In the midst of the recent snowstorm, I stamped my boots on the mat outside a small blue and white haven in the West Village, taking note of the list by the front door touting accolades from various media outlets, including the New York Times, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, and The Wall Street Journal. This is Dogmatic, which recently opened its doors on MacDougal Street.
Upon entering, I saw the large mural next to the entrance, which clearly explains Dogmatic’s mission: “Naturally Good Fast Food.” The mural displays, at a glance, what the establishment prides itself on: natural fast food (including grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, and all-natural pork) and no artificial ingredients (no nitrites, no hormones, no antibiotics, no preservatives, no deep-frying).
In this cozy and welcoming space, with seating for about 8-10, you’ll find a no-frills, yet thoughtful menu, featuring fast-food staples prepared with care, with Dogmatic’s own unique and delicious twists.
Alongside a traditional hot dog, Dogmatic offers five Dogmatic Dogs, its own special spin on the hot dog. All Dogmatic Dogs come served in a hollowed-out baguette, providing a wonderful chewiness to accompany your Dog of choice. The beef is grass-fed, the chicken is free-range, the lamb is pasture-raised, and the pork is all-natural. Enhance your Dog with one of four gourmet sauces: cheddar jalapeno, chimichurri, horseradish mustard, or truffle gruyere. Beef and lamb dogs are $5.65; chicken and pork dogs are $4.95.
There’s something for vegetarians, too. Try an asparagus dog (spears of asparagus served in the same hearty baguette) for $4.95, a veggie burger ($6.50), or, a real treat, the truffle gruyere mac and cheese ($3.75). Enjoy a side of non-fried fries ($2.95), Yukon gold waffle-cuts that are air-baked but still have the same wonderful flavor of traditional fries.
Marisa Regal, president of Dogmatic, is excited about this location. In an area with a bustling nightlife and with NYU nearby, she hopes to appeal to hungry customers in search of a quick, affordable bite with familiar yet positive fast-food attributes. “If you want a really great meal on the go that you can feel good about eating, come here,” said Regal.
On my visit this snowy day, I was treated to the signature Kebbie Burger ($5.95), which is named after Dogmatic owner Brad Blum’s mother. It has all the fixings of a standard burger—American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and ketchup—but I noticed the difference in the quality of the beef. Unlike at most fast-food establishments, I didn’t have that heavy, greasy feeling after eating this burger. It was flavorful and light–a hard balance to strike with a burger–but Dogmatic rises to the occasion. The accompanying fresh orange handmade soda ($2.75) was equally light and refreshing.
Because of its affordable prices, quick service, and food choices that place an emphasis on sustainability and nutritional responsibility, Dogmatic draws a range of customers. Regal recalled a day when two very different patrons—one in his teens, the other in his 70s—ordered the same meal and left equally satisfied. Regal’s own toddler loves the air-baked fries.
With late-night hours (open until midnight Sunday-Wednesday and until 2am Thursday-Saturday), Dogmatic is sure to draw in hungry college students as well as anyone searching for comfort food that they can feel good about.
Dogmatic is located at 120 MacDougal Street.