When I moved back to Lexington, the first restaurant that I had dinner at was Boonedogs. I could tell immediately that this was the sort of place I would love. Lexington is a special town in that you have all the trappings of a “big” city while still being able to quickly find yourself on a scenic country road; so I love the fact that a new and fun restaurant like Boonedogs would choose one of those two-lane roads to build their restaurant. Having recently announced an updated menu, I decided that another visit was in my future.

Boonedogs Restaurant

Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice when you park at Boonedogs is their outdoor picnic table seating section strung with lights above and a stone fire pit with wooden seats. When I arrived there were plenty of people enjoying a beautiful Spring day but I have to imagine the place looks even better in the late evening with the strings of lights illuminating everything.

Outdoors picnic table seating

Indoors, you’ll find a small but well-distanced amount of table seating. The main point of interest is their fully stocked bar. While they call themselves a Bar and Restaurant, it always is surprising just how nice their bar is. Beyond their excellent list of beers and whiskeys, they have a nice list of cocktails too.

As I mentioned before, Boonedogs had just recently announced they were adding new items to their menu. Their already impressive menu had plenty of original hot dog creations as well as a build-your-own option that had a large variety of toppings and sausages (including a non-meat option for those still looking to get their hot dog fix). My first time there I had their Pimento Dog which has Pimento cheese, bacon, fried green tomatoes, and pickled red onion but it was their new Hot Brown Dog that I had to try this time.

Hot Brown Dog and Boone Fries

The Hot Brown Dog runs a little more expensive than their other custom dogs at $14 but you are literally getting a Hot Brown on your hot dog. I think there is a certain amount of humor to a creation like this. It’s over-the-top while still managing to give you exactly what it says. You have all the basics of the classic Hot Brown: sliced turkey, tomato, bacon, mornay sauce, and garnished with some sliced green onion. The tomato and onion help brighten up what would be a pretty dense meal. The hot dog was an all-beef dog which was quite good though sometimes got lost in the flavor of the Hot Brown (7.5/10).

For my side, I ordered their Boone Fries ($6.00), waffle fries covered in beer cheese, bacon, tomato, jalapeños, green onion, and sour cream. These were without a doubt the best waffle fries that I have ever had. They were perfectly crispy, warm, and help up well to the massive amount of toppings on top of them. I’ve had their beer cheese before and it’s wonderful (you can order some with a great selection of vegetables as a side here too). Warmed up, it becomes more like a beer nacho cheese sauce, which makes sense for the rest of the ingredients listed. If you get anything at Boonedogs be sure to get some waffle fries with it (8/10).

I think on paper, the idea of a restaurant that focuses primarily on hot dogs could be seen as a bit unserious or bring up memories of bland hot dogs being pulled out of steam containers with white bread buns. Boonedogs shows that even the humble hot dog can be taken to new and creative heights while still remaining true to it’s nostalgia. Case in point, I love the fact that you can get a fried bologna sandwich here. I really do recommend that you take some time, get on that country road, and drive out to Boonedogs, you won’t regret it.