The Louisville food truck/stand/cart family will add another food cart the group starting at Flea Off Market this weekend: Red Top Gourmet Hot Dogs. Ryan Cohee, the proprietor of Red Top, is here to show Louisville how the hot dog is done.
Cohee, a Michigan transplant, who has been living in Louisville for 7 years, wants to help along the minimal hot dog culture that’s in Louisville now. Cohee has been in kitchens since he was 14, is a culinary school graduate and has even cooked in fine dining restaurants, and the man knows his dogs.
“You can call me an aficionado,” says Cohee, “because I try hot dogs everywhere.”
While many people get focused on the various exotic toppings that you can put between the bun and the hot dog, Cohee’s concern is the dog itself. He uses a hot dogs with natural casing.
Louisville has a few brick-and-mortar restaurants that offer specialty hot dogs, so when I asked Cohee about his choice to make his business mobile he said that’s the way it has always been. He said that from early in the history of big cities like Chicago or New York, carts and trucks were the simple ways that hot dogs were offered.
In Louisville’s street food scene especially, one characteristic that seems to be common amongst most operations is local ingredients, and Cohee says that’s a standard that he will be keeping, with one exception.
“I would love to use a local hot dog, but I could not find one up to the caliber that I want to use,” Cohee said. He will be using Boar’s Head hot dogs.
Besides that, Cohee will be using local stuff like root beer on tap from BBC, as well as soaking his brats (which he gets from Frank’s on Preston Highway) in BBC’s Amber Ale. He will offer Jay’s Chips (of Southern Indiana). He uses organic ketchup and mustard because it is “just a better product,” and he also makes a habit of visiting local farmer’s markets and incorporating what he finds there in the menu.
You will be able to find Red Top Gourmet Hot Dogs at local festivals and farmer’s markets, but because it is classified as a cart by city government, it must stand in one location if it is not at an event. Cohee said he is waiting to hear back from city government on the standard location for Red Top, but he believes it will be in NuLu between Clay and Shelby.
For more information about Red Top Gourmet Hot Dogs and its full menu, check out their website http://www.redtopdogs.com/