In 1798, about a half-century after its founding, George Gilpin, a resident of Alexandria and close friend of George Washington, drew up a new map of the seaport city. Montgomery Street marked its northernmost part. All these years later, this one-way street still more or less signals the edge of this part of the neighborhood. It’s also a good place to watch the north part of Old Town and Parker-Gray, where construction cranes and fenced off blocks mark the current boom of re-development.
Arriving in time to be a part of this new chapter is, “Haute Dogs and Fries,” situated along the 600 block of Montgomery. The restaurant swung open their doors today, revealing a snappy rehab of its predecessor, the pizza place of some years.
That was Jeff Wallingford, the first customer. Co-owner of Taqueria Poblano in nearby Del Ray, Wallingford chowed down on a hot dog and sweet potato fries. Eyes locked on his plate, my watering mouth went into overdrive. I walked over and ordered the “Three-Piece Suit” (chili, cheese and chopped onions), the sweet potato fries and cole slaw.
With all the growth in this part of Alexandria, “Haute Dogs” is set for the future. We can thank co-owners Lionel Holmes and Pamela Swanson, who obviously perfected their craft at their place in Purcellville. A baker’s dozen worth of signature dogs sport names such as “Fenway Dog” and “The Longhorn.” Also on the menu are locally sourced sausages, sides, shakes, desserts, and in a couple of weeks, the other half of the best double play ever made - beer. Exposed brick and cinder block with dog-themed paintings give the place a distinct character, and marry up well with Old Town's love of our furry friends.
The only downside is parking, always slim pickings in this part of town, at least during the work week. But if you choose to not come here because you have to walk two or three blocks, what a shame that would be. You’ll miss some really good food, and that proximity to a new chapter in a city that has always appreciated a good place to eat.