Hot dog places haven't yet found their footing in Dallas, but hope springs eternal. Could Samson's Gourmet Hot Dogs be the one?
If anyone can do it, Samson's owner Troy Gardner can. He's an experienced chef who worked at Zubar and owned the Expo Park Cafe (now home to Pizza Lounge). He's owned a mobile outlet since 1998, and, as a ramp-up to his opening, he has been selling his gourmet dogs at events around town.
"The vision is if you took a really hip Chipotle and applied it to incredible hot dogs," says owner Troy Gardner.
He was originally going to open in the West Village but then found a space at 2615 Oak Lawn Ave., across the street from Zaguan World Cafe.
"The concept is perfected," Gardner says. "The vision is if you took a really hip Chipotle and applied it to incredible hot dogs."
His lineup includes the Samson's dog, a traditional German-style frank; a smoked brat; and a veggie dog made in-house, all on Empire Baking buns.
"We do a big selection of chili," he says. "Like green chile, chicken chile, Texas beef chili with no beans, and vegan chili. Our vegan chili has black beans, pinto beans, navy beans, roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion. We'll do a whole array of pickles, corn slaw and other toppings."
His concept takes over part of the storefront that used to be occupied by florist Dallas Petal Pusher, which has downsized and occupies a smaller portion of the space. Gardner has his sign up but needs to install a kitchen setup and other plumbing, putting him for now in construction hell. The permitting process has taken more time than he'd expected, and he won't be open until the fall.