Show Dogs: Gaining Sausage Separation in San Francisco [CLOSED]

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Sausage San Francisco

If anybody’s going to point any fingers, they should probably be directed at Doug Sohn. That’s the man who owns Hot Doug’s, a nearly decade old Chicago concept that pretty much inspired America’s nouveau sausage craze. In California, Los Angeles has Wurstkuche, and San Francisco’s leading representative is probably Show Dogs, another joint venture from chefs Gayle Pirie and John Clark of Foreign Cinema fame.

Show Dogs opened in 2009, occupying the bottom floor of a triangular building along bustling Market Street, not far from the Civic Center. Order at the counter from a blackboard menu, then sit inside, at circular tables or on wood benches, in a room with a pressed tin ceiling, an open kitchen and black-and-white photos of the city gracing burgundy walls. Show Dogs also features a rail-framed patio, which requires good weather, an always-iffy proposition in San Francisco.

Sausage San Francisco
They make chicken curry, merguez (lamb and pork) and maple bacon showdogs in house. Links all appear on toasted, sesame-studded Acme bread, and they form a terrific pyramid.

Sausage San Francisco
The Pickled Hot Link ($6.50) is stained red, topped with molten blue cheese and arugula and delivers a lingering kick.

Sausage San Francisco
Maple Bacon ($7.25) delivers both smoke and sweetness, with added balance thanks to a smear of house brown mustard. Yes, there was more arugula, which seems to be a San Francisco epidemic.

Sausage San Francisco
Wild Boar ($7.50) was the least distinctive link, but still good, pretty similar to bratwurst. More mustard found its way inside the bun, along with sweet-tart cherry apricot chutney (and more frickin’ arugula).

Fried Chicken Sandwich San Francisco
In addition to Showdogs, they also have entrees and Showiches, none more compelling than the Fried Chicken ($7.50). Surprisingly juicy breast meat joined punchy red cabbage slaw, red pepper strips, spicy lemon cayenne aioli and pickled ginger on a stellar brioche bun. The establishment is best known for its dogs. Hell, the logo even depicts a dog munching on a sausage, but the best bites of the day probably came from this sandwich.

Cookies San Francisco
Save room for the house-baked cookies ($1.50), which reside strategically near the register, either soft peanut butter or sea salt-accented chocolate chip.

The concept may not be completely original, but it’s the duo’s deft execution that sets Show Dogs apart from the encased pack.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

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I haven’t had a good hot dog in a really loooong time, I’ll have to stop by here next time I am in SF!

If you go back, would you get the fried chicken sandwich or a showdog?

Savory Hunter,

You’ve got to get a showdog, since that’s their signature option AND get the fried chicken sandwich, which is also can’t miss.

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