Whilst I’d been to Dogtails (Gasthuisplein 13, Zwolle) a few times before this visit, it was only ever for cocktails and I’d never previously eaten here. A number of friends recommend the food though so when I saw a Dogtails offer on Social Deal, I thought it was about time that we went to see for ourselves what the food is like and to share a review with you.
What is Dogtails?
Dogtails is situated in the heart of Zwolle and markets itself as “fancy hotdogs and original cocktails” which is definitely a clear description of what they offer.
Their menu has 8 hotdog options as well as a monthly special. There are also four types of sausage to choose from – beef & pork, beef, chicken and vegan – and three size options – regular, XXL and double trouble.
The cocktail menu is a comprehensive list of alcoholic, low alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks. With fruity, sour, tropical, strong, sparkling options, and more, there’s something for everyone.
Food & Drink
Soon after we were seated, the server brought over glasses of water and a pot of mixed nuts. I like when a restaurant does this as I always want water with my meal and it’s nice to have something to pick at whilst deciding what to order.
Hotdogs & fries: I’d already looked at the menu online before our visit so already knew which hotdog I wanted to try (anyone else also do this before a restaurant visit so they pre-emptively know what they’ll order?!).
I went with the Loco Mexican with a beef and pork sausage. On the menu, it says this comes with: guacamole, cheddar, creme fraiche, nachos, tomato salsa, garlic sauce and sriracha. I asked for this without the garlic sauce and I also would have asked for no red onion if I’d known ahead of the food arriving that it would come with these.
My partner chose the Aztec Gold (also with a beef and pork sausage) which is dressed with guacamole, cheddar, sriracha, bacon and tortilla chips.
We ordered a side of waffle fries and a side of home made fries (the waffle fries were included from our voucher but we paid an extra €0,50 to substitute one for a side of home made fries).
The hotdogs come in a soft, sesame-covered bun and the toppings were overflowing. We both really enjoyed our choices and they definitely made for a filling meal. I thought the hotdog sausage itself was really tasty but found the sausage skin a little tough to chew (a bit plastic-y).
The waffle fries were nice but we had a lot of really thin slivers of potato in our home made fries. Overall both sides of fries could have done with a bit longer in the fryer as they were quite soft and a bit crispy is definitely better when it comes to fries.
The fries are described in the menu as “served with bacon mayonnaise” and this is a very literal description. No bacon-flavoured mayo here – the fries arrive with a pot of mayonnaise covered in little crunchy bits of bacon. I love crispy bacon so this went down very well for me as a dipping sauce.
Cocktails: We ordered a Guava Cooler (mango soda, guava, lime juice, Licor 43, Pampero Blanco rum) and a Golden Gun (grapefruit, lime juice, demerara syrup, Bols apricot brandy, Pampero rum, angostura bitters). Both had a tropical, refreshing flavour with a hint of bitterness. An added magic of these cocktails comes from how they look, served in fun tribal mask style ceramic cups with a pile of garnish suited to the drink itself.
My last few visits to Dogtails for cocktails were pretty bad experiences when it comes to service. This is the main reason why I hadn’t chosen to go there for food before now. Waiting times to order and then to receive drinks has been unacceptably long – if you sell yourself as a cocktail bar then you need to be able to make cocktails at a reasonable speed. On my last visit, we were also put in an awkward and uncomfortable position when staff moved various guests (who had been seated for some time) and furniture to fit in a couple of walk-ins on an already full Friday night. (Much longer story than I want to explain here but it was one of the worst displays of service and customer consideration that I’ve ever seen.)
When we visited for food, it was mid-afternoon on a sunny Sunday with approximately 25 people sat on the terrace and no-one sat inside the restaurant. One server was attending to all the tables and I didn’t see how many staff were inside. After being seated, we waited for 10 minutes before calling the server over and asking for menus. Once we had menus, our drinks order was taken within a few minutes and the server came back to take our food order 2-3 minutes after that. Our cocktails took 10 minutes to arrive and our food came 10 minutes later. By this time, there were 11 guests (including the 2 of us) at the restaurant.
These timings were reasonable but I do wonder how much longer service would take if the restaurant was actually busy. If we do go back during a busy dinner service, I’ll update this post and let you know.
The Social Deal voucher was €9,50 for a hotdog, fries and a cocktail. If you order the options we did without a voucher, the cost would be €20,75 (€4 – fries, €8,25/€8,75 – Loco Mexican/Aztec Gold hotdogs, €8,50/€8,00 – Guava Cooler/Golden Gun cocktails) so the voucher deal is really excellent.
I do think though that even at full price, it’s decent value as the cocktails are delicious and a hotdog with a side of fries makes for a big, delicious meal.
Have you eaten at Dogtails? What did you think? Let me know if you have a recommendation on which hotdog or cocktail I should try next time.