CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. — After months of waiting, southern Saratoga County residents’ appetite for chef-prepared “haus” dogs, bratwurst, sausages, and hamburgers can now be satisfied at the Dog Haus Biergarten Clifton Park.
The town’s newest dining establishment, 7 Southside Drive in the Shops at Village Plaza, held its grand opening June 1 and drew a throng of customers eager to test the kitchen’s accomplishments.
On Monday the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County along with a half dozen Chamber Ambassadors from other Chamber-affiliated businesses welcomed the Biergarten and its staff to town with an official ribbon cutting on the patio.
“We came here today to welcome you to downtown Clifton Park,” said Chamber President and CEO Pete Bardunias. “I’ve been watching you on Facebook all weekend and you folks have been cooking up a storm.”
Joining Bardunias and the Chamber members were town Councilwoman Amy Standaert who noted that she had taken the next step to following the business on the internet by visiting the eatery three times since it opened.
“I must say I’m addicted to your bratwurst and the coleslaw, and my son is the same with the milkshakes,” she said. “I join Pete in welcoming you to Clifton Park. Businesses like yours keep the town alive and offer the residents a unique place to come and enjoy.”
Benjamin Albright, the Biergarten’s operating partner, described the establishment in a few short words.
“We’re happy to be here. We want to be your cheap date, a place to have a beer and relax,” he said.
The original Dog Haus Biergarten opened in Pasadena in 2010 and shortly thereafter began to franchise outward across the country. This one is owned by Jonathan Traeger, the owner of neighboring eateries Moe’s Southwest Grill and Jersey Mike’s Subs.
From the moment one enters the 2,600-square-foot Biergarten space the feeling is comfortable casual dining. The furnishings are reflective of Bauhaus-clean meets California-cool. There is TVs overhead, but the sound is unobtrusive. Foosball tables are to the rear and an outside patio with portable heaters and two spots for games of corn hole offer al fresco dining.
The ambiance is inviting, but it is the food and drink that draws the people.
“This is craft-casual,” Albright said. “It’s chef crafted food in a casual environment. The meat is clean meat, no hormones, no antibiotics, and vegetarian fed. All the food comes from the recipes of two well-known chefs, Elon Hull, and Adam Gertler. The haus dogs, sausages, and chicken dishes are all their recipes. We take those recipes, and we execute them at a high level for everyone to enjoy.”
The beer selection depicted on huge chalkboards is extensive. There are 24 craft beers on tap, two types of cider and a selection of table wines.
The exotic names for the meat and chicken dishes are clear for everyone to see above the order counter and the dishes' descriptions are inviting. A Chili the Kid Haus Dog has white American cheese, hauschili, crispy onions, and chipotle aioli served on a King’s Hawaiian roll.
The T-Mex Haus Sausage is a beef chorizo and pepper jack sausage, with avocado, chipotle aioli, haus slaw, pickled jalapenos, and pickled peppers.
Dishes for vegetarians are available also with plant-based sausages, burgers, and sliders. The Beyond Brat with its Beyond Sausage bratwurst, with sauerkraut, caramelized onion, and spicy brown mustard looked especially inviting as a non-meat dish.
Two diners enjoying their meal on Monday were Deanna Wood and Steven Root. Wood was eating a Reservoir Hog with fries on the side while Root was working on a Chili the Kid haus dog after finishing a T-Mex haus sausage.
“I’ve been following their progress toward opening on Facebook,” Wood said through bites.“I couldn’t wait. It’s all delicious.”
Albright said Clifton Park was chosen as the location because it’s the central hub of the Capital District and halfway between Albany and Saratoga.
“We’re very happy to be open, grateful to all our neighbors, and excited to be an active member of the community,” he said.