Dogmatic, right off Union Square, draws an impressive lunch crowd from nearby offices. Go early or go late, but try to avoid the noon-1pm hour, where lines can go out the door. While Dogmatic is best known for a their variety of sausage dogs inserted into toasted rolls by Pain d'Avignon, most of which are indeed unique and quite good, many regulars make a habit of composing a meal from their side dishes. And these side dishes deserve more recognition. Four sides for $3.25 each, and fries for $2.95.
If you're going to get one side dish, make it the mac and cheese. It's indulgent, and quite a good deal for $3.25, outfitted in a crust of toasted, buttered breadcrumbs. Sink your fork deep into the container to find mini shells heavily laced with melting truffle gruyere (which also happens to be once of the "gourmet sauce" options for the sausage dogs). It's a addictive pasta dish that's more on the firm side than the saucy side. Two orders of mac and cheese, one housemade soda, and I'm set for lunch. To balance it out, though, you might want to replace one mac and cheese with a side of the tomato and basil salad:halved cherry tomatoes, basil, salt, and olive oil. Simple but fresh, it's often exactly what you need in the middle of the workday.
Order the waffle fries only if you see a hot batch. Because they're air-baked, non-fried fries, the quality goes down fairly quickly. A even semi-cooled batch is borderline stale, but a fresh batch is super light, crisp with not a hint of oil to weigh them down.
But if you're set on having the sausage dogs at Dogmatic (and there's nothing wrong with that!) keep in mind the combo deals they offer. The $9.95 price saves $.50 off the a la carte price and it buys any sausage dog, the fries, and a soda of your choice. The sodas are made in-house with flavors that include strawberry, lemon-lime, coconut, ginger, and grape. Ginger is my favorite—not too sweet with a spicy kick, though you can't go wrong with grape and strawberry if you're in a fruity mood.
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