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Dogz days in Gouverneur are topped with options

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GOUVERNEUR — You can pretty much tell from the name of this village’s newest eatery what you’re in for.

Chili Dogz opened recently in what was an old gas station on the corner of Route 11 and the Hailesboro Road on the west side of downtown. It’s not a fancy place, but it doesn’t have to be.

There are several checkered tableclothed tables for sit-0-down dining and an eating counter with stools that looks out on the main drag. The kitchen takes up about half the place where you can watch the owner cook and plate your meal and see shelves stocked with ingredients she uses.

There’s even a waitress — an unexpected plus — who doubles as a kitchen helper.

And it’s a good thing, because some of the items on the menu require an explanation. Like the Home Wrecker. And the Mayor’s Wiener. And Instant Death.

Home Wrecker is a footlong Nathan’s hotdog with chili, cheese, onions and kraut. Mayor’s Wiener is a hotdog with mayo, pepperoni and chili. Instant Death is two burger patties sandwiched between a double decker grilled cheese dressed up with jalapenos and molten nacho cheese.

We didn’t get any of those. No real reason, except maybe the fact that there are about 50 things on the menu (including their soon-to-be-famous selection of deep-fried desserts) to choose from.

It’s all basic stuff, but cooked fresh and fast and to order. Hotdogs twelve ways, a dozen different burger choices and an assortment of other things like taco salads, steak sandwiches, a Rueben, nachos, quesadillas and deep-fried corndogs.

Let’s start with the hotdogs. You can get them with any combination of cheese, onions, slaw or kraut and, of course, chili. More interesting, you can get your choice of quality dogs like Nathan’s, Glazier’s or Hoffman’s for an extra fifty cents.

We tried their Kraut Dog ($2.75), a house wiener in a hotdog roll with warm sauerkraut on top. We didn’t ask what brand hotdog they’re using, but it was pretty decent.

Their Loaded Taco Bowl ($6.50) was a crispy deep-fried tortilla in the shape of a bowl, filled with not-too-spicy chili, lettuce, salsa, black olives, jalapenos, sour cream, nacho cheese and finished off with shredded cheese on top.

Lots of fresh flavors here, and more than enough for all of us to share. The bottom of the bowl got a little soggy toward the end, but to be expected with all the ingredients in there.

Burgers are available with cheese, bacon, blue cheese, chili or any combination thereof. Chicken, veggie and turkey burgers, too, as well as fish burgers.

Rather than the Instant Death, I thought it was appropriate to get The Waldo ($5.50), a beef burger with American cheese, bacon, chili and slaw. It was a messy little affair, the burger trying to squish its way out of the chili and slaw as you squeezed down on the better-than-average bun, but a very tasty little creation.

From the category of “Not Just Burgers Or Dogs,” we skipped over the grilled PB&J and grilled pepperoni and cheese sandwich and went for the gyros wrap ($5.50) and the Heart Attack Special ($5.50).

I sure hope my doctor isn’t reading this.

The 12-inch wrap was heavy on sour cream and onion (an attempt to duplicate the traditional Greek yogurt/cucumber tzatziki sauce) and a little short on the seasoned meat that makes a gyro a gyro. Tomato and shredded lettuce completed the fillings.

The Heart Attack wasn’t as bad as it sounded. It was a grilled cheese sandwich with bacon and egg in the middle. The bread was thick-sliced, Texas toast style, with just the right amount of bacon, egg and cheese. It was a good breakfast sandwich for dinner.

We were all set to double on our Lipitor when we got home, but it really wasn’t necessary.

But don’t put that Lipitor away just yet, ‘cause It’s time for their specialty: deep-fried desserts.

Our waitress talked up the deep-fried cookie dough ($3.50), so we knew that was a definite. Fried dough ($4) always reminds us of the county fair in the summertime, so that was on our list. And there’s one more that we just had to try that I’ll tell you about in a minute.

The cookie dough was OK, three balls of chocolate chip cookie dough battered and fried until dark golden brown, served with a drizzle of chocolate. These tended to be in the greasy side, which wasn’t exactly a perfect ending to the somewhat greasy meal we just had.

Fried dough was heavier than we expected. It was a flat piece of dough that resembled a small white pizza. Powdered sugar that it had been dusted with just minutes before quickly disappeared into the grease residue.

I hope you’re ready for this one. We ordered the deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich ($3). More out of curiosity than anything else.

And there it sat in front of us, in all its battered and deep-fried splendor, cut into four quarters for easy access. It was so unique, I decided to take it to go to show to some friends when I got home.

I don’t know what I was thinking. It really didn’t look good at all after a 45-minute ride in a Styrofoam container, so I ditched the idea of showing it off and ditched it altogether.

I’ve eaten uni at a sushi bar before but I’m not eating a deep-fried PB&J. Sorry.

Food for four at Chili Dogz came to $43.87 before tip.

It may not be the healthiest food in the world, but that didn’t stop a constant flow of people through the door picking up take-out orders and a good number of people sitting at the small tables with piles of french fries in front of them who didn’t look like they needed to eat a pile of french fries.

But the food comes out fast, it’s hot and fresh and relatively inexpensive. And it’s delivered to your table with a smile.

You can contact restaurant reviewer Walter Siebel via email: wsiebel@wdt.net.



Chili Dogz

137 Main St.

Gouverneur, N.Y

287-2928



Hotdogs 12 ways, a dozen different burger choices and an assortment of other things like taco salads, steak sandwiches, a Rueben, nachos, quesadillas and deep-fried corndogs. Deep-fried desserts are their specialty.



HOURS: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday

Closed Sunday



RATING: 3 forks

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