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(Image: Brandon Burnstead / Seattle Refined)

Dandy Dogs brings backyard grilling to a Bothell parking lot

Few foods inspire as much nostalgia as the hot dog.

"It's hard to find a good hot dog. There's not a lot of them left. So when you do find one, it's like you're a kid again," said Dallas Wilson, co-owner of Dandy Dogs.

At Dandy Dogs, Dallas and his wife Ashley are bringing backyard BBQ vibes to the middle of a parking lot just off of SR 522 in Bothell.

"We basically serve hot dogs to the community and have a great time doing it," said Dallas.

"Our hot dogs are made with love. That is literally the secret recipe right there," added Ashley.

High school sweethearts originally from Hawaii, the Wilsons were working corporate jobs when Dallas decided to take his passion for grilling and pursue it full-time.

"He loves people. He can just hang out and barbecue with friends all day. He was like, 'I've got to do this.' So, I hopped on board," Ashley said with a smile.

"I love hot dogs. I love condiments, really. So, at the end of the day, if it didn't work out I was going to eat a bunch of hot dogs and I would be a happy person. It just took off from there," explained Dallas.

Dallas and Ashley tell me they make just about everything at Dandy Dogs, from the baked beans to the coleslaw, in-house, while their hot dogs, red hots and brats are sourced from local butchers.

"We do everything we possibly can to keep it local, around the neighborhood," said Dallas. "This is a neighborhood establishment. We want to keep it that way."

The signature menu item here is the bacon dog with grilled onions, cream cheese and, of course, plenty of bacon. But no matter the customer's dog of choice, they get to choose their own adventure.

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"I think what sets us apart is we toast the bun, grill the dog and you get to dress it up yourself. So, we lay the bases down for everybody and then we have the condiment bar with all the sauces and all the toppings from relishes, to different mustards and ketchup. It's your own experience every time and it's nearly impossible to have the same dog twice," explained Dallas.

The hot dogs certainly keep folks coming back, but so does the laid-back atmosphere and the Wilsons' aloha spirit. Dallas describes the vibe during lunchtime as the 'Cheers lunch bar'. Old and new faces alike stopping by and hanging out around the grill, just like a great backyard barbecue.

"Everything is family here. My wife is here. Our twin boys, they're going to be here one day. They love to hear about this place. They always ask about our customers," said Dallas.

"Everybody just comes in and when they leave, they're feeling good," added Ashley. "That's our goal, to make sure everyone is feeling special and happy."

Learn more about Dandy Dogs here