September 14, 2012

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A Taste of the World in a Hotdog

Sarah Cutler

September 14, 2012

Spicy chorizo sausage, Manchego cheese, pico de gallo and a tomatillo agave drizzle. It’s called the Azteca and it is flavored specifically to bring a little taste of South America to your palate. One of the many other unique combinations at World Dog is the Greek: a Greek style special made sausage, roma tomato, kalamata olive, Feta cheese and tzaziki.

World Dog is a specialty dog and sausage cart at 2200 S. Highland Drive in Sugarhouse. Joe Ballato and his wife Brooke Campos opened the cart in July 2011. “We came up with the concept of World Dog being a hotdog and sausage cart having flavors from around the world,” said Ballato.

Ballato doesn’t use just any sausage either. He contacted a local sausage maker to design specific and unique flavors. On the other end of the spectrum World Dog has vegan options with the same amount of attention given to flavor. For example the Taj is a tandoori marinated tofu dog with pickled cucumber ribbon and mango chutney.

According to Ballato the beauty of World Dog is the freedom to run specials, switch up the flavors and keep the menu fresh. For Oktoberfest the cart had a chicken brat with bacon and apple-seared goat cheese. Another recent special was the Tokyo dog that contained wasabi mayonnaise and the Naughty dog containing macaroni and cheese with fresh bacon on top.

Don’t forget the sides. World Dog makes a chocolate-covered frozen banana during the warm months. In the winter that is switched up with a tomato bisque. Last winter was mild for Utah and World Dog was out feeding the community most days, which Ballato plans on doing again this winter.

The cart has been growing quickly by word of mouth since its opening in 2011. Aside from having the daily street cart, Ballato works farmer’s markets and special events. Last summer World Dog received its first catering job and now does weddings, business meetings, lunches and other catering events.

When possible World Dog buys local produce that is in season and matches the varied flavors of the specialty dogs. Ballato noted that working with the community is his favorite aspect of World Dog, whether that is supporting local farmers, working with a local sausage maker, satisfying the taste buds of Utahns or donating time and food to charities.    

“We wanted to go local as much as we could. We wanted to be able to be a part of the community, do things for the community,” said Ballato. “We do one to two charities a month. My son and I have gone to a low-income housing community and cooked everybody hotdogs, we can make people’s day just showing up and donating dogs or whatever it takes. That is my favorite thing. Being part of the community and giving back to the community.”

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