The Slaw Dogs

Get your napkins ready, Pasadena. The Slaw Dogs is wowing wiener purists and trend-seeking gastronomes alike with its outrageous menu of mix-and-match links, condiments, and toppings. Minuscule garlic croutons top the chicken Caesar salad dog, and the spicy Thai dog lies beneath a thatch of coconut satay-spiked slaw, roasted peanuts, and Sriracha aioli. Among the from-scratch offerings are a frank wrapped in a natural casing that comes anointed with owner Ray Byrne’s beer-laced beef chili and crispy sweet potato fries. Playing with food: “In this economy I wanted to do something affordable with quality,” says Byrne, “and I wanted the food to be fun.” Born in Taiwan, Byrne grew up in La Cañada and worked in family restaurants before moving on to manage several Il Fornaio branches and later the Sunset in Malibu.

Cheap Eats: Burgers/Hot Dogs, June 2012

Eleven tube steak styles—including an all-beef footlong, a veggie dog, and a spicy Calabrese sausage—form the basis of a hot dog toppings bonanza. There are 60 options for customizing your, um, wiener, ranging from Thai slaw to kimchi to a fried egg. Or you can pick from such tried-and-true combos as the TNT Superdog with chili, bacon pastrami, and fries in a giant tortilla.