Hot dogs are the quintessential American street food. So ubiquitous are hot dogs that every major city and nearly every region of the U.S. has its version of the hot dog. Except Portland. The #1 food city in America does not have its own version of the hot dog. Be that as it may, it is possible to enjoy a large variety of the hot dogs from across the nation in just one PDX location. Dog Town can fix you up with the regional specialties of the classic wiener in a bun.

The Dog Town food cart at the TidBit food cart pod

Located within the TidBit food cart pod at SE 28th and Division, Dog Town is the creation of Will Hernandez and Lyn Salsido. Will and Lyn were living and working in the Bay Area yet desired to make a significant change in their lives. Will is a chef, and after a visit to Portland to scope out the food carts, the move to the Rose City was made. Four months later Dog Town was open for business.

The Dog Town food cart at the TidBit food cart pod

Will and Lyn noticed during their pre-move tour of PDX food carts, that there didn’t seem to be any food carts that specialized in the classic street food hot dogs. With that they chose to make their menu one that brought the varied varieties of hot dogs to the deprived populace of Portland. Styles of dogs were brought in from West Coast, East Coast, and the Midwest. Of course the recipes have been tweaked to represent Will’s take on the hot dogs of the different regions.

A selection from the Dog Town food cart’s menu at the TidBit food cart pod

The LaLa Land represents the streets of Los Angeles where each day you can find vendors cooking up bacon-wrapped hot dogs. At Dog Town your LaLa Land will come with chipotle mayonnaise, grilled onions, more bacon, pico de gallo, and cart-made spicy pickled carrots. Served in a bun that Will and Lyn make themselves.

Since regular hot dog buns weren’t able to handle the amount of toppings used at Dog Town, they created their own bun. Closer to what would normally used for a lobster roll, the buns are grilled on each side and then split to accommodate the filling. Fillings that include pulled pork, grilled onions, bacon, avocado salsa, mac and cheese, coleslaw, corned beef, and even Southern-fried chicken.

Dog Town Frikin’ Chicken Sandwich

Yep, you read that correctly. Southern-fried chicken. The Frikin’ Chicken is made with a southern-fried chicken breast, spicy slaw, cart-made bread-and-butter pickles, once again served on Dog Town’s homemade hot dog buns. By the way, this sandwich is the cart’s best selling menu item. Go figure.

Dog Town rounds out the menu with hot dogs such as The DogFather, Return of the Mac, Getz Yourself Beer, The Farmer’s Daughter, Memphis Pulled Pork, The Lamborghini, The Rocky Balboa, The Sonoran, and the Chili Chili Bang Bang. You can get any of these delectable dogs with a variety of fries that range from loaded to plain.

Dog Town is open daily at TidBit. Sundays, 11–3; Mondays, 5–8; Tuesdays, 11–8; Wednesdays, 11–3; Thursdays, 11–8; Saturday & Sunday, 11–8:30.

Listen now as Steven Shomler and Ken Wilson talk with Will Hernandez and Lyn Salsito of the Dog Town food cart and their successful escape (just like two other food cart owners we know) from The State South of Oregon who shall not be named.