Gordon Square fav Happy Dog now has found a perfect home for an east side location in University Circle's Uptown District at the historic Euclid Tavern.
I'm not a fan of loud rock bands, but obviously this is a great destination for those who do enjoy the local rock scene in one of Cleveland's most historic rock venues, a place of great memories for many.
This review, however, is about the Happy Dog experience at the Euc -- great hot dogs, a plethora of toppings and sauces and great beer. Also, there are six well-maintained pinball machines in a back room dining area, great for aging pinball wizards such as myself (I still have it even after a decade from my last go at the flippers), but at 75 cents a play (far from the quarter of my university days).
For those not familiar, the menu is ONLY an all-beef or vegan/vegetarian dog, tater tots, toppings and sauces. Diners are given a pad to make their selections. The hot dog is $5 with a great range of free toppings and sauces. A heaping box of tater tots with free sauces is $3.
As the Happy Dog at the Euc is a new restaurant, check the Happy Dog at Gordon Square reviews for others opinions of the food, but I greatly savor the all-beef hot dog, the toppings, the sauces and the tater tots. It is what it is, and great craft beer is available on tap for $5 to $5.50 for a good mug.
As noted by a few reviewers of the Gordon Square Happy Dog, the bun is a pedestrian one, but so what? The hot dog is served with a knife and fork and I never try to eat my creation by lifting the bun. In fact, I often leave part of the bun uneaten, as I do with many buns in an effort to avoid carbs.
My strategy is to order my Happy Dog with any toppings of interest, but no sauces. I order six or seven sauces for the tater tots and use these also as a dipping sauce for the hot dog. I'll eat the hot dog toppings individually or perhaps sometimes with a bite of the hot dog.
The toppings are great, but are perhaps too rationed to my liking for obviously more expensive toppings such as pulled pork.
What's great about this Happy Dog location, at least during the evening before concerts, is that there is a parking lot across the street with many free and a few metered spaces.
A bartender told me a cover charge goes into effect sometime after 8 p.m., but there is a basement room where, if I understood correctly, non-concert goers can dine and avoid the cover charge (check on this). It would be a great stop after a visit to the Cleveland Museum of Art or other UC attraction.
My tab, including one craft mug of beer, was $14 before tip.
My rating is only four stars because service was spotty and it remains a hot dog joint. I was seated at the bar, but had to ask for service several times as bartenders were missing or talking to other patrons. It wasn't busy.
I had a great time with my late afternoon, Saturday stop.
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