During a trip to France, maybe a decade ago, I came across a variety of street food that absolutely cracked me up: it was the French version of the hot dog. Simply put, it involved about 10 inches of a baguette and a broom handle. I kid you not! We invited out friend Daniel Raffel, the owner of Haute Dog Carte, to talk about his fabulous dogs, made, so it would seem, in the Parisian manner.
Haute Dog Carte is a small food stand on Falls Road, near the Robert E. Lee Dog Park. Raffel started the business a couple years ago, reviving an assembly of equipment abandoned by a friend. The heart of the system is a metal "broomstick handle" which is electrified so that it can heat up and toast the inside of a bun. Whereas the French use a portion of hard-crusted baguette, Raffel uses a roll that is a cross between a baguette and a hoagie roll.
To make the Haute Dog, Raffel pokes a hole, lengthwise, into the roll, but not all the way through. He then ladles his sauce or condiment of choice, then inserts the sausage. Raffel has literally dozens and dozens of sausages in his arsenal, and an equal number of condiment combinations. By his own estimate he can concoct no fewer than 75 distinctive dogs. Many are seasonal, and he rotates them through 4 styles at a time plus his old reliable Signature Dog.
Haute Dog Carte is located at 6070 Falls Road, in northern Baltimore. Hours are from 11am to 2:30 pm. And all good doggies get a free wiener!