East London has a tasty new addition to its impressive food selection, and it comes in the form of the star-spangled Red Dog American Sandwiches. This new spot is the sister of the Red Dog Saloon next door, which makes sense really, considering they have the same prefix and that.
This new place can be found just off of Hoxton Square, aka the trendy-dog walkers' mecca (usually a chihuahua). It's actually part of the same building as the Saloon, and look's pretty unassuming from the outside, with a simple bit of signage (its logo) and large front facing windows. The moment you step inside you’ll notice the raucous American rock'n'roll tunes blasting from the speakers, as well as the traditional high steel topped tables surrounded by smart black leather banquettes. The space is used well and there's a separate dining area for a bit more intimacy, as well as some tables dotted around the shop floor. The service station is at the back of the space, with the food all visibly being prepared beneath the attention-grabbing illuminated menu up on high.
You won’t find the over-crowded, rushed atmosphere expected from most fast-food joints in the city. Instead the friendly workforce (kitted out in red baseball caps and t shirts featuring the Red Dog logo) are adept at keeping things ticking over nicely, and look perfectly happy about it to boot. The interactive buzzer system works really well too, letting you know when your food is ready. A large American mural reminds you what this place is all about (just in case you forget) with the Statue of Liberty, Abraham Lincoln and a selection of motels just some of the symbols of American culture adorning the walls.
The culinary aim is to take you around the States with each sandwich unique to a certain area, or part of a certain American culture, from Deep South inspired subs to upstate New York hot dogs.
Some of the sarnies even have variations of themselves, with the Reuben 1 featuring hickory smoked pastrami, and the Reuben 2 home-cured salt beef (both £8.25), alongside all the Reuben staples (Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and a choice of sauerkraut or coleslaw). The Philly cheese-steak (£8.25) will definitely catch the eyes of eager carnivores, with aged Scottish rib-eye steak, Vidalia onions and a choice of cheeses. The Cuban (£7.75) deliciously combines chorizo with roast pork, stringy Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles. There's also a variety of sides to choose from, with crunchy French fries (£2.25), traditional onion rings (£2.25), and smooth and stringy mozzarella sticks (£2.75) all cracking choices.
One piece of advice worth considering is to make room for dessert. Although there's only a small selection each one is a classic Yankee sweet treat. If you think one particular, ubiquitous, yellow-arched fast food chain’s apple pie is delicious then prepare to marvel at the apple pie to rival them all. You’ll be met with a cinnamon-coated hot pie (£2.75) wrapped in delicate flaking pastry, all topped off with some excellent ice cream. It's bloody good. The chocolate brownie (£2.75) proves justifiably popular too.
Of course, all the American soft-staples make an appearance, with Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Sprite all stocked (£1.75) as well as iced tea. But of course it wouldn’t be a self-respecting homage to America without the addition of excellent, ultra thick and creamy milkshakes (£4.25), even if the the unadventurous offering of simple vanilla, chocolate or strawberry is a little disappointing. Brew Dog lager and Rebel Yell Bourboun are on offer if you fancy something hard.
The Last Word
A cracking little addition to both next door and Hoxton as a whole. The fast food fad looks set to continue, and with places like this, it's little wonder.