestic and draft beers.
It looks like being in the "dog house" isn't such a bad thing anymore.
Hours are Thursday through Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m.