Botsky’s makes name as gourmet hot dog parlour

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

Options for food from exotic locales seem to be expanding all the time in Lake Charles.

A new restaurant offers an exotic menu, but not from some faraway place — its food is as American as hot dogs.

Actually, that’s Botsky’s Premium Hot Dogs’ specialty.

The downtown Lake Charles restaurant, which opened June 14 on West Pujo Street, isn’t your average hot dog shop.

While visiting on a recent lunch break with co-worker Mike Cooper, Botsky’s was offering a wild boar hot dog with cranberry.

Now that’s not something I’d typically order, but since it’s the restaurant’s modus operandi, I felt obliged.

I asked the guy taking our order to dress it up the way he saw fit — he suggested onions, relish, a red wine reduction sauce

and feta cheese. I balked at the feta and he switched it out for swiss cheese.

On first bite, I was impressed.

The wild boar wasn’t completely a

foreign taste (think bratwurst) and the cranberry was a nice touch

(think Monte Cristo sandwich).

Coop ordered a natural casing frank topped with macaroni and cheese.

It looked delicious and he seemed to enjoy it.

Other specialty items on the menu were a duck and orange liquor hot dog and a Kobe beef hot dog.

The Kobe frank was sold out. Krajicek said the Kobe has been a hot seller which he hasn’t been able to keep in stock for long.

The usual hot dog toppings are available — sauerkraut, relish, onions, etc. But what makes the restaurant special is its unique

take on the hot dog and toppings are no different — in addition to mac and cheese, hot dogs can be topped with red beans,

a fried egg or cajunkraut.

Owner Mike Krajicek said he got the idea for a “gourmet hot dog parlor” while traveling to various cities in pursuit of his

first love, music.

Botsky’s logo is a jackalope, a mythical creature said to be a jackrabbit with antlers.

It represents the idea of a gourmet hot dog shop, Krajicek said.

“The idea behind a gourmet hot dog was kind of a mystical thing,” he said.

Krajicek said he hopes to have a regular menu, but also plans to keep trying out new specialty dogs — he’s also had a pheasant

and cognac hot dog and a venison, blueberry and merlot hot dog.

The restaurant has several beers on tap, including Abita and Tin Roof Blonde Ale.

While the restaurant is currently open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Krajicek is considering staying open later

and offering a brunch on Sundays.

The restaurant has already gained a large following through Facebook. It posts its specialty dogs on its page.

When Coop and I visited for lunch, Botsky’s was packed with a mixed crowd of he usual downtown folk, hipsters and families.

That meant a little wait. The restaurant was also a bit warm, but that too may have had to do with the crowd.

Having carved out a spot in a building

that was once the Charleston Hotel’s parking garage, the restaurant is

tucked away

on Pujo Street and may take a short walk to reach. Krajicek said

if parking spots aren’t available streetside, customers can

park at the Civic Center and in downtown parking areas.

It’s worth the little hike to get a new taste of an all-American food.

Online: www.facebook.com/botskys