Not Your Grandmother’s Hot Dawg

Just outside East End in Second Ward proper sits a shack called Moon Tower Inn serving up gourmet wild dogs with enough decadence to make a born again vegetarian change her mind. That’s right. I fell off the wagon once more, and it only took four words: duck vino foie gras. Mix it up in a casing; stick it in a soft, sweet pretzel bun; top it with green peppers, fresh cilantro, and spicy mayo, and you’ve got one kickass dog, dawg.IMG_0113

Moon Tower Inn is converting believers by the minute in its funky what-you-see-is-what-you-get dive bar propped catty cornered to a backyard of washed-out picnic tables and makeshift fireplaces.  This is a place where would-be Austin-ites and foodies convene for casual convo about music, movies, and bike riding over cigars and cold suds. This is a place where you can devour a Mexican spiced wild boar dog with the Houston skyline in your rear view. This is a place where they serve pumpkin beer for dessert. This is a place located smack dab in the barrio where you don’t mind spending $8 for an organic hotdog because before you discovered this place, you never even had heard of an organic hotdog. This is a place where you apply for a gig at and where you can find them at  This is a place with a website that reads, “Get off the damn internet and get your ass to 3004 Canal.”

My French-inspired dog was mildly sweet, complemented by a red pepper creamy mayo. I washed it down with ice-cold water, deciding I’ll order beer and potato salad at my next visit after a morning fast. Because, as I discovered after two bites, this is a place that you should visit on an empty stomach, for their eccentrically-topped weeny was quite filling and well-rounded by the thick, crusty pretzel shell that held it all together.

Live music would make this world of grunge-meets-yuppy livelier, but I guess the idea will manifest once the owners are completely established again. Considering the long line that curved around the sidewalk, word about the revitalized oxymoronic hotdog stand has spread quick. Maybe next time I’ll try the one vegetarian item on the menu, the vaggie burger made with black beans and beets.

Naah, just give me another weenie with ‘tude and a little lager on the side.


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