Here’s a fact hot dog aficionados can relish: Dude Dogs is the only place on island to snag Caspers Famous Hot Dogs, according to manager Cathy Sears.
“It’s all in the snap,” Sears said about Caspers’ mouthwatering beef, chicken and Polish dogs. The dogs are specially ordered and shipped from California, where Dude Dogs owner Dale Morris is originally from.
Dude Dogs opened its doors in 2009, and the South Shore eatery is named after Morris’ dog, Dude. In fact, all three of Morris’ dogs have been named Dude.
Dude Dogs is located at The Shops at Kukui‘ula in Po‘ipu and offers an endless menu filled with unique combinations, including the Seattle Tsunami (Maui onion mustard, cream cheese and pineapple salsa) and the Smelly Cat (wasabi mustard, Swiss cheese and sour kraut).
The hands-down favorite on the menu is Engine # 4, according to Sears. The hot dog, which is named after a nearby fire station, is made up of beer brat mustard, chili, onions, pepper jack cheese and jalapenos ($5.89).
The most unusual request is the Dog Pile, which loads every single topping on the same dog, including bacon, coleslaw, smashed potato chips and pineapple salsa.
“We pour it on pretty good,” Sears said. “You definitely need a fork for that one.”
Vegetarians aren’t excluded from the fun — the restaurant offers Yves veggie dogs. Sears also said that the restaurant buys local ingredients, including pineapples from the farmers market and island-grown cabbage and tomatoes.
“We always strive to get the best ingredients,” Sears said. “There’s a nice selection for everyone.”
That selection includes ketchup, an ingredient many hot dog experts scoff at. When asked to weigh in on the ketchup debate, Sears remained diplomatic on the subject.
“There was no ketchup on any of our menu items except mustard, but we absolutely provide it,” Sears said. “It’s mostly the kids who ask for it.”
Dude Dog isn’t just a place to grab a quick bite to eat. The “Dog Board” is a colossal collage of photos showcasing the pups of the restaurant’s loyal customers.
At Dude Dog’s, menu items range from $3.89, topping out at $5.89 per dog. If you aren’t in the mood for a dog, people can purchase smoothies, nachos or a bowl of chili.
Dude Dogs is located at 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka, E-128 in Po‘ipu.
Visit www.dudedogs.com or call 742-9438 for more information.