Sammy Barker’s Knows How To Do Street Food

Sammy Barker's Pensaconey Dog

American Street Food at Sammy Barker’s

I’ve been looking forward to the opening of Sammy Barker’s ever since I first spotted their “Coming Soon” sign.  I’m all about locally owned and operated establishments, and it’s especially nice to have more and more non-franchise restaurants opening on 9 Mile Road.

Since the arrival of spring, it seems I’ve had an intensified craving for a good burger and even a hot dog from time to time.  I think it’s largely due to the fact that I’ve been chomping at the bits to try out Sammy Barker’s. They had me with their advertisement of “American Street Food.”  Who doesn’t love street food!?

A Craving for Coney Dogs

Typically I don’t crave conies or hot dogs and it’s the rare occasion where I order one (unless it’s a Kielbasa or Bratwurst). I have to admit, Sammy Barker’s menu has turned that on its head. I’ve found myself craving hot dogs all of a sudden.

As any foodie is prone to do, I almost always check out the menu before I visit a new restaurant. For two reasons: First, I want to be sure it looks like food I would enjoy. Secondly, sometimes it takes me a while to make up my mind as to what I want to order. 😬 Does anyone else have this problem??? Please tell me I’m not the only one.

While I was eagerly awaiting my first visit to Sammy Barker’s, I began to check out the menu online.  Their coney dogs all sound fabulous! With choices like the Cubano, the Pensaconey, the Memphis Dog, the Bahn Mi Dog, and the Hurt Dog, I knew I was going to be trying a coney dog on my first visit.

It was a hard a decision, but I finally narrowed it down. Plus, I was eating with friends, so that made it easier to try out different styles of coney dogs and even the tacos.

The Bahn Mi Dog

This coney dog was straight up delicious! It was also slightly soothing to the conscience. The fact that it had vegetables and nothing deep-fried made it almost healthy. 😁 All kidding aside, this was a great coney.

One thing that Sammy Barker’s does to give their coney’s a unique twist is instead of traditional hot dog buns, the “bun” is three dinner rolls that have been halved down the center. The rolls are similar to Hawaiian rolls. Slightly sweet, but not overly so.  Normally I’m all about savory, but I enjoyed this spin on the coney. The choice of bread went together quite well with this Vietnamese-flavored hot dog.

The meat on the Bahn Mi Dog is a standard hot dog. It’s then topped with thinly grated cucumber, carrots, pickled onions, fresh jalapeños and cilantro. To top it off, the Bahn Mi Dog has a hoisin mayo that gives just the right level of spice and sweetness you would expect from a Bahn Mi inspired dish. It does not come off too strong, but preserves the savoriness of the coney dog. I was a fan!

Sammy Barker's Bahn Mi Dog
Bahn Mi Dog

The Pensaconey

When I first spotted this coney on the menu, it definitely jumped out and I knew I was going to have to try it! With toppings like pimento cheese, bacon, sweet potato hay and onion jam, I was thinking, “Ok, so I’ll try this one after a good workout.” Luckily for me, my friend ordered it the other evening and I didn’t have to wait to try it.

Again, another win on the coney dogs.  The Pensaconey has everything a good Southern comfort food should have – pimento cheese, bacon, onion jam – it doesn’t get much better than this!

I’m really on board with how the dinner rolls paired well with the saltiness of the coney dog and its other savory accompaniments. The pimento cheese and bacon gave it a seasoned and slightly peppery flavor. I loved the onion jam, as this added some depth and an additional flavor element. The sweet potato hash was a nice touch as well. Not over-powering, but well-balanced. The Sammy Sauce takes this coney over the top.  A sauced-up mayo that gives just the right kick.

Sammy Barker's Pensaconey Dog
The Pensaconey Dog

Asian Roasted Pork Tacos

In the interest of variety, we included the Asian Roasted Pork Tacos in the mix. I was expecting one taco, but it was a generous serving of three pork tacos. A nice and welcome surprise.

These tacos reminded me of the Bahn Mi Coney Dog. Soft, white flour tortillas filled with tender, mouth-watering pork. Slightly sweet, but with a good balance. Topping the tacos are cucumber, onion, carrots, green onion, and cilantro. The hoisin mayo brings all the flavors together and makes for a diabolically delicious street taco.

Sammy Barker's Asian Roasted Pork Tacos
The Asian Roasted Pork Tacos

Sammy Barker’s knows how to do street food! Not only is the food tasty, but the staff was friendly and helpful as well. I can’t wait until my next visit – I have it on good authority that the burgers are incredible as well.