Time out: The hot dog is a culinary delight

By From page B3 | June 21, 2013

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RUFFHAUS HOT DOG CO. at 4355 Town Center Blvd., Suite 114, in El Dorado Hills, offers a super selection of hot dogs and many other dishes for the entire family to enjoy. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

Restaurant: Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co.

Address: Town Center in El Dorado Hills at 4355 Town Center Blvd., Suite 114

Phone: 916-941-Dogs (3647)

Hours: Open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week

So we go from France to Germany, from Diamond Springs to El Dorado Hills, all within a few days of each other.

Is it just me or is El Dorado County’s restaurant community becoming more varied and worldly lately?

Once again I took the advice of one of my co-workers and took the short drive from Placerville to El Dorado Hills Town Center to partake of a “top quality hot dog” crafted by folks who purport to using “a culinarian’s approach” (I think they made that word up, but I like it) in a dining environment that’s “worthy of hot dog sophistication.”

OK — this should be interesting. The mission statement of Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co., from which the above quotes originate, is a mix of the serious and the absurdly serious.

The restaurant is serious about the quality of its food and it is a step or two (or seven) above the ordinary hot dog product, and is very serious about elevating the hot dog into something approaching haute cuisine.

I understand and appreciate the self-depreciating sense of humor involved here and I have to tell you it’s refreshing. It’ll be even more refreshing if they can back up these lofty claims and I made plans to find out if they could.

After a quick glance at the menu, I knew what I was going to do. I am going to throw you a curveball, dear reader and not order a hot dog.

Ha! What do you think of that? Aren’t I a shifty little dude?

I ordered the pork schnitzel, a pounded thin pork loin, breaded and fried, served with mash, sauerkraut and a succulent brown onion based gravy.

I happened to get my mitts on a menu a few days prior to visiting Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co., so I had prepared for this by not eating for 72 hours.

It was a good move — the dish was huge but boy was it good. The pork loin was tender and juicy (so easy to overcook these things), the mash creamy and the gravy was thick and savory. Above all else the meal was super tasty.

One of our journalists for Village Life swears by Ruffhaus’ “specialty dogs” and he has been working his way down the menu for a while now.

They all look wonderfully creative, intriguing and extremely delicious, and next time I visit Ruffhaus I’ll have to break down and partake in one or two of these naturally encased wonders.

Here’s a sampling: The Napa (chicken apple sausage, whole grain port mustard, truffle arugula bacon slaw, maytag blue cheese); The Sanoran (bacon, pinto beans, pico de gallo, cheddar cheese, chipotle mayo and roasted green chli; The Tofudabeast (a veggie dog with avocado, cucumber, tomato arugula, romaine wrap and topped with a balsamic vinaigrette.)

In addition to dogs there is other unique fare such as a gyro sandwich (pronounced Yee-row), an Italian hot beef sandwich (The Mobster), fish and chips, braised barbecue and lots of “pub grub” (bangers and mash, currywurst, etc).

For those of you with little dogs of your own they do have a substantial and varied “Little Pups” menu that will satisfy the little appetites.

Ruffhaus Hot Dog Co. is located in Town Center in El Dorado Hills at 4355 Town Center Blvd., Suite 114. The phone number is 916-941-Dogs (3647). It is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

Earle Camembert

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