By Michelle Gillan Larkin and Dave Zucker
Not that you need an excuse, but if you’re looking for a seriously legit reason to visit the relatively new Dog Haus in Mohegan Lake, we’ve got a really good one for you. It’s called The Uncle Morty and, from now until September 30, Dog Haus will donate a dollar from every purchase to its national charity partner, No Kid Hungry, whose mission it is to end childhood hunger in America.
Sounds like a win-win, for sure, but what, you ask, is The Uncle Morty? Good question, indeed, and it goes like this: an all-beef patty, topped with white American cheese and mustard-grilled pastrami, plus dill pickles, caramelized onions, and garlic aioli, all perfectly stacked between signature grilled King’s Hawaiian Rolls.
Dog Haus’ culinary team partnered with TV and YouTube personality Sam Zien, aka “Sam the Cooking Guy,” to launch this limited time menu item that packs a whole lotta yum as it helps support the fight against childhood hunger.
So, if you’re yearning to make a difference, craving a gourmet, all-beef dog, or just want the inside scoop on this nationally franchised chow spot that burst onto the Northern Westchester food scene in December 2021, read on! And be sure to grab The Uncle Morty by September 30 to fill your belly big as you do your part to fill small bellies in need across the country.
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Dog Haus in Mohegan Lake sits on an otherwise low-key corner in the Cortlandt Town Center — a location previously occupied by a Payless and, ages prior, a Nathan’s Famous.
“It was basically one big plain vanilla space,” jokes co-owner Dav Orth. “There was no plumbing for restaurants, no water heating, no utilities, no nothing. There was a tiny little bathroom in the back that had a sink and a toilet. All that stuff from prior years was gone.”
You wouldn’t know by looking at the Dog Haus, though. The 3,500-square-foot location now boasts a sit-down restaurant with a fully stocked bar, plenty of TVs for watching the game, a dartboard in the back, and even a sizable biergarten on the sidewalk out front. (The eatery even had enough space left over to add in a Häagen-Dazs franchise next door (with a pass-through for inclement weather and ease of obtaining dessert).
The beer menu often includes about two dozen brews from up and down the East Coast, including local New York and Hudson Valley suds, each ready to rotate out to showcase future offerings from locally favorite breweries. There’s even wine on tap and a craft cocktail menu more than suitable for a happy hour (or three).
Comfort food, however, is the name of the game. Orth and co-owner Andy Hamerling have lived in Bronxville for close to 20 years each, but the idea for opening up a burger-and-dog place wasn’t a sudden inspiration for the former finance pros.
“Andy’s from Central New York, where there is another dog haus,” Orth says of his partner, “and one of his best childhood friends owns that as well as a bunch of other franchise concepts.”
The menu at Dog Haus leans heavily into American comfort food, with a dash of southern spice and charm. Main categories are “Haus” dogs; sausages including bratwurst, chorizo, kielbasa, and spicy Italian sausages; burgers (regular and sliders); and chicken (wings, tenders, and sandos). Each category is lovingly crafted with the heart (and butter) of a southern aunt — and every single burger, dog, or brat includes vegan alternatives.
On our visit, we obviously had to try all of the big three: a bacon-wrapped hot dog, a classic German-style bratwurst, and the Dog Haus take on Nashville chicken. After we awoke from our food coma, here’s what we had to say:
Basically, this is your perfect backyard brat dialed up to 11. Keeping some of the hallmarks of a classic German sausage, this plump number pairs herb-studded bratwurst with sauerkraut, caramelized onion, and brown mustard. Like all Dog Haus sandwiches, it’s made with hormone- and antibiotic-free, free-range meat and served on toasted King’s Hawaiian rolls, which add a pleasant sweetness.
If you love the feeling of a smoky campfire and a thousand miles of open prairie at your back, this doggie is your new best friend. The Old Town wraps a Haus dog in bacon, smokes it, then piles its buns up with caramelized onion for sweetness, chipotle aioli for a creamy kick, jalapeños for heat, and cotija cheese to create a rich and smoky umami bomb with a little bit of pep on its backend.
The Haus specialty showcases the brand’s West Coast roots with an ode to Southern California in this surf-side-ready highbrow hot dog. Toppings on the “Sooo Cali” include wild arugula, avocado (natch), tomato, crispy onions, and a spicy basil aioli, making it a perfect combo for refueling so you can get back on your board and catch some sick curls. (Just wait at least 30 minutes after eating.)
When we order “Nashville Hot,” we’ll confess, we know we’re just going to get a kind of spicy chicken — which is fine! It’s still delicious and we accept the dilution of terminology. So butter our biscuits and call us jam when we discovered that the Dog Haus Nashville-style fried chicken sandwich — dubbed “The Hot Chick” — was a properly prepared Nashville hot: chicken tenders (about a half-breast each) fried crispy brown and then tenderly brushed with a hot oil loaded up with all the right spices. Served with Haus slaw, pickles, and secret sauce, this sammie is so good that we can forgive the light heresy of replacing simple white bread with King’s Hawaiian rolls, the latter which possess comparable sweetness and sauce absorbency while helping to hold all that chicken together.
Dog Haus sides include fries, tots, onion rings, sweet potato fries, slaw, chili, and various combinations thereof. Sliders and chicken tenders are also available in children’s sizes. Oh, and if you’re passing by in the morning, don’t grieve that you’ll have to wait for dinner. The Dog Haus is open early, serving up behemoth breakfast burritos like the “Little Mule,” “The Fonz,” the “Hangover Burrito,” and three different Impossible/Beyond meatless variations.
To celebrate its new location, Dog Haus Mohegan Lake customers can enter a contest online wherein every entry receives a coupon for any Haus burger and on-tap beer for $7.99. Fifty grand prize winners, however, will also win a free Haus dog every month for the rest of 2022.
3137 E Main St, Mohegan Lake