It's beginning to feel a lot like spring outside, making it the perfect time to venture out and try something new. And if a fully loaded hot dog sounds good, there's a new spot to try.
In fall of 2019, we brought you the details about Riley’s Good Dogs, a new concept slated for the former Moto-Scoot at 1652 N. Water St.
The great news is, despite numerous set-backs which delayed their opening, Riley’s Good Dogs has officially made its debut in food truck form (the truck’s name is Gert, by the way), slinging a menu of vegan, vegetarian and meat-filled dogs with creative toppings.
Behind the fast casual concept is building owner Bill Weslow, who operated Moto-Scoot for over a decade before selling the business in 2017, and Hank Stiehl, an industry veteran who built his career in fast casual dining with brands like Ian’s Pizza and Wendy’s. The name is an homage to Weslow’s pet bulldog, Riley, whose presence at Moto-Scoot made him the venue’s unofficial mascot for years.
The new food truck (which sports graphics created by Hoopster Performance Graphics) is a pivot for the brand, which Stiehl says will allow them to test out the concept and menu, while moving forward with renovations to create a new brick and mortar restaurant. Stiehl says the hope is that construction would begin this summer, or by fall at the latest.
Good Dogs & fancy fries
On the menu, folks will find a fairly broad range of “good dogs” including hot dogs and sausages from Pritzlaff Meats, plant-based Beyond Meat sausages and Field Roast hot dogs, along with Angelic Bakehouse buns and Jolly Good soda.
“Our goal is that whoever comes up to the truck is able to find something to enjoy,” says Stiehl, noting that they are currently working on sourcing a bun that would accommodate gluten-free diners as well.
Choose from standards like The Good Dog, a meat or plant-based hot dog topped as you like with condiments like ketchup, yellow mustard, minced onions and pickle relish ($4-$5).
Or venture outside the box with creative dogs like the Pineapple Express, a hot dog (meat or plant-based) or sausage (traditional, chicken or plant-based) topped with Riley's fresh pineapple relish and stone-ground mango mustard ($5-$8).
Like it a little spicy? Choose the Korean BBQ dog with Riley's slaw #1, plum BBQ sauce, Sriracha and black sesame seeds ($6-$7); or the Kogi, a deliciously sweet and spicy dog topped with Riley's slaw #1, garlic teriyaki sauce, Sriracha and black sesame seeds ($6-$7).
Or go for it with loaded dogs like the Cubano Grande, featuring sausage (traditional, chicken or plant-based) with Swiss cheese (or vegan), bacon, pickle, pickle relish and spicy Cuban mustard ($8-11); or the Luigi Supreme, an Italian sausage (traditional, chicken or plant-based) topped like a pizza with sauce, mozzarella cheese (or vegan cheese), roasted bell peppers and onions ($7-10).
You’ll also find hot, fresh Zoomie fries (sidewinders), which can be ordered as-is ($3/$5), topped with aged cheddar cheese sauce ($6), or loaded up in various combinations including Ay Chihuahua Zoomies topped with cheese, bacon shreds, minced onions and serrano chile sauce ($8).
And you can wash it all down with a can of classic Wisconsin-made Jolly Good soda in beloved flavors like grape, cream, root beer and Sour Pow'r ($2 each).
Good dogs welcome
And yes, if you stop by with YOUR good dog, Riley’s will have dog treats waiting on the truck just for them. Even better, if you take a photo with your fuzzy friend, post it to Instagram and tag @RileysGoodDogs, they’ll repost your shot in their story.
Riley’s Good Dogs is currently open Tuesday through Thursday from noon to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to midnight and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. Orders can be placed online for pick-up at the truck. Walk-ups are also welcome.
Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.