Food Fight: Bulldog-N.E. vs. Bulldog-Uptown tots
Lots of people seem to think Bulldog-Northeast's food is heads and shoulders above its Uptown brethren. Northeast's menu -- with its steak tartare, truffle burger, and pickle plate -- as opposed to the more pared-down and straightforward burgers, apps, and other typical array of pub grub at the Uptown location definitely give it a "cut-above-the-rest" impression. But how does this theory actually hold up? Tater tots seem like an easy enough, un-screw-upable target to test it out. So here you have it:
Bulldog-Northeast's tater tots jump out of the starting box strong. Even their plastic basket and grease-dotted liner can't stifle the fact that these are some good looking tots. They're an almost angelic golden color, with visible salt granules hugging many of them, and (this is a good thing) pregnant with grease. As with other foods -- croissants and certain doughnuts for example -- a good ratio between crisp crunchy exterior and pillowy, soft interior is key to a tasty execution. And Northeast's got it down. Unless otherwise specified, the tots come flanked by a faintly tangy, faintly spicy, sherbet-colored sriracha mayo. Cost: $4-6 depending on how you want them. Half off at Happy Hour.
In addition to its menu differences, Bulldog-Uptown has a wholly different interior feel than the Northeast location. Whereas Northeast's got those high ceilings, big windows, massive elongated bar in the center of the front room, and all those dang cupcakes by the door to pine over, Bulldog-Uptown is darker, smaller, and in general just more bar-like. Interestingly, the restaurants tots seem to sort of parallel the casual vibe. They are darker in color and less vibrant and plump than Northeast's tots and have a vague flavor not unlike the cheese powder on Cheetos. They were also not as crisp as Northeast's take and the potatoes were wetter. Cost: $3.50-6
The Winner: At the end of the day, any tot's a good tot, but since we're splitting hairs, Northeast's tots basically lap Uptown's and then some. Tots are one of those things that seem like they can be at least pedestrian and even approaching great with little to no effort, but it somehow feels like some actual TLC went into creating Northeast's tots. Uptown's tots are good, but not quite choir of angels good. Northeast's tots are tops.
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