When the sun begins to rise over the Scenic City and the crisp morning air is filled with the sounds of awakening folk and scurrying fauna, one of the first things on the minds of all of God’s creatures is where to find that first meal of the day. Exactly where to break the fast of the night before and start a glorious new day may vary, but in the South we know the secret to getting your day off to a great start is a great breakfast.
In Chattanooga, your breakfast options mostly consist of fried and greasy, sugary and sweet, or healthy and flavorless. There is a time and place for country-fried steak and doughnuts, but Chattanoogans have begun to demand more from their breakfast options. We want to know there’s more to the morning meal than drive-thru biscuits and half-toasted Pop Tarts on the way out the door.
That is where Good Dog comes to the rescue.
Good Dog is already well known for their super tasty, artisan sausages and hot dogs, fresh and creative toppings and overflowing cones of twice-cooked Belgian-style frites; but they are so much more than just hot dogs and frites. The Frazier Avenue hot spot recently added breakfast to their already delicious menu offerings, served daily from 7 to 10:30 a.m., and it is an unexpected early-morning flavor bonanza, even for a health conscious or vegetarian diner.
The first thing you’ll notice about Good Dog’s breakfast menu is that there are no “breakfast hot dogs” or other crimes against humanity to contend with. Owner/operator Susan Paden and her creative culinary team have been careful to craft a menu of items that will appeal to a broad range of palates and preferences, from breakfast sandwiches and hash plates to yogurt and homemade granola.
“We want to change the way you think about a hot dog shop,” Paden said when asked about their expansion into breakfast. I certainly wasn’t thinking hot dog shop when the generously portioned plates of breakfast goodies started arriving at my table.
First up was the “Good Morning” hash plate. This is a heaping helping of baked (not fried) hash brown potatoes, Good Dog’s house-made breakfast sausage, roasted red peppers, tomato and a perfectly poached egg surrounded with lemon arugula. The crispiness and bright citrus of the arugula combined with the sweetness of the peppers and deep flavors of the sausage create a balance of favors and textures you’ll talk about the rest of the day.
Since all of Good Dog’s breakfast plates can also be ordered as sandwiches, I decided to try the “Chicken & Gravy” in sandwich form. This two-handed sandwich piles Good Dog’s house-made chicken-apple sausage on slices of Neidlov’s country loaf with melted cheddar cheese and white pepper gravy. The sausage is made with Fuji apples and a touch of cinnamon that pairs perfectly with the white pepper gravy that, surprisingly, is both vegan and delicious. This dish also includes a little arugula that’s been lightly tossed in lemon vinaigrette and a side of those oh-so-gratifying baked hash browns with their subtle touches of onion, herbs and Good Dog’s signature “Dog Dust.”
To wash down these breakfast treats I ordered a classic beer cocktail, a Brass Monkey. Traditionally made by drinking a 40-ounce Mickey’s malt liquor down to the label then refilling it to the top with orange juice, this poor man’s mimosa has been upgraded at Good Dog by replacing the Mickey’s with Shock Top Belgian White beer, whose light citrus notes really elevate the taste and early morning palatability of that funky monkey (my apologies to the Beastie Boys).