Kirkland Tap & Trotter Debuts ‘Hot Dog Monday’
Tony Maws creates a haute counterpoint to his ridiculously popular Craigie burger.
As a counterpoint to his critically-acclaimed hamburger at Craigie on Main, Tony Maws is introducing a night dedicated to gourmet hot dogs at his more-casual Somerville spot. Starting on April 14, Kirkland Tap & Trotter is introducing its first ever “Hot Dog Monday,” featuring a gourmet frankfurter made from all-natural pork shoulder, grass-fed beef chuck and shoulder, a house-baked pretzel bun, and Maws’ riff on ballpark condiments.
“I’ve been planning this for years,” says Maws. “At Craigie on Main, we have this thing on the menu called a hamburger and a few people know about it. It’s gotten a lot of attention, which is kind of ironic because even though I love a good burger, I’m actually much more of a hot dog guy. It’s definitely a labor of love to make a hot dog, which is why you don’t find that many people that make them. It’s a very fine-tuned sausage. So when we announced that we were going to open Kirkland Tap & Trotter, it seemed like a logical counterpart.”
For his hot dog, Maws tinkered with every component for over a year trying to find the perfect blend of ingredients. His final recipe includes a relish he likens to a spicier version of Southern Piccalilli (or chow-chow), a house-made yellow ballpark mustard with “medium heat,” a sausage ground with “real meat” (not “lips and assholes”), and a chewy pretzel roll that’s the opposite of commercial white bread.
“I personally don’t like a soft, squishy hot dog bun,” says Maws. “I don’t like it! I don’t like Wonder Bread, either. For my interpretation of a hot dog, I didn’t want a bun so hearty that you couldn’t bite into it, but I also didn’t want something so soft that it would fall apart. It’s very important to me that everything coming out of Kirkland is craft cooking. So, thinking of the hot dogs’ original roots, we settled on the idea of a pretzel.”
The Kirkland Tap and Trotter Hot Dog is an off-menu item that will be available on Monday evenings and sporadically throughout the rest of the week. “It’s going to be a similar approach to the Craigie on Main burger, which is that we’re going to pump some out everyday, but it’s going to be in limited quantities,” says Maws. “We’ll see how this will evolve over time. The burger did its thing and took off and we had to reign it back in. That’s the trials and tribulations of a being a restaurant owner and a chef, having to hear everyone freaking out over a hamburger, but I threw down the gauntlet with this dog and I really like it.”
$16, 425 Washington St., Somerville; 857-259-6585 or kirklandtapandtrotter.com.