During the last two summers I was a regular (frequent) patron of Dutch & Co.’s Back Door Dogs on Saturday afternoons. Needless to say, I was very excited when it was announced that the special Saturday hot dogs became so popular that owners Michelle and Caleb Shriver and Phillip Perrow decided to open Stroops.
Located in Church Hill at 2709 E Marshall St., Stroops is dangerously close to where Meg and I work. It does have limited indoor seating, but it’s also in the perfect location for if you want to pick up lunch and pop on over to Libby Hill park for an impromptu picnic. The small restaurant serves up some backyard favorites like hot dogs and hamburgers with a twist. The carefully layered flavors are sometimes a little out there, but always delicious. And they stayed true to the original back door dogs served out of the back door of Dutch & Co. by installing an actual grill inside the kitchen of Stroops.
The menu changes seasonally and you can also create your own more classic dog with toppings like chili, cheese, relish and onion. I’m still dying to try the classic corn dog that Andrew Knowlton, deputy editor of Bon Appétit, indulged in on a recent visit to Richmond.
The RVA dog is the only speciality dog that is a mainstay on the menu, a hot dog topped with crab cakes, pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes. Oh, and these aren’t your everyday Hebrew National hot dogs, Stroops uses meat from Autumn Olive Farms to make its own hot dogs and sausages.
The seasonal menu just recently changed to highlight flavors of the summer, so run don’t walk to try out these new options. They’re open Tuesday to Saturday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Burgers are a recent addition to the menu and while they might be on the smaller side they are definitely not small in flavor. For the adventurous, you can add a bone marrow spread for an added punch. And the falafel dog makes this place vegetarian friendly.
At Stroops, there are a few different options when it comes to sides, with the obvious choice being French fries. In the best possible way these fries remind me of what McDonald’s fries are supposed to taste like, thin crispy and salty. Shriver and the gang have also added new options in the cold case for those hoping for something of the more healthy variety.
Now, if you have a sweet tooth you have a few options, the housemade sodas or the stroopwafel, served in a variety of ways – regular, ice cream sandwich style or stroop scrap ice cream. While I have a soft spot in my heart for the stroopwafel, the housemade sodas are what really shine. I suggest the grapefruit basil elderflower soda for something refreshing and tart.
If making the trip up to Church Hill isn’t for you, Richmond Magazine just reported that Back Door Dogs will live again in Scott’s Addition (near Ardent at 3112 W. Leigh St.) every Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. starting on July 30. See you in line?