Review: Dog Central’s weirdly delicious hot dogs

CMU graduate Tom Pritz makes a hot dog for a customer at Dog Central. Customers can choose from a variety of hot dogs, such as The Goober Dog, that comes with shredded pickle, chili, crushed Fritos and peanut butter. (Kirsten Kearse | GCmag)

A typical college student’s diet consists mostly of pizza, burgers, wings and hot dogs. Up until recently, all of those aside from a good hot dog were available to the students of Central Michigan University, but that has changed with the opening of Mount Pleasant’s newest spot – Dog Central.

Located in downtown Mount Pleasant, on E. Michigan Street less than a block from Main, the ‘dog spot offers over 20 different styles of gourmet dogs.

These dogs can be topped with the typical ketchup, mustard, chili, pickles, cheese and onions, but for the more adventurous palate, Dog Central also has toppings like cream cheese, french fries, mac n’ cheese and even peanut butter.

Upon entering Dog Central, I noticed the modern feel, complete with a couple televisions. There seemed to be a decent amount of seating, but on a busy afternoon such as my visit, most seats were filled.

At first the menu was a bit intimidating, but my best advice is to approach it with an open mind. Prices of the dogs range from $1.79 to $3.50.

The normal side of me ordered The Pauly Dog  (which happens to be my go-to gourmet dog topping combination – chili, cheese, ketchup and shredded pickle), but part of me must have been feeling daring that day because I also ordered The Goober Dog (shredded pickles, chili, crushed Fritos and peanut butter). The dogs cost $2.35 and $2.50, respectively.

I filled up my cup with pop and managed to find an open table to soak up the environment. Although it was mildly busy that day, my dogs took much longer than I would expect, but was the wait worth it?

I decided to start with The Pauly Dog; the first bite provided me with a great swirl of each of the toppings. The dogs were cooked to perfection and had a snap that you don’t get at most hot dog spots anymore, being that most boil their dogs for the convenience.

The rest of the dog provided great taste, but overall was lacking in toppings, and that’s something that should not happen with a dog of that price.

Next up was The Goober Dog, containing one of the oddest toppings the hot dog has ever seen – peanut butter. The crunch of the Fritos, pickles and hot dog contrasted amazingly with the chili, peanut butter and bun. The sweetness of the peanut butter wasn’t as overbearing as I expected – it was nearing perfection.

Aside from the fact that the dogs weren’t quite as heavily topped as I would have liked for the cost, there aren’t any gripes about the taste of any of the toppings or the dogs themselves.

If you have not been to Dog Central yet, you must make time for a visit soon because their gourmet dogs are some of the best in town.

I give Dog Central 4 out of 5 stars.