September 17, 2014
You can indulge or be healthy at two recently opened Fayetteville Street spots
By Curt Fields
…Tasty8’s. Everyone encountered so far behind its counter has ranged from chipper to welcoming to disconcertingly gregarious. No one is going to tell you to eat your veggies either, although they may ask if you want to pile some on your hot dog.
There are only eight hot dogs to choose from but it may take you a few minutes to decide. For me it comes down to either the El Perro, which delivers a nice kick thanks to a jalapeno-cheddar Buffalo brat with queso con chorizo, guacamole, salsa and jalapenos, or the Yo Adrian, which brings the eye of the tiger with an Angus beef dog, Philly steak, peppers, onions and, of course, Cheese Whiz. Other choices include the Southern Comfort (includes blue cheese slaw and Carolina chili), the National (with pimento cheese and fried okra) and the Coop (with chicken-apple sausage and avocado). All of the breads are made locally at Neomonde bakery, so the buns are tasty fresh.
For those avoiding meat, there is the Tree Hugger, comprising falafel, Green Goddess dressing, arugula, cucumber, tomato and lemon vinaigrette. It’s a bit dry though, so if your tastes go in that direction, you may be better off walking down the street to Happy and Hale. (You can also sub the falafel into the other styles on the menu, but no more successfully.)
Along with the dogs there are Belgian frites or sweet potato fries with eight dipping sauces to choose from, eight sodas, eight North Carolina microbrews on tap (sensing a numerical theme here?) and eight “gourmet” shakes. Among the sauces, the Dijon aioli is particularly notable. If indulging in a shake, the black raspberry Berry Berry Good lives up to its name. The Heart & Seoul, a Korean chile chocolate flavor, is a close second.
There are also corn dogs available, although oddly enough there are only two to choose from instead of eight. The Corn Dog Whisperer is a battered and fried beef dog that would make Rick Perry ecstatic (google the Texas governor and corn dog to see him enjoying one at the Iowa State Fair—and the Internet memes that followed). It certainly made me happy.
Having indulged more than once at Tasty 8’s recently, my next visit to Fayetteville Street may require waddling down to Happy and Hale for some healthier eating. Fortunately, it doesn’t matter whether the deep-fried devil on my left shoulder or the arugula-munching angel on my right shoulder wins out. Either way, my stomach will be happy.