by Brad Rhines
As summer continues to heat up, folks on Freret Street are actually looking forward to the dog days of August. Since moving Dat Dog across Freret to a bigger location a few months ago, the gourmet hot dog joint's owners now plan to expand their empire as they prepare to reopen the original storefront as Sno Dog, a snowball and frozen custard stand.
To get the new spot open in time to combat the August heat, Skip Murray, who co-owns Dat Dog with Constantine Georges, told NoDef that he’s been “running around like a blue assed fly.” He assures us is a popular expression in the UK, where the New Orleans native lived for over 20 years. His time abroad gave Murray some perspective on the uniquely New Orleans phenomenon of snowball stands.
“Snowball season starts in March and ends in October. Why?” he asks. “All the ice cream places in the world do not have New Orleans Daylight Snowball savings time.”
Unlike other places that close for “the season,” Murray says Sno Dog will remain open 11 months out of the year. They’ll make Snowballs using a SnoWizard machine, a New Orleans invention from the 1930s that shaves ice into “snow,” making for a more delicate treat than chipped ice snow cones.
Sno Dog will stock conventional flavors like cherry and spearmint, along with more novel flavors like fuzzy navel and wedding cake. The frozen custards will be similar to Italian gelato or a dense ice cream, thickened with egg yolks and churned with much less air than traditional ice creams, Murray said.
“Will it work?” said Murray. “Who the hell knows, but it will be fun.”
As for opening day, Murray told NoDef, “I can't give you exact opening times as we live in a place that has no need of dates on a calendar,” but he hopes to be up and running by the first week of August.