Thursday, February 22, 2007

Bad Dawg!

Was anyone else out there in land of bloggy goodness as excited about the opening of M'dawg? It's that new "semi-snazzy haute dog" bar brought to you by the owners of the inimitable Amsterdam Falafel shop.

It sucks so very, very, much, and now I know I'm not just being my usual catastrophizing self. CORROBORATION!!! I had the veggie dog last Friday night. If they're going to call it a "virgin" dog, they should do something to make it look and taste a little less like a flaccid, moldy, penis. I had to pay $2 extra for the fancy toppings, which are included in the falafel shop's prices. In what universe does a fucking hot dog with ketchup and mustard cost $4.50???

Adding insult to injury, there was nowhere to put those toppings, save for scooping them directly in my mouth. M'virgin dog was hanging way outside of the too-small bun that somewhere in the baking process transmogrified from whole wheat to cardboard. It was my only choice of bun, as they were out of potato and poppy buns. The whole contraption came on an even smaller piece of flimsy cardboard that barely held the dawg, much less made room for toppings. To be fair, the meager amount of toppings I did manage to score- caramelized onions, a corn chutney, and wasabi garlic sauce- were pretty damn tasty, and my meatatarian friend said his half-smoke was one of the best he'd had (he was unimpressed by everything else, though). I couldn't even turn to the fries for solace- they were woefully undercooked and soggy, and poor conduits for the sauces.

The staff was unfriendly, unhelpful, and ridiculously slow; I felt as though I was imposing on the cashier what with my entering their dining establishment and demanding food. The place was almost empty, and there were at least seven employees there, so go figure. The worst part was when the cooking staff stood obliviously in front of the toppings yammering away to each other while I stood there trying to get to the deliciousness.

My dining cohort felt the same way- two dawgs, one large fries, and $17 later, we felt like the virgin dawg raped us.

If Adams Morgansters need a delicious, cheap, and quick new veggie dining experience, go to Yazuzu. The place looks like an airplane designed by Stanley Kubrick, circa 1972, and the food is even more awesome. The Mediterranean-north African- fusion cuisine is all either braised or steamed, which generally means "completely lacking in all flavor." But at Yazuzu, it's culinary magic. The food feels light while tasting rich, delicately nuanced, and spicy-flavorful (nothing I had was spicy-hot), all at the same time. The veggies are fresh and crispy; I would find it hard to believe that they use food-service items. Pay less than ten bucks and you will leave will a full belly and most likely some leftovers.

I've found it best to go with a friend to maximize the variety of deliciousnesses you can indulge in. So far, my favorites are the Lebanese-braised dandelion with caramelized onions, the tomato and olive oil braised green beans, and the red lentil dal with fresh turmeric. The nabulsi cheese in the vegetarian panini is pretty salty, but tempered by the mint-almond pesto. When I couldn't decide between all the deliciousness, the supremely nice, helpful, and cool staff walked me through the whole process.

A restaurant with a gimmick will crash and burn if it doesn't have some damn good food and service backing it up. M'Dawg would do well to take a trip a few blocks down 18th street to Yazuzu to see how to do it right.


Blogger Heather said...

Oh, this is a sad report. I've been disappointed that I haven't been able to make it down to m'dawg yet...but maybe now I don't care.

5:36 PM  

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