- California Hot Dogs — or Cal Dogs for short — opened last month in the Dewitt Building at 543 Pollasky Ave. in the former Salsa’s location. (Salsa’s moved down the street to 410 Clovis Ave.)
Cal Dogs combines hot dogs with California history, and even has a mascot — Gus the Gold Miner.
All 20-plus hot dogs are named after California history. There’s the Hidalgo dog, for example, a hot dog served with enchilada sauce and jack cheese, wrapped in a tortilla and topped with chilies. It’s named after the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War in 1848. The menu is at left. Click on it to make it bigger.
Cal Dogs is run by the Taliaferro family, who also run Serenity Funeral Services — no connection between the businesses other than family, they stress. The family is confident this restaurant concept will work because they’ve done it before. About 27 years ago the family ran a similar restaurant in the Bay Area. It was successful, but with babies at home they put aside the restaurant to focus on family — until now. Now those babies — Ross and Chris Taliaferro — are running the restaurant.
- Cravings Wood Grilled Burgers N’ Dogs has opened a second location, this one in the Costco shopping center at 4434 W. Shaw Ave.
The original Cravings is still open at Herndon and Armstrong avenues. It was going well enough the owner decided to try one on the other side of town, in the old Pat E. Wackers restaurant.
Cravings serves hot dogs, sausages and burgers cooked on a wood-fired grill that burns almond wood, infusing a smoky flavor into the meat. It offers more than 25 toppings, including its most popular, a chipotle mayo that customers slather on hamburgers and hot dogs and dip their sweet potato fries in.