The hot dog trend is officially in full swing. First, The Bowery opened on McKinney Avenue, hawking over-the-top creations like duck sausage with foie gras and blueberry jam; then, Hofmann Hot Dogs and Jerry's Wood-Fired Dogs both announced plans for Dallas outposts. Soon, a new food truck bearing the name Lucky Ducky Dogs and a slogan of "Fun With Meat!" will offer tube meat enthusiasts a new vehicle to get their fix.
Owner Marshall Hays promised his wife he wouldn't open a restaurant. (A food truck, though, wasn't part of the deal.) A serious food enthusiast, Hays was inspired by what he found at the original Good2Go Taco location—high-quality, gourmet tacos in a lowly gas station. Then, a visit to hot dog mecca Hot Doug's in Chicago gave him the push he needed: "I ate the Thai chicken dog there and was like, this is what I want. I think this is what Dallas needs."
The taco market may have already been saturated, but the hot dog arena was wide open. At the time, The Bowery had yet to exist, and Wild About Harry's on Knox plus a couple smaller places like Chicago Hot Dogs on Northwest Highway (now closed) were really the only hot dog-specific places in town. Thus, the Lucky Ducky Dogs truck was born. (Hays, who used to own an internet company back in the dot com heyday and also did time as a television producer, owns a lube center and car wash in Lake Highlands bearing the Lucky Ducky name and originally considered hawking dogs out of the car wash, so it was a natural fit.)
The menu is split into classics and "obnoxious dogs"—nouveau creations like a coarsely ground chicken and duck sausage with balsamic apples and onions, and an alligator dog that, in its current inception, is wrapped in bacon and topped with wasabi mayo and a fried egg. (One thing they won't be offering is a Chicago dog, noting that it's difficult to please folks with a truly authentic rendition outside of Chi-town.) Hays fully recognizes the importance of good bread; he sought out a local baker to copy a brat bun he brought home from Chicago, and is having them baked fresh daily: "Top-split buns with a nice cushy bottom to absorb all the sauces running down the dogs."
He's currently in the process of staffing up the truck and plans to start hitting some small events next week as a sort of mobile soft opening, taking the opportunity to get customer feedback before finalizing recipes. "All dogs are two dollars, as long as you promise not to do any Yelp reviews," he laughs.