WEST BRADENTON -- Pulled pork with baked beans is a hearty meal on its own, but at new lunch spot Grab and Go, that's just the toppings for its Texas Dog.
Grab and Go is turning out some footlong feasts for folks wanting a quick and easy lunch.
"We wanted to give a homemade dog, something like you would have over the holidays with your family," said co-owner Mark Rantz. "We wanted it to be gourmet fast food."
Rantz concocted some classic and inventive creations ranging from the Chicago Dog, the Coney and specialty dogs like the Texas mentioned above and the Miami Dog, which features pico de gallo, plantain chips and picadillo.
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"These are the type of things I used to eat up in New York, New Jersey and the Northeast," Rantz said.
The shop opened earlier this month and in a storefront for Premiere Catering in the Winn-Dixie shopping center at 5789 Manatee Ave. W., Manager Scott Fodor dishes out the dogs from behind a tiny counter.
Rantz partners with Wayne Kibby in Premiere Catering doing weddings, events at area tourist attractions and parties. The catering company has been in business since 1998.
"We had this space but it was sitting empty during the week," Rantz said, adding that time can be a killer in the food business.
He doesn't anticipate offering the hot dogs as an option for catered events, but he might if there's a demand for a children's table for a wedding or a Super Bowl party.
All the food is made in-house, Rantz said. He makes the chili, pico, baked beans and pulled pork. The shop offers a Cuban sandwich and barbecue pork sandwiches, too. The dogs themselves are Hebrew Nation
al and the shop makes its own bread.
"If you don't start with a good hot dog, it's going to be greasy no matter what you put on it, it's not going to taste good," Rantz said. For those not wanting to take a fork and knife to a dog, Grab and Go also offers 6-inch dogs.
The shop is open 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, largely taking advantage of serving lunch to employees in the shopping center and folks on their way to the beach with their boat, said Fodor.
Customers have had some of their own ideas for different toppings and combinations for dogs, and Fodor is open to suggestions. They'll test the suggestions and might add it to the list of specials, Fodor said.
"We want this to be the people's place," Fodor said. "We want them to tell us what they like and we don't mind putting it on the menu."
Charles Schelle, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.