Food Network Adam Gertler Goes to the Dogs

IMG_0371by Alex Gonzalez

This past Monday evening, Food Network alum Adam Gertler made a special appearance at Dog Haus Biergarten in Richardson. Gertler, known for his runs on shows “Food Network Star,” “Kid in a Candy Store,” and “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” showcased a variety of his signature hot dogs and burgers

Gertler landed his first television hosting gig after a co-worker of his at Jose Garza’s Amada brought to his attention a casting call listed on Craigslist. He attended said casting call and was later chosen to host “Food Network Star” and “Will Work For Food.” Despite his quick rise to fame within the food and entertainment industry, Gertler quickly realized that hosting, on its own, won’t pay the bills.

“I figured ‘Oh, I’m a TV host guy now, this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life,’ Gertler says to a panel of bloggers, instagrammers, and critics. “No, it doesn’t work that way. Sometimes, there are no more shows, then you’re just like ‘What am I going to do with the rest of my time? How am I going to make money?’”

Gertler later started his own sausage company out of his home.

“I would basically make the sausage out of my house and sell it at pop-ups,” Gertler says. “I would go to bars and I would say ‘Hey, I just had a show on Food Network! Do you mind if I set up over there sometime?’ and that’s how I would get my pop-up gigs.”

What sets Gertler’s sausages apart is the flavorings he uses. Since the beginning of his career, Gertler has never adhered to any conventional means of making sausages.

“I kind of started by making my own version of things,” Gertler says. “I didn’t want to make things that were very common, because there were already people making those kinds of things, and they could probably do it better than I could, so I liked to mess around with the flavors.”

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Shortly after Gertler began hosting his pop-ups, his signature Pastrami Dog was featured on an episode of Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” Gertler was later approached by Toni Cantella, who was known in Vernon, California for his sausages. Cantella introduced Gertler to the founders of Dog Haus, who decided to partner with Gertler to help create menu items for the stores.

“I like the thai red curry wurst,” Gertler says. “It’s a really spicy sausage with lime, thai chilis, cilantro, and basil. It’s a very interesting sausage. But my favorite here in Dallas is The Big D, which is exclusive to Dallas. It is a very good cheddar and jalapeno sausage.”

The Big D is among the many signature hot dogs Gertler showcases that night. The Big D comes garnished with relished peppers and onions and is topped with a sweet, spicy chipotle aioli and is encased in grilled King’s Hawaiian roll, as are all of the hot dogs and burgers on the menu. It is topped with a crumbly cojita cheese, which adds to the Big D’s latin-inspired elements.

Another notable item is the Sooo Cali, which is a hot dog topped with crispy onions, spicy basil aioli, avocado, and tomato.

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For a limited time, patrons at Dog Haus can try the Lambda Lambda Lambda, which is an original creation by chef Alex Seidel. The Lambda Lambda Lambda is a hot dog made with lamb and pork sausage, topped with tzatziki, feta, diced onion, tomato and pickles. This special dog is available until August 31.

Apart from dogs and burgers, Dog Haus Biergarten offers a variety of beers from local breweries on tap and cocktails made with local spirits. Their Frosé is the perfect treat for cooling off from the Texas heat.

On the outdoor patio, guests can play games like cornhole. There are also cool chalk murals outside and a fountain appropriate for an Instagram photo-op. A guest favorite is taking a Boomerang video with the Love Boat dog, which consists of tater tots, chili, and coleslaw.

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Before concluding the showcase, Gertler speaks with me, offering final remarks. He is excited about the future of Dog Haus.

“I love what I do,” Gertler says. “I get to keep coming up with different sausages with different flavors and different things to put inside them. I get to travel to all of the new Dog Hauses that open. We started from three and now there are 30 across the nation, and we are continuing to expand upon that.”

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