Restaurants and bars are increasingly finding a niche to have a unique offering. Recently I visited The Flying Dog, a bar and restaurant in Leith. Their speciality is hotdogs and their very special appeal is that they welcome dogs.
Dog owners are always looking for places that welcome dogs. I have a couple of friends who have rescue dogs, animals who have been badly treated in the past and who are now anxious animals that should not be left alone (doing so is as unkind to the dogs as it is to the neighbours). Their owners need places that they can bring their companions to. There are several pubs that you can take dogs to but I’ve seen few places that welcome dogs and offer food. So when I visited The Flying Dog last week, I took a friend and her dog, Rowan, with me. Just because I could.
The Flying Dog has a hot dog menu and, for anyone who isn’t too keen on hotdogs, there’s also a selection of smørrebrød (open Danish sandwiches). The pub is light, and welcoming, with huge windows out onto Henderson Street. Bistro tables are convenient for groups of different sizes. The Flying Dog is open for lunch, offers take-away hotdogs and can accommodate parties for beer in the evening. We were there in the evening. To settle in, my friend and I each ordered a bottle of Blue Moon beer, a refreshing American white beer. The beer list is interesting: I want to try Flying Dog IPA at some point. (Rowan had a pail of water.)
Having taken a few sips of beer, found a space for Rowan to stretch out and had a good look around, we directed our attention to the menu. As expected, there were hotdogs. The hotdogs are served in a lovely, substantial bun, and comes with different toppings. The Pinto, for example, is hot and spicy covered as it is with chipotles in adobo sauce (a smoky, spicy tomato sauce). The Flying Dog is a chillidog, Slaw Dog comes with beetroot slaw and Lazy gos is simply a dog in a bun. The Top Dawg rather appeals to me: it’s covered in tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and Louisiana hot sauce. My companion went for the Flying Dog. It’s served with chilli, cheese and cherry tomatoes. There’s a good amount of chilli but not so much that you can’t find the sausage or taste the cheese.
If you don’t fancy hotdogs, don’t worry. The smørrebrød selection is tempting. The sandwiches are served on soda bread and there’s a good variety of toppings. There’s one with sliced hotdog on it, as there should be, but also ham, cheese and other toppings. The one that tempted me had a mound of pickled herring on it. The herring came wrapped around dill pickles and drizzled with dill sauce. It was tangy, fresh and very tasty. The soda bread is lovely, a sweet counterpart to the pickles, and, like the hot dog bun, comes from the Manna House.
If you think a hot dog or sandwich won’t be enough, add a bucket of chips or some beetroot coleslaw to your order. We had two buckets of chunky chips, which turned out to be one more than we really needed: both hotdog and sandwich was filling on its own.
The Flying Dog also serves desserts. Asking what they have since it varies from week to week. We shared a chocolate mousse cake that was satisfyingly dense and chocolatey.
If you’re looking for a relaxed place to eat, have a beer, or fancy a hotdog, The Flying Dog is waiting for you. Staff is friendly and accommodating, the food is fun and your best friend is always welcome.
24 Henderson Street
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Telephone: 0131 467 7712
Stay in touch with The Flying Dog on Facebook.
Images of hotdog and interiors courtesy of Crimson Edge PR.