Roadside eatery capturing attention in Milford

When you’re hungering for something different, any old place just won’t do. You want some pizzaz, spectacle and, most importantly, a menu that piques your interest. DogTown delivers the goods on this checklist and more.

Opened at 664 New Haven Avenue, Milford in the latter part of 2017, this roadside eatery is capturing heaps of attention from both local residents and motorists passing along the New Haven-bound corridor. The business began with a food truck, which now takes a sideline during the winter months while the new brick-and-mortar location cranks. And when we say “cranks”, it really does — with reports of lines out the door and the business having to order in more supplies on short notice to meet demand.

What’s at the heart of the buzz? Well, the look of the place to begin with: a black shack with a bright red door and a horizontal sign on top with checker board designs shouting out “DogTown” and billing the venue as a “Drive In” and “Take Out,” with a nod to the food truck. Literally, it’s what you do — drive into their little lot and order food for takeout. Oh, there IS an opportunity to dine on premise, if you want to settle into a bench inside that’s made of skateboard decks or sit at one of several picnic-style tables OUTSIDE. But most that visit, particularly when it’s cold, are happy enough to just sit in their cars and enjoy “paradise by the dashboard light” as Meatloaf once sang.

And what’s the “paradise” part? The eats of course. Just step up to the high counters inside and browse the giant menu board above, which dominates the space. You’re going to find amazingness going on here, promoted as “street meat”.

In the lead-off Hot Dogs column, cleverly named selections call out, like Danger Dog with bacon, grilled onions & peppers, pico de Gallo, mayo, mustard and ketchup. Or Notorious D.O.G., with red onion sauce, sauerkraut, hot pepper relish and mustard. You can also go “Freestyle” and customize your own dog and additional toppings are at your avail. Dogs run about $4.25 on average. Oh, and BTW, the dogs are all from Martin Rosol’s Meats of New Britain, CT, so you know you’re getting a winning wiener.

In the middle column of the menu board, you’ve got the Burgers, generally prepared juicy and medium well. You can go with your standard off-the-shelf hamburger or cheeseburger or change direction and go with something like the Downtown Burger featuring a mustard grilled patty, American Cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle and caramelized onions. We loved the Rocco Burger, with American cheese, bacon, grilled onions, lettuce and mayo. The patties are slim but tasty and, overall, burgers price out at around $4.00 on average. You can double up the pattie, too, for an additional $1.50.

Finally, among the “mains,” there are Sandwiches. Consider the Famous Samboni: sliced sirloin, grilled onions & peppers and American cheese. Or the Foghorn Leghorn with grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato and pesto mayo. The cheeky set might like the Mother Clucker, offering buttermilk fried chicken, lettuce, pickle and chipotle mayo. Eight sandwich choices are available and tag around $8.00.

What’s a meal without a side? DogTown offers many options, from Tater Tots, Totchos (chili, cheese, pico de Gallo and sour cream) and Doggy Style Tots with banana peppers, to Buffalo Tots, Skinny Rings and Coleslaw. You can also steer to a Tossed Salad. Sides run around $4.50.

Did we mention Treats? You can get a Basic milkshake for $5.50 or Shake It Up for an extra dollar and get integrations like Cookies ’n Cream, Peanut Butter Cup, Mocha, Fudge Brownie or Strawberry Cheesecake. Make your shake a Malt for another half a buck.

You may also want to try a Fried Oreo Sundae or Brownie Sundae or even a Root Beer Float.

This is good old Americana drive-up dining, people. “Hotdog Technician” Bobby Manere will be expecting you.

DogTown Drive-In is located at 664 New Haven Avenue, Milford, CT. PH: 203-767-2895. Website? Email: Days/Hours: Open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-8pm and Sunday Noon-4pm.