Location: SE 82nd and Harney at Cartlandia
Hours: Wed-Fri, 12-3pm; Sat, 12-4p
The Story: Hot Diggity Dog! Portland now has another gourmet dog stand to add to the mix. Welcome to Relish where the dogs are hot, the fries are crispy, and they are doing things just differently and great enough to make the trip out to their SE 82nd and Harney location worth it.
And what a spiffy little cart it is. Some cart owners really do make the effort in food AND with design and decor of their carts. This bright green cart with the shiny metal, and contrasting orange trim has a fun wood pig cut-out on it, which is cute because their hot dogs are actually all-beef. No matter, though, they do offer some fine pork sausages along with the dogs.
The Coney Dog is one of those foods that often gets certain East Coasters in a tizzy. It’s childhood nostalgia food for those around the New Jersey, New York City area, a sloppy, fun and satisfying mess of chili, cheddar cheese and onions over a hot dog and served in a warm soft hot dog bun. Sounds simple, right? But like many nostalgia driven foods, people get ideas in their head on how a Coney is EXACTLY supposed to be – everything from the brand of hot dog, to the spicing and seasoning in the chili, to the ratios of dog, chili, cheese, onions, and bun. I’m no Coney expert, so I’ll leave that judgement up to the Coney zealots on how Relish’s version rates. The Coney at Relish was satisfying, no matter the authenticity or style.
Other “Dogs” at Relish include the Bacon N’ Bleu – with garlic aioli, caramelized onions, and bacon and blue cheese (of course). I’m not sure what’s behind the name of the Seattle Dog here, but it sounds terrific – slathered in garlic cream cheese spread, caramelized onions, sauerkraut, and Dijon Mustard. Sausages are also available. The day I visited there were two choices: Zenner’s brand double smoked with bacon, or a chicken with sun dried tomatoes and basil.
Fries are another offering at Relish. These are medium cut, double fried and come with toppings such as garlic and parsley, Coney style, and other creative toppings depending on the seasons and the Chef’s inspiration.
Relish is a nice addition to the successful Cartlandia cart pod (now with beer!), and Portland’s gourmet hotdog scene. Opened just a few months ago, it will be great to see what else Relish has planned for the summer.
- Coney Dog: All beef hot dog with chili, cheddar cheese, onions – $5.50
- Sausage Dogs: Rotating variety of gourmet sausages with choice of condiments – $4.50
- Bacon N’ Bleu – Hot Dog with garlic aioli, caramelized onions, and bacon and blue cheese – $6.00
- Garlic and Parsley Fries – $5.00
- Coney Fries: French Fries smothered in chili, cheddar cheese, and onions – $5.00