By Julius Mayo Jr, Droolius
Growing up I used to travel to Sarasota, FL to visit my favorite beach Siesta Key. Siesta Key is one of two locations in Sarasota that is home to The Old Salty Dog. The show Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel has featured The Old Salty Dog restaurant at their City Island location and both venues offer a menu with great food and atmosphere. What brought me back on a trip to Siesta Key was not only the powder white sand on the beautiful beach, but the appetizing Beer Battered Dipped and Deep Fried Hot Dog they serve at The Old Salty Dog.
This deep fried masterpiece is called the famous Salty Dog and is made with a quarter pound, foot long, hot dog that is unique to this restaurant because its their own recipe. Its dipped in a beer batter made with light beer and then deep fried. They have a list of toppings you can add on as you choose or you can have it a featured way with all the toppings they provide, ordered as “fully loaded”. I was going order the Salty Dog “fully loaded” but after a day at the beach I was not sure if I was up to a food challenge on this particular day. Next time I will definitely order it “fully loaded” and make sure to share the photos. Instead, I just ordered it with a few toppings to make it tastier.
I decided to add some spice to my meal and ordered the Salty Dog topped with bacon, chili, and Pepper Jack cheese. When my order came out I was happily surprised to see how much the bacon and chili topped the deep fried hot dog with cheese oozing down the sides. While eating I noticed a light crunch from the batter, a nice snap to the dog and was still juicy. The Pepper Jack cheese added some heat along with the chili, which made it more enjoyable. The bacon of course made it taste even better and added more crisp texture.
The Salty Dog was very enjoyable and I’m glad I added some spicy elements to it. The bun was toasted on the outside and soft in the middle, which overall held up to the toppings without falling apart. The order came with a side of fries which were cooked decently. I like to order my fries extra crispy so they almost always come out crispy and not soggy. A good trick you should try if you care for it.
My food partner O.D. ordered the Salty Dog in similar fashion topped with bacon, chili, but with Cheddar cheese instead. I had a taste of her order and it was the same minus the heat from the cheese. It’s a good way to order the Salty Dog as well.
The Old Salty Dog restaurant serves more than just tasty hot dogs and fries. They have some of the freshest seafood including oysters, shrimp, and fish with the menu offering burgers, ribs, steaks, and more. A part of our group enjoyed a Grouper Fish Dinner and we all split a side of Parsley Potatoes which we devoured. I didn’t take any photos of the other food because I was busy eating my meal and enjoying a few happy hour beers served in their signature glass.
It was a great meal after a fun day at the beach. The Siesta Key location of The Old Salty Dog was very beach friendly with a laid back atmosphere. We went in the afternoon during a Happy Hour with drink specials available and full bar offered. I plan to come back for the Salty Dog “fully loaded” and get the Man vs Food experience. Maybe I will check out the other location on City Island so I can get a nice view of the water and enjoy another meal at this Sarasota favorite.