In San Francisco, there’s a new dog in town, and it’s got killer pedigree. Show Dogs, a gourmet sausage joint in the city’s Tenderloin District, is the brainchild of the first couple of Bay Area sustainable cuisine, Gayle Pirie and John Clark. The pair cut their teeth at Chez Panisse and Café Zuni before taking the helm at the acclaimed Cal-Mediterranean restaurant Foreign Cinema. Now, the two profess their love of meticulously sourced, local ingredients at their newest venture with a rotating menu of 10 sausages, ranging from an organic boudin blanc to a classic corn dog, all topped with house-made condiments like apple-ginger chutney and pasilla barbecue sauce.
But when it came to creating a beverage program for the haute hot dog house, the two oenophiles—Foreign Cinema boasts a wine list 265 bottles deep—went in a different direction, honing a beer menu of 10 drafts and 6 bottles that focuses on local breweries.
“You gotta have beer and a dog,” Pirie puts simply. “People need a swallow of beer; that little hint of alcoholic digestif. So we take the bounty of the area and showcase it.”
Show Dogs’ menu suggests pairings for each of the franks, pairing the briny pickled Louisiana hot link with 21st Amendment Watermelon Wheat Ale (“It’s got a sparkling clarity [that] really quenches your thirst,” Pirie says) and the bold wild boar sausage with a malty amber ale from the nearby solar-powered Anderson Valley Brewing.
All of the eatery’s drafts are available in four-ounce sizes, allowing for experimentation. “We don’t adhere to strict rules,” says Pirie. “We’re not snobs. It’s all very playful and arbitrary.” –Katie Robbins