Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 16th
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dining_surfdogphillyThere's a new Dog in town on the corner of Pacific Avenue and Laurel Street. Surf Dog serves mainly burgers and hot dogs, and you can design your own from a selection of ten meats and 19 toppings

The finishes are upscale for this small, late-night joint, with mosaic tile floors and a Corian-style marble table which matches those at Khyber Pass, the owner's other restaurant.

This isn't necessarily fast food: it took 20 minutes for a Juicy SC ($5.95), made to order. But it was hot, and even though cooked through, plenty moist. The fat sesame-seeded bun, spread with tart orange Surf Sauce was filled with a thick grill-marked patty with sautéed red bell peppers, crisp-textured onions and mushrooms. The orange cheese quickly melted until lusciously gooey, although the described garlic flavor was not apparent to me.

Other burger combinations include the Chappli ($5.95) with herbed and spiced meat served on flat Naan bread with mint chutney, a Hawaiian Burger ($6.95) with pineapple and bacon, and a Wahine Burger ($5.95) made with a chicken breast and teriyaki sauce.

A to-go order was ready in just five minutes. The Jr. Surf Dog ($2.95) was [flavored] with ketchup and mustard. The sausage itself was firm and nicely seasoned. The grown up Surf Dog adds onions, relish and chopped tomato. The Tsunami Dog ($3.95) is the same, although larger, and a Stoned Dog ($4.50) includes onions, mushrooms, bacon and cheese.

Many Philadelphians would shun the Philly Cheesesteak for its lack of either Provolone or Cheez-Whiz, but I found it to be quite tasty. Thinly sliced strips of tender beef, onions and red bell peppers, in spite of being nicely held together with melted cheese, overflowed the large sandwich roll, which was toasted and spread with mayonnaise.  | KP

Surf Dog, 719 Pacific Ave., 423-2301. Opens daily at 11 a.m., closing at midnight Sunday through Wednesday, and at 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

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