Watertown City Street Food: City Dawgz becomes a downtown lunch favorite

Photo by Lee Hinkleman

BY: Lee Hinkleman, Eating in Upstate New York and Beyond
Street tacos, a hot dog joint, and bacon jam. City Dawgz of NNY has mastered all of the above, and even more. Located directly in downtown Watertown, this street vendor has taken mobile food carts to a new level.

    The tacos are served in a warm, freshly grilled, corn or flour tortilla. I went with the flour since it enhances the taste of the ingredients (although the corn shell is more traditional Mexican). The first layer was perfectly seasoned ground beef (chicken is also an option). Next, they add their own homemade Pico de gallo, a salsa commonly used in Mexican cuisine. It was homemade with fresh chopped tomato, onion, Serrano peppers with salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro. The cilantro was not overpowering, nor was the cumin, both popular in Cal-Mex (California style). The homemade Verde salsa was the highlight. It’s a spicy green sauce based on tomatillo and green chili peppers. While available, I elected out of the avocado salsa and fresh cilantro; I prefer Mex-Mex or Tex-Mex. It was then covered in shredded cheese. Sour cream was an option, although I feel it overpowers the flavor of the taco. 

    Their pork is slow-smoked for 30 hours creating a juicy and tender piece of meat. The homemade BBQ sauce had a rich taste (not super sweet like most sauces). Pork this good does not require sauce. They are also known for their Philly cheese steak sandwiches complete with Cheese-Wiz just like on the streets of Philadelphia. 

    They also offer a full-fledged freshly squeezed “smashed lemonade” station! The raspberry added to my drink was refreshing and complemented my meal. 

    The bacon jam is hugely popular on their hot dogs. They make 25 pounds per week and serve it on hot dogs and more. It’s a combination of Jack Daniels, onions, apple cider, and more. 

    Available daily they have local favorite Hofman hot dogs, a sweet italian sausage, and smoked bratwurst. They offer numerous toppings of which many are homemade. Their hot dog buns are freshly baked. 

    Opened in April of 2018, Steve Haggerty and crew have given a new meaning to eating on the street. When Steve’s mom was suffering from dementia, and he was traveling extensively on the road with a vending machine business, he knew it was time to come home. This was the motivation that led him to create this amazing Mega Food Cart. 

    Follow them on Facebook to see where they are going to be. When I visited them they were across from the courthouse in downtown Watertown, although they tend to travel and will have different locations in Watertown. They are also available for catering at any event. Their menu is diverse and they can meet any requirements you may have. 

    Renzi Foods is their sole supplier.