Have you ever had a Junkyard Dawg in Columbus?
Jordan’s Girls Gourmet Dawgs on Veterans Parkway is the kind of place you could take someone who won’t eat vegetables or that vegan friend who is tired of living in a region where nearly every green, leafy plant is cooked with fatty pork.
They’d both leave happy, too.
You’ve probably driven by Jordan’s red-roofed, brick building on your way somewhere else. It’s been open since May 2013, but you might not have known it was there — even with the bright paint on the windows advertising its wieners. It sits a bit back from the road, about half a mile from Columbus’ downtown and in the shadows of the Government Center.
Once inside, you’ll see a large menu on white cardboard listing hotdogs of varying degrees of enormity. There’s the popular but simple chili “dawg” with mustard and onions ($2.00) and the more imposing Airborne Dawg — a footlong hot dog with chili, cheese, onions, jalapeno, sport peppers, tomatoes, sauerkraut, mustard and guacamole ($4.25).
Sports fan? There’s a hot dog for every school in the Southeastern Conference. Georgia is simple: chili, cheese and onions ($2.25), and the LSU is a spicy smoked sausage with onions and mustard ($3.50). The South Carolina ($1.50) is just a plain dawg. I’m not sure if that one was added out of spite.
It’s not listed on the menu board up front but the restaurant has a wide array of vegan options. There’s vegan chilli, vegan hot dawgs, vegan sausage dawgs and fries that can be topped with vegan chili and vegan cheese. If you’re lucky, you might find a classic, southern comfort dish like chicken and dumplings that’s been made vegan.
Perhaps the most noteworthy non-meat option is the take on a Columbus classic: the $4 vegan scramble dog.
Either way, a vegan won’t be forced to choose between fries and/or a salad as an entree, and that’s a win.
Recommended by staff, the Junkyard Dawg ($3.25) is piled with chili, cheese, slaw, sauerkraut, onions, ketchup, mustard and topped with a handful of circular-sliced pickles.
It comes to the table inside a white styrofoam container that can barely close. You’ll likely have to eat it with a fork and knife. I bravely tried to pick it up, but the dawg was so large that I nearly broke the styrofoam trying to get it out.
Resigned to using utensils, it’s easy to craft a bite that manages to collect all the dawg’s parts. The dawg itself has a smoky taste. The chili is sweet and spicy but subdued. The coleslaw falls on the sweet spectrum. The sauerkraut and pickles give the dog a sour note.
Together, it makes a dawg that other establishments in the city would be hard-pressed to top.
The vegan LSU dawg with onions and mustard was not spicy but the plant-based meat was high-quality, said Miranda Daniel, the Ledger’s video producer.
One Junkyard, one vegan sausage, a chili dawg, fries with vegan cheese, drinks and an order of chips would run you about $15.50.You’ll probably have leftovers.
Don’t go if you’re on a short lunch break. This is the kind of places where people sit at tables and swap stories.
You’ll be there for a little while.
If you go:
Jordan’s Girls Gourmet Dawgs
803 Veterans Parkway, Columbus
Monday-Friday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday: 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.