This Dog’s Got Bite – The Barking Dog
Hampton, VA’s The Barking Dog may have just opened 2 months ago, but the food tastes like these recipes have been around for decades; this hot dog haven is having no problem learning new tricks that are keeping the local residents howling for more. Located off of one of the main fishery marinas in downtown Hampton, TBD features an expansive menu of both dog-lover fanfare as well as unique seafood staples, re-imagined for the more sophisticated palette while offering amazingly reasonable prices.
Owner Gary McIntyre opened this new eatery in a section of the city that has seen multiple other attempts at the restaurant / food service industry fail. A fully renovated interior and freshly constructed outdoor seating area with dock access opened up a previously drab and uncomfortable area. While these changes can seem inconsequential to the average customer, the amount of panache that is added to this place from a sheer visual aspect sets the table for an elevated expectation of quality that TBD easily delivers.
This proverbial (yet literal in a sense) dog house is bursting at the seams with plenty of great food and drink to try. While the menu sees special additions made every few days depending on available ingredients (they get their veggies locally every morning), their staple offerings come in the form of hot dogs, hamburgers, in-season & always fresh seafood as well as in-house made desserts. Some of the highlights include the namesake Barking Dog, a pork, beef and chicken comprised dog topped with house chili, mustard and raw onions, the Carolina Drive-In Dog, covered with pulled pork bbq (the North Carolina vinegar based kind), cole slaw and a spicy house mayo, as well as the Seattle Dog, a 1/4 lb kosher beef dog with cream cheese and caramelized onions.
I’ve visited these guys a few times and while the food is great, they are still finding their groove in some of the common hiccups new restaurants face: once they find consistency in the kitchen for food prep and choice, this place will be golden. If you’re ever in the area, please do stop through and try The Barking Dog out; pick up a crabcake, black tip shark taco or soft shell crab sandwich to go with your dog and enjoy the dock!
Check out the photo gallery on the next page: