First of all, let me say that I like hot dogs. I think they are a convenient food that can be dressed up to taste without having to spend an arm and a leg. Having been to street vendors & hot dog stands in both Chicago and New York, I have an idea of what to expect. So when I was told about Pawbowskys’ Dog House by a coworker of mine, I knew I would eventually pay them a visit.
The first time I attempted to visit Pawbowskys’ was one heck of an ordeal. When I looked them up on Google, all the links (including news articles, Urbanspoon, etc.) pointed to a location on Church Street, several miles away from my work. Even their current website, which hasn’t been updated since 2009 states that they are at Church Street. However when I arrived to that location, I found that that it was shut down and their phone number was disconnected. Little did I know that they moved actually just 2 miles from my work on 123 SE Broad Street.
Doing even more research, I have come to the realization that the location on 123 SE Broad Street is actually called Pawbowskys’ Bar and Grille. The Pawbowskys’ Dog House is actually at yet another location on Memorial Blvd. Despite the different names, they both serve the same menu consisting of hot dogs, burgers, and chicken wings provided by Vienna Beef, a Chicago-based manufacturer of meat products.
This past Tuesday, I told Mike about my ordeal the week before and we made the decision to visit the location on Broad Street. From the title of this review, you already know that I’m not impressed with Pawbowskys’. Nearly all aspects of this review came out negative.
First and foremost, Pawbowskys’ is not cheap. Take for instance Mike’s order, which consisted of a Jumbo Chicago Style Paw Dog Combo with fries and a drink. The total for his bill was around $7. I personally went à la carte and ordered a Jumbo Chicago Style Paw Dog ($3.79), half an Italian Beef ($3.69), a Hot Polish Sausage ($4.29), and a soft drink ($1.79). While I admit that I did order quite a bit of food, it didn’t fill me up as I would have hoped.
As for the food… definitely disappointed. Appearance-wise, their hot dogs look great. It’s nice to see all these toppings but am I paying for the toppings or the meat itself? For example, let’s dissect my Hot Polish Sausage. This entree was the most expensive item on my bill. It’s a spicy Polish hot sausage topped with hot mustard, giardinera, onions, peppers, and a pickle spear in a poppy seed bun. My bun was half stale (the bottom part being hard as a crouton) and the Polish sausage was extremely salty without any heat whatsoever. The only thing that saved it was the toppings… but in reality though, for $4.29 I might as well have put wads of dollar bills on top of it.
The other two items I ordered, the Jumbo Chicago Style Paw Dog and half an Italian Beef were mediocre. Just like the Hot Polish Sausage, the Chicago Style Paw Dog had an assortment of great toppings but for the price of $3.79, I could have gotten something better across the street. The hot dog itself had little flavor and tasted like it was boiled. Any hot dog connoisseur will tell you boiling hot dogs will result in a loss of flavor.
Finally we come to my Italian Beef. I actually expected this one to be as wonderful as the first time I had my Italian Beef in Chicago but it fell flat on its face. The beef was not juicy at all, but rather dry. My bun had none of the delicious meat juices in which the beef sits in anywhere on my bun. This to me was more like a dry Philly Cheesesteak than an Italian Beef.
In the end, I cannot recommend Pawbowskys’. Despite reading such highly praised reviews, I’m truly disappointed. A flavorless “boiled” hot dog, an extremely salty Polish sausage born from the seas on a crusty “crouton” bun, and an Italian Beef drier than my ashy elbows is not my idea of a meal worth $14. The only thing that salvaged my meal was the toppings, which were of good quality and provided enough flavor for me to choke down my meal. Pawbowskys’ may have gotten my money this past Tuesday but they shall see it nevermore. Even Mike, a guy who will eat anything said he could get the same exact meal at a concession stand for $4.
|Pawbowskys’ Bar and Grille
123 SE Broad Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37130-4228
Bill Total: $22 For Two