If I asked all of you what the right way to enjoy a baseball game was, I’m guessing most of you would say, “With a beer and a hot dog.” And if you’re a San Francisco Giants fan, you’d probably add, “And garlic fries!” The problem is, unless you’re at a baseball game, it can be hard to find a place to get a decent dog around here!
Well, that’s a problem no more! Rocket Dog Brats & Brew to the rescue! The newly opened restaurant (at Shaw & Blackstone by the Sketchers outlet) is the place to go the next time you have a craving, but baseball’s not in season.
Rocket Dog truly takes the hot dog to the next level. In fact, it would really be incorrect to call it a hot dog joint. The restaurant serves a combination of bratwurst, chicken sausages, hot links, beef hot dogs and more, covered in an array of unique topping and served on gourmet buns.
On my recent visit, I went for the Hansel’s Heaven, a traditional bratwurst on a (delicious) grilled pretzel roll, topped with mac ‘n cheese (yes!) and drizzled with ketchup. I know that sounds strange to some of you, but trust me, you can’t go wrong with the mac ‘n cheese. And mac ‘n cheese with ketchup? It just feels like a gourmet version of my childhood!
Along with the bratwurst, I ordered a draft root beer and Rocket Dog’s version of garlic fries. Both were delicious! My friend ordered The Firehouse, an all-beef hot dog on a cheddar broiled bun with chili, crunchy corn chips, cheddar and red onions. She also gave this one her stamp of approval.
There are several other choices that look interesting! Next time I go, I’m going to try The Napa Dog, which is a sweet chicken sausage on a grilled baguette with fig-onion jam, crumbled goat cheese, balsamic reduction and fresh basil.
There are also gourmet sandwiches, salads and unique desserts like build-your-own cookie ice cream sandwiches, root beer floats and stout floats (yes a beer float!) made with Fresno State ice cream. Speaking of beer, Rocket Dog has a lot of it, both on tap and bottled, with a focus on local and California brews. They also serve Fresno State wine.
Rocket Dog has made a conscious decision to take local to a new level. The owners say on their website that they “believe in teamwork and the mutual support of our fellow small businesses.” In addition to local brews and Fresno State items, sausages are made in partnership with The Meat Market in Clovis, and buns come from Max’s Bakery.
The team at Rocket Dog is definitely doing a good job connecting with the community. The one thing that really stood out during my visit was the superb customer service. It’s an order at the counter establishment, but employees kept coming by our table (at an adorable outdoor patio) to ask if we needed anything, even offering to get me water.
P.S. If you want one last hot dog and beer at a baseball game this season, I am compelled to point out that the Fresno Grizzlies will be playing one of their last home playoff game of the season Friday night. Go Grizzlies!
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