TNT Diner

This new taproom makes a real Chicago hot dog, has 33 taps, arcade games and pinball

A Chicago dog, called the Chi-Town, from CaskCades is made with a Red Hot frank on a poppy-seed bun and all the trimmings of a hot dog properly “dragged through the garden.”
A Chicago dog, called the Chi-Town, from CaskCades is made with a Red Hot frank on a poppy-seed bun and all the trimmings of a hot dog properly “dragged through the garden.” skidd@thenewstribune.com

Chicago transplants inevitably ask me this question: Where can I find a Chicago dog, an Italian beef and a real deep-dish pizza?

I’m still looking for that beef sandwich and real deep-dish, but here’s one more place for a Chicago dog.

Newly opened CaskCades in downtown Puyallup, a family-friendly craft beer, hot dog and game emporium, opened Thursday with a menu of hot dogs that includes an ode to a traditional Chicago staple.

Chicagoans will be happy to hear that co-owners, longtime friends AJ Wiltrout and Andy Gaine, went to great lengths to source the ingredients, all the way down to the neon green relish and crunchy sport peppers.

Here’s a first look at CaskCades. It’s this paper’s policy to avoid criticism of a food and service in a restaurant’s first month.

Cask Cades Chicago 2
A Chicago hot dog with all the trimmings from CaskCades in Puyallup. Sue Kidd skidd@thenewstribune.com

That Chicago dog: Wiltrout and Gaine bring serious Chicago hot dog game. Everything looked and tasted right on their Chi-Town ($5.75).

I know from being schooled (many, many times) by Chicago transplants that there is a divide between the hot dogs used on a real-deal Chicago Dog.

Sorry Vienna Beef lovers, but CaskCades is firmly on Team Red Hot Chicago Beef Franks.

The steamed Red Hot frank was served on a poppy seed-dusted bun and arrived properly “dragged through the garden,” which is a fun way to say that they follow “the rules” when it comes to the usual Chicago dog toppings: chopped onions, tomato slices, a pickle spear, the signature neon-green relish, yellow mustard, sport peppers and a dusting of celery salt.

Chicagoans might find fault that the pickle spear at CaskCade’s showed up on the side, but that’s an easy fix: Tuck it into the bun.

The rest of the dog menu: I bit into the Puyallup Fair hot dog and found a tasty Red Hot beef frank, plus contrasting drizzles of barbecue and white cheddar sauces (just, yum), chopped, fresh onions and a slice of bacon ($5.75). The Ring of Fire was approaching Defcon Level Get Me Another Beer with a beef dog and bacon with Sriracha and Aardvark habanero sauce ($5.50). Sweet strawberry jelly and cream cheese cooled the heat.

Cask Cades Puyallup dog
The Puyallup dog from CaskCades. Sue Kidd skidd@thenewstribune.com

Other dogs on my to-try list include the Mud Slide with peanut butter and bacon ($5.50), the S’more with marshmallow sauce, chocolate chips and graham crackers ($5.50) and the Captain PBandJ with peanut butter, jelly and Cap’n Crunch cereal ($5.25). Like it simple? Get the Day Hike with brown mustard, relish and onions ($5).

For vegans: Field Roast's Frankfurter for an extra $1 charge.

Sides: Tim’s Cascade chips with any hot dog, or add $2.50 and get a choice of slaw (the wasabi slaw was snappy and fresh) or garden salad (not from a bag).

Cask Cades hummus
A hummus platter from CaskCades. Sue Kidd skidd@thenewstribune.com

More to eat: Snack plates include a hummus ($7.95), charcuterie plate ($15.95) fruit-and-cheese ($12.95) plate. Also, smoked meat-and-cheese mix ($8.95), plus pot pies with a side ($7.50).

Kids meal: Hot dog with juice and chips or apple slices ($5).

On tap: Snoqualmie Root Beer for kids (plus packaged juices). For grown-ups, 32 taps with adult beverages including a healthy selection of South Sound beer (I spotted local brewers Wingman, Wet Coast and Puyallup River Brewing), with IPAs, ambers, reds, darks, gluten-free choices. Ciders and wines also on tap.

Atmosphere: Friendly, casual. Order at the counter and take a seat at one of the tables in the front or side dining rooms. Adults-only seating at the bar. The dining room seats about 40.

Cask Cades dining room 4
A gaming area at downtown Puyallup’s CaskCades. Sue Kidd skidd@thenewstribune.com

The games: Stand-up and sit-down electronic arcade games, plus a few pinball machines and shelves stuffed full of board and card games.

Another real deal: For the diehard Chicago fan who is on Team Vienna, check out The Hometown Dogs food truck, which serves theirs with Vienna Beefs dragged through the garden.

Pretty close: Shake Shake Shake in Tacoma’s Stadium neighborhood and The Red Hot tavern (21+ diners) both have Chicago-dog nods on their menus. The Red Hot also serves a vegan version called the North End Not Dog.

CaskCades

Where:106 N. Meridian, Puyallup;

Info: 253-256-4210; facebook.com/CaskCades

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