Monday, March 18, 2013

Bluff City Vegan Eats: Chiwawa

I have a vegan hot dog named after me! I've always dreamed about seeing my name on a menu item, and now my dreams have come true. And a hot dog, no less. As the daughter of a hot dog addict, I know my mama couldn't be more proud.

Let me explain. A few weeks ago, Memphis restauranteur Taylor Berger messaged me for vegan hot dog suggestions to serve at Chiwawa, his new Midtown eatery with a focus on hot dogs, authentic Mexican fare (no cheddar and no sour cream), and fascinating ways to serve tequila and whiskey (more on that in a few). I gave him some ideas, and he asked "Can we call it the Bianca Dawg?" I thought he was kidding.

And then Chiwawa had its grand opening last Friday. My editor went there for lunch, and he sent me this picture. Check out the Bianca Dawg at the bottom!

I could barely contain my excitement, but I managed to wait until Saturday after the St. Paddy's parade to stop in and order my own Bianca Dawg. It was so fun telling the waitress, "So I'm gonna have the Bianca Dawg 'cause that's me!"

It's a grilled Tofurky brat served on a flour tortilla with sweet 'n' tangy mustard-based Slaw Chiwawa. You know, I'd never have thought to roll a brat up into a tortilla, but it's genius. Less calories than a big ole bun. Plus, eating a hot dog in a tortilla makes you feel like a big kid!

Items at Chiwawa are served a la carte, so our table ordered a plate of Papas Fritas to share. Warning to vegans: Be sure and request the papas with no cheese. They arrived with some sort of crumbly white cheese on top, but our waitress was super nice and immediately whisked them away and replaced them with fresh, hot cheese-free fries. They were served with a yummy Memphis-style BBQ sauce for dippin':

The Bianca Dawg isn't the only veg item on the menu. My friend Greg, who couldn't bring himself to order something with my name on it (I have the nicest friends ... rolling eyes), ordered this mushroom taco with avocado and veggies. I wish I knew what it was called on the menu, but I can't remember. He said it was delicious!

Besides combining hot dogs and Mexican food (my mama's two favorite cuisines in the world, btw), Chiwawa has the added bonus of being a fine purveyor of fancy cocktails made with tequila and whiskey.

For now, you can get perfectly mixed margaritas and other cocktails. But come summer, Chiwawa will be serving up tequila snowcones and whiskey popsicles on its spacious patio. I am counting down the days.

Chiwawa is located at 2059 Madison Ave. Call 901-207-1456.


FoodandLoathing said...

How cool is that!

Lauren Phelps said...

Awesome!! You are a celebrity! I can't wait to try Chiwawa! Have a great day!

Barb@ThatWasVegan? said...

Good for you!! And I love hot dogs in tortillas, that's how I pretty much always eat them.

Megan Goes Vegan said...

Wow, that's super cool! I'd like a PB&J named after me! :)

MeloMeals said...

That's so cool... the food looks amazing.

jared said...

Bianca, that's so awesome! I would totally order your dawg, especially with a tequila snow cone.

xvavaveganx said...

Ho fun to have a hot dog named after you!! The food looks great, that mushroom taco, oh man! I love that they used a tortilla for the hot dog too! So fun!

bookwormbethie said...

dang, girl, you have totally arrived! congrats on having a vegan dog named after you!!!


p.s. envious of all your vegan and vegan-friendly eateries in your town!

Babette said...

Wow, that is so cool! You should get the menu framed =)