Political meetings bring out the hunger in me! After enjoying a two-hour town hall meeting with our State Assemblyman, it was time to head over to nearby Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co. and enjoy some of the best hot dogs to be found in beautiful El Dorado County.
As with all of reviews that I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co. is located in the heart of El Dorado Hills, on Town Center Drive, in the upscale downtown area of the city. Unlike most other downtown's, this "center of town" is less than 20 years old, as in the late 1990's, El Dorado Hills morphed from a small, rural community into a bustling, upscale very small city, complete with a beautiful, modern downtown, and lots of high-tech companies.
It's just past 11 in the morning on Saturday, August 18, 2018, and I'm ready to enjoy hot dogs!
Photo: As you open the front door, you get a preview of what's in store when it comes to the decor. Yes, you seat yourself and you order at the bar. There is a small section of outdoor dining on the side of the building, and directly in front, but the city prohibits beer outside the building.
Photo: As you go past the "welcome" sign the first thing you'll notice is the bar, where you'll place your order. Oddly, you pay for your order after you place it, unlike other restaurants where you pay after you've enjoyed your meal. You'll also be treated to the decor, in full view!
If you're looking for mixed drinks, you've come to the wrong place, as only beer and wine are offered. Will, the friendly bartender/server has just filled an ice-cold glass of Bud Light and is ready to serve it to me.
Photo: The London telephone booth, which doubles as a wine cellar sort of sets the mood for the atmosphere, and the eclectic decor of the restaurant. I arrive just after the restaurant opened, and for the first 10 minutes, I was the only customer, so I could shoot lots of photos without getting in anybody's way.
Photo: The menu actually is quite extensive, and features several pages of hot dogs, burgers, and classic "pub grub." As the name implies, the specialty of Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co. is hot dogs, and since today was my first visit to this wonderful restaurant, I opted to begin at the basics: The "Classic Dogs" section of the menu. My eyes fixated on the "Chicago" and the Coney" dogs, and I couldn't break away...
Photo: After placing my order at the bar, I had time to savor the crazy, "funky" decor. There is definitely a lot going on in the dining room, but I find the atmosphere electrifying, eccentric, and very much in keeping with a "pub" that specializes in hot dogs.
Photo: I absolutely adore kitchen shots - when I can get them - and I was able to take a peek in the kitchen and quickly snap a photo, while the staff was busy. Check out the huge inventory of spices stored on the rack. The kitchen is definitely clean and well-organized.
Photo: There is a small condiment section located in the dining room which features lots of mustard, several varieties of hot sauce, along with utensils. Where's the ketchup? This is a "high end" hot dog restaurant, and ketchup is NEVER used on "high end" hot dogs. If you want to desecrate your hot dog with ketchup, just ask for it, and one of the friendly staff members will gladly give you a bottle. Actually, I did request ketchup, but it was for my fries.
Photo: Meet Will, the friendly guy tending bar, and doubled as server, who welcomed me with a smile, and lots of great conversation. Look at those dogs!!!
Photo: The chef who prepared my dogs, and order of fries, stopped by to chat with me, after Will had served me. She hails from Denmark, but unfortunately, I didn't catch her name.
Photo: As I mentioned at the top of this article, town hall political meetings are hard work, which build up an appetite, so I'm all smiles as I'm about ready to embark on a journey to Chicago and Michigan, via the wonderful hot dogs served at Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co., in El Dorado Hills.
Photo: My lunch today, and this lunch is enough to satisfy the appetite of an NFL linebacker, is a Coney Dog, a Chicago Dog, and a side order of fries. More on the dogs... but what about the fries?
A side of "Haus Cut Fries" will set you back $6.00, which is significant, BUT... you get lots of them, and they're delicious. They're cut thin, with the potato skin intact, which is something that I LOVE. The fries are, naturally, deep fried and salted, but they're perfect, as they're not oily, nor are they too salty. They're perfect, and you get a mountain of them. Yes, I took some of them home with me, as I couldn't eat them all.
Photo: My classic "Coney Dog." If you're a connoisseur of hot dogs, you'll know that a "Coney Dog" is a Michigan not dog, as opposed to Coney Island, New York. There are two varities of "Cony Dogs," Flint and Detroit, and the dog I enjoyed today is definitely a "Detroit" variety. That's evident by the thick meat sauce...
The "Coney" starts out with a large, grilled dog, that "snaps" when you bit into it. It's followed by thick, savory meat sauce, mustard, and topped with diced onion, all placed on a fresh, sweet roll. When you bit into this treat, the dog snaps, and the packages shouts "FLAVOR!" This dog is as close to Detroit as you'll get in El Dorado Hills.
Photo: There are many restaurants in the greater Sacramento area that advertise "Chicago" dogs on the menu. Very few Californians are aware of what a "Chicago" dog is, what is in it, and how it is made. Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co. has the "Chicago Dog" nailed... with one exception. The but isn't a poppyseed bun, as it's a regular hot dog roll, as used on the "Coney Dog." But, try to find a poppyseed bun on the West Coast... good luck. So, I have no problem with the poppyseed bun as the only element out of place.
Other than the lack of poppyseed bun, this "Chicago Dog" has it all, including neon green relish, sport peppers, dill pickle spears, sliced tomato, onion, celery salt, mustard, and naturally, a beef frank that "snaps" when you bite into it. Of course, no ketchup is to be found anywhere near this creation, as ketchup is NEVER EVER used on a "Chicago Dog." Never in a million years!
El Dorado Hills meets Chicago in this delicious hot dog, as this is as close to Chicago as you'll get anywhere in California. This is a delicious dog!
It's almost worth the "price of admission" just to sit at the bar, sip a cold draught beer, and enjoy the funky decor, and chit-chat with the friendly staff members. But when you factor in the honest-to-goodness "Chicago" and "Coney Dog," you elevate the "bling" factor to a whole new level, as you savor these truly authentic to their genre, regional hot dog classics.
If you're looking for some of the best dogs that El Dorado County has to offer, look no further than Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co., located in El Dorado Hills.
Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co.
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