The Veggielante is on a mission to spread the word about places to order good, meatless grub. Check out this week's pick.
Destination: Steve's Hot Dogs on the Hill (2131 Marconi Avenue; 314-762-9899)
Neighborhood: The Hill
Cuisine: Gourmet hot dogs
See also: Wild Flower Restaurant is Brie-Tastic
Overview: Steve Ewing, of local bands the Urge and the Steve Ewing Band, opened Steve's Hot Dogs on the Hill two and a half years ago as a place for his fans to go post-concert. A lover of hot dogs, Ewing started out by selling hot dogs from a food cart in the city. Once he realized the seasonal limitations of his hot-dog cart, he decided to open a permanent shop. As a reformed vegetarian (he ate a meatless diet for more than twenty years), Ewing made sure to take care of his veggie-loving friends and created the delectable "Venice Beach" veggie dog. And he promises more to come for his vegetarian customers in the near future.
Highlights: It might not look like much on the outside, but Ewing's "Venice Beach" veggie dog is packed with flavor from freshly grilled veggies. A huge hot-dog bun is piled high with toppings like avocado, onions, tomato, banana peppers, squash, zucchini, bell peppers, Marconi peppers and sweet relish, then tossed with sesame seed oil, celery salt and garlic powder. And don't forget your other accoutrements: Sriracha and/or brown mustard (manager Phil Pitkin, creator of this sandwich, recommends both). Pay $4.85 for just the dog or $6.60 for the combo, which includes chips and a drink.
While the "Venice Beach" dog is currently the only vegetarian option on Ewing's menu, Pitkin recommends this off-the-books combination for vegetarians: Marconi peppers, grilled onions, Sriracha, brown mustard and the restaurant's homemade rotini alfredo.
Gut Check is always hungry for tips. Email us!