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The Dish: The Dawg House

· Open since: January

· Location: The Dawg House is off a stretch along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard just inside the Gwinnett County line where it meets Hall County.

· Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays

· Owners: Buford residents Paul Stephen and Scott Walterhoefer are the owner-operators of The Dawg House. Hailing from the northeastern part of the country, the duo love a good cheesesteak and footlong hot dog. With no prior experience owning a restaurant, Stephen and Walterhoefer decided the Buford area needed an eclectic place known for those two foods. Driving along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, the two found an abandoned building - an "old piece of junk," Stephen said - that would suit that purpose perfectly. The duo renovated the building themselves and The Dawn House was born, offering food fans and the University of Georgia fans alike a place where being in The Dawg House isn't a bad thing.

· Atmosphere: The Dawg House offers the ultimate "Dawg style" outdoor dining experience. Five octagonal picnic tables shielded from the sun by large umbrellas line the front of the building, where customers are greeted by a statue of UGA mascot Hairy the Dawg. To Hairy's left is the walk-up order window and three steps farther left is the pick-up window. The atmosphere is reminiscent of an old diner drive-in, only instead of driving, customers walk in.

· Menu: The most popular item on The Dawg House menu is the Famous Footlong Hot Dawg. When ordering this menu selection, The Dawg House will want to know, "What's your Dawg style?" Customers can customize their dawgs - two footlong hot dogs on a hoagie roll - with chili, cheese, mustard, onions, slaw, sauerkraut and jalapenos.

Stephen's Dawg style is mustard, ketchup, chili and onions, while Scott prefers simply mustard and chili.

For those not quite hungry enough to consume the footlong, the Puppy Dawg, just half a foot, is an option.

Coming in at a close second to the footlong is the "Original" Philly made with a choice of sirloin steak or chicken. Customers can also dress up the Philly with onions, peppers, lettuce, tomato, mayo, banana peppers and jalapenos.

Taking the No. 3 spot are the hand-cut, Boardwalk-style fries with malt vinegar and Old Bay, which Stephen said some people order solo.

Customers can wash down their food selections with sodas, lemonade and sweetened and unsweetened tea before treating themselves to a sno-cone, ice cream cone or milk shake in one of 10 flavors.

· Things you might not know: Only one person knows how to make The Dawg House's chili. Walterhoefer uses 23 ingredients to create the secret sauce.

If you have a restaurant you would like to see featured in The Dish, call Staff Writer Deanna Allen at 770-963-9205 ext. 1321 or e-mail deanna.allen@gwinnettdailypost.com

SideBar: On The Menu

· Famous Footlong Hot Dawg - $5.99

· The "Original" Philly - $4.99 for a 6 inch and $8.99 for a foot

· Godfather - A sub made with sirloin steak or chicken and bakes with marinara and mozzarella cheese

· Hand-cut fries - $2.49

· Sno-cone - $.99