February 8, 2012
Heavenly Dog shuts down Elk Grove location, opts to go mobile

You could find some of the best hot dogs in the area at Elk Grove's Heavenly Dog - that is, until it shut down its space near Bond Rd. and Highway 99 at the end of January. But fear not, fans of the 'dog. Instead of continuing with a brick-and-mortar location, Heavenly Dog has opted to go mobile and focus on its food truck.

Heavenly Dog launched its food truck in December, and debuted at the Sacto MoFo 3 food truck festival at Eighth and W streets. That's since been Heavenly Dog's only appearance on the local mobile food scene, but plans to be running full-time starting in early March.

Owner Nicky Smith said mobile food looks to be a better business plan for her line of fine hot dogs.

"There's a lot less overhead," said Smith. "My rent was pretty high, and I couldn't be in two places at the same time. I'm really excited about going mobile. I can reach more people around Elk Grove, like my regulars who were pretty upset we shut down, and get out to the surrounding areas."

Smith's in the process of opening her own commissary to help service the Heavenly Dog truck, and plans to rent some of that space to caterers as well. There's also some modifications being made to the truck, which was built in large part by her husband, Chris. After getting slammed at Sacto MoFo 3, leading to long waits for their corn dogs and other items, they're looking to streamline their menu and make some improvements on their mobile kitchen.

"We had a rough start," said Smith. "We're definitely trying to get in the swing of things."

Look for Heavenly Dogs' menu to feature about 10 different 'dogs, with prices in the $5 to $5.50 range, including its Chicago-styled hot dog, Western bacon hot dog, chili dog and "Three Alarm" hot dog. Combo deals that include a drink and side will cost about $10.

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Chris Macias is the Bee's food and wine writer. Follow him on Twitter @chris_macias

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