Here’s a nickel’s worth — well, more like $100,000 worth — of free advice: If there’s a chance you will see me the day after you appear on a reality show, beware your chances! You will lose! First, Asia O’Hara failed to win RuPaul’s Drag Race last Thursday; then — hours after he was booted from Food Network Star (or at least, when the episode aired) — TV host and self-defined wurstmonger Adam Gertler turns up in Richardson to show me his wiener.
“Trust me, I’ve heard them all,” he grins as I hand him a long, thick sausage and ask him to smile. “Trust me, I’ve said them all,” I reply.
Gertler is in good spirits, despite the disappointment of being let go for a second time from the series that helped launch his career. Although he was a runner-up (alongside Dallas’ Lisa Garza) his first season on FNS about 10 years ago, Gertler still landed his own series or two, and has appeared as a guest on many other shows. And he’s had more time than viewers have to process the loss for his comeback. But one cannot live by basic cable cameos alone. In his off-screen hours, Gertler is and long has been a devoted sausage maker (aka wurstmonger).
Around five years ago, he teamed up with the California-based Dog Haus restaurant group, which has a franchise in Richardson. That’s where Gertler was on Monday evening, showing off his latest creation — a sausage with a surprisingly (or maybe not) gay-friendly name: The Lambda Lambda Lambda, a dog made from (you guessed it) lamb … plus pork, and topped with feta, tzatziki and pickles.
Gertler developed the dog for the Haus with recent James Beard-winning Denver chef Alex Seidel, for a project where Dog Haus donates one dollar from the purchase of each featured dish to the charity No Kid Hungry. (Each promotion lasts two months, with this one ending on August 31; starting in September, a new hotdog will be featured, which Gertler will plan out with Dallas’ Dean Fearing.)
The timing is ideal for this one, though. The Fourth of July is synonymous with hotdogs, and for my first visit to Dog Haus (which has been at its location less than a year) I was impressed by the sausages and the toppings. Best of all of them may be the Big D — a sausage not made by Gertler, because it is exclusive to Texas-based stores only. But even he agrees it’s pretty flavorful.
It’s not just the dogs that appealed to me, though. Dog Haus also boasts an excellent tap wall of local craft brews (Crackberry, Velvet Hammer, Mosaic IPA, etc.) as well as some Cali-based beers, of course, And there’s even a burger topped with pastrami that Gertler confesses takes him back to his Jewish deli roots.
Hey, when it comes to burgers and dogs, more is usually more.
— Arnold Wayne Jones