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Hot Diggity Doggs

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Mazen Muna had already been paying rent at 1433 East Brady Street for a couple months before he knew what kind of restaurant he wanted to open. What he did know was how important location is to the success of a new business. “This is a great place for a business. You just have to figure out what’s needed (in the area). I thought about a pita restaurant, or a restaurant where you have sandwich wraps. But there were other restaurants nearby that offered that type of thing.” So he continued to think about options. Muna had grown up in the Milwaukee area, but had spent a couple years working in Chicago and remembered the classic hot dogs available in restaurants and from street vendors. He remodeled the 450-square-foot space, and there was enough room to add a row of stools by the window. After giving the walls a bright yellow paint job, The Dogg Haus opened on April 1. Curious people stopped in from the first day and many of them are now regulars he greets by name. We had one guy come in before he went to his job in the morning, he came back for his lunch break, and then came back with his kids that same night. And he lives in Waukesha!” With the selection of different items on the menu, and their affordability (starting at just $2.49), you could come back regularly and not have the same item twice for a good long time. Each “dogg” is made from Vienna Beef and has the famous “snap” when you bite into them. The traditional Chicago Dogg is served with tomato slices, a pickle spear and a dash of celery salt. Other doggs include Berlin’s Best with sauerkraut, the Tex-Mex and Santa Fe with salsa, and the spicier Cajun Style and Tijuana Doggs both with jalapeno peppers. Then there’s the “Doggfather,” a full quarter-pound of Vienna beef. Polish, Italian and veggie Boca sausages are also on the menu as well as an Italian beef sandwich. If you want to go off the menu, you can build your own sandwich from the toppings available. One thing you might notice is the lack of ketchup on the doggs. “We offer ketchup, but mainly for the kids,” Muna says. The bread and sausages are made fresh daily, and the doggs are always boiled, never grilled. The poppy seed buns are steamed, so they are both warm and accommodating for toppings. The Dogg Haus offers outdoor seating and late-night hours on Friday and Saturday nights so the Brady Street bar crowd can grab a bite to eat before heading home. They are open until 3 AM, “and if someone knocks on the door while we are cleaning up after 3, I won’t turn them away.”
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