On Saturday I headed London-wards for a long overdue catch-up with my uni bestie, Erica. Seriously, a catch-up was well overdue, we hadn’t seen each other since my wedding back in October 2011, oops!
In keeping with the champagne swigging shenanigans of our meet-ups (seriously our catch-ups are not usually that glamorous, although Erica and I have worked our way through a number of London establishments cocktail lists in our younger years) we headed to Bubbledogs for lunch.
Tucked away in lovely Charlotte Street (I have a bit of an affinity for that area having stayed there when I completed some work experience placements in my youth) you’d walk straight past Bubbledogs if you didn’t know it was there. A simple neon sign sits above a slender window displaying empty champagne flutes. We crossed the road, stepped over the ampersand–style threshold (why are ampersands so darn cool?!) and braced ourselves ready to be told there was an hour wait for a table, but we were in luck and only had to wait five minutes before we took up our seats at the bar.
The ambience of Bubbledogs is difficult to pinpoint. It’s bijou, tiny in fact, so you can see why it’s so difficult to get a table at peak times (bookings are accepted for groups of six and over). It’s very American, contemporary, cool but not pretentious and in no way intimidating. A polished brass bar, high wooden stools which look like they’ve been borrowed from a science class circa 1972. Let’s call it laid-back-luxe.
Our menu was presented to us on a small brown clipboard (cute touch). We flicked through the list of cocktails and headed straight for the food section. If you don’t like hot dogs, don’t bother. But these aren’t your bog standard bun, hot dog, burnt onions and ketchup kind of hot dogs. Oh no siree, these are gourmet hotdogs of the very creative variety. I opted for a ‘Jose’ (a hot dog in a bun with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and jalepenos). My dining companion went for a Sloppy Joe (a hot dog in a bun with beef chilli, onions and cheese). We ordered some potato Tots (a cross between a hash brown and potato croquette) and sweet potato fries to share. We then opted for (a-hem) the cheapest champagne by the glass.
Iced water was presented to us in funky snowman-esque-shaped glasses. Upon placing our order our champagne was swiftly delivered by friendly and tremendously efficient staff. Then our food arrived. Hot dogs covered in delicious toppings served in kitsch plastic baskets and our sides presented in fairground-style paper containers. It was delish… Not greasy, full of taste and flavour and really quite satisfying. The sausage was succulent (oh er), the topping generous, but not overpowering and the sides were exceedingly moreish. It’s also a little weird how well hot dogs and champagne goes together – when it’s done properly.
Our bill came to £40 including tip. Not the cheapest when you consider we had two hot dogs, two sides and two glasses of plonk, but still not extortionate, and we felt it was good value considering a.) we were eating in central London b.) the food was super tasty and c.) you’re paying as much for the experience as you are the food.
Would I go back? Yup! Would I recommend? Definitely. Go try.
Yes, that’s right. There are no photos to accompany this review. I guess that makes a bad blogger, right? Pah! I hadn’t seen my friend in over a year so I thought catching up with her was more important than being in blogger mode. Plus, this way you get to experience Bubbledogs 100% for yourself, rather than feeling like you’ve already been there through somebody else before you even step foot over the ampersand (I think it’s actually the ‘b’ from the Bubbledogs logo, but hey). Forgive me now..?