getting glizzy with it
Houston's most glizzy hot dog cart lands new home in local distillery's budding cannabis dispensary
Known for its elaborately topped hot dogs that draw lines of an hour or more, Yoyo’s operated in Rice Village for more than a decade. When the hot dog cart lost its lease at the end of January, its owners began the search for a new place to operate.
Matt Marcus, 8th Wonder’s event coordinator and culinary director, tells CultureMap that he contacted Yoyo’s about coming to EaDo. They settled on 8th Wonder’s distillery and cannabis dispensary at 2201 Dallas St., because it stays open later than the brewery.
“I’ve been a huge fan of theirs,” Marcus says. “When I saw they were getting kicked out, I reached out to them.”
Yoyo’s co-owner Kevin Dang says he and partner Danny Kim (aka, Yoyo) heard from a number of interested venues, but that Marcus’ status as a former food truck owner helped persuade them to give 8th Wonder a try. He thinks the new neighborhood will appeal to Yoyo’s regulars, too.
“I like the EaDo area a lot. It’s an up-and-coming area that’s popular with the younger crowd,” Deng says. “Our customers liked Rice Village, because it had ample parking and was safe. I get the same vibe with EaDo.”
For now, Yoyo’s will operate with the same hours it did in Rice Village — Thursday-Saturday from 8 pm - 3 am. That could change depending on customer feedback or the rhythms of the new neighborhood.
“I was in EaDo on Sunday,” Deng says. “I realized they have a huge block party at Chapman and Kirby. I’m considering adding Sunday to the mix as well, mainly for that crowd.”
As for the hot dogs themselves, Yoyo’s distinguishes itself from a backyard frank in a number of ways. The oversized, all-beef dogs are griddled and butterflied to better hold all the toppings. A layer of cream cheese gets applied to the toasted bun. Then, the dogs are topped with caramelized onions, crispy fried onions, and Yoyo’s signature sriracha and honey mayo. Best of all, diners watch the process happen right in front of their eyes.
“We do happen to sell hot dogs, but really what we sell is customer experience,” Deng says. “Whenever you see us prepare the food, you see it right in front of you. There’s no kitchen in the back. They see us pull the ingredients, cook it, assemble it, and sauce it.”
Marcus, a classically trained chef who consulted for James Coney Island several years ago, affirms that the Yoyo’s dog lives up to its reputation.
“It’s a good, greasy thing that will be great for our patrons,” Marcus says. “It’s going to help the whole neighborhood as far as the late night crowd around us.”
Putting hot dogs in close proximity to 8th Wonder Dispensary’s legal cannabis products could be an ideal pairing.
“Hot dogs and cannabis — they’re perfect,” he says.