Local residents may have encountered Danny Ahumada around the Lincoln City area and beyond, selling his popular hotdogs from a food cart known as D Doggs. But now, people won’t have to wait for special events and festivals to enjoy the unique items on the menu.
In late August, Ahumada opened a restaurant, also called D Doggs, where he is selling all of his food cart favorites and more. The restaurant is located at 3521 SW Highway 101 in Lincoln City.
“I was doing events all around Lincoln City and Lincoln County, and this year I branched out more to the valley — we went all the way to Eugene and to Portland. We would do an event every weekend pretty much,” said Ahumada. And then a friend asked him if I would ever be willing to get into another “brick and mortar” business, which he has done in the past. “I told him it would have to be very specific. I met with him a week later and then met with the landlord here and just decided to do it. We signed the lease and then, within two months, we were actually open.”
Ahumada said his plan at the restaurant “is to serve food that is traditional, but serve it in a very untraditional way. Having said that, my goal here is to also have food that you can’t find anywhere else in Lincoln City or in Oregon or, hopefully, even the West Coast. My recipes are very specific. I created everything.”
The signature item on the menu, the D Dogg, has cream cheese, pico de gallo, jalapeno, avocado and queso fresco. “It’s an all-beef hotdog, and we wrap it in bacon,” said Ahumada.
There is also the LC Dog, with grilled sauerkraut, red onion and sweet or dill relish. And the Fajita Dog, with grilled bell peppers, onion, jalapeno and cilantro. Other favorites on the menu are the Tropicana Dog, the Diablo Dog or the Hangover Dog.
“Pretty much we have our base menu, and then we’ll be developing different things as we go along,” Ahumada said. “We want to go with the seasons, as well.”
Ahumada has enjoyed cooking since he was a child growing up in Lincoln City.
“My mom says I’ve always had a thing for cooking. I learned everything I know from her.” He said the menu he has developed is based on the things the family enjoyed. “It’s something we used to eat on the weekends. I just kind of added stuff that I liked and that I know people liked and still kind of respected a hotdog culture a little bit because some people are diehard hotdog fans.”
Ahumada admits that not everyone will like the food, and he’s OK with that. “But at the same time, if you want to try something different and something good, homemade, then this is the place to come,” he said.
D Doggs is also serving breakfast on Sunday mornings, “but very different, nothing traditional, a lot of stuff from Mexico and South America,” said Ahumada. The menu will include things like chilaquiles, a fried tortilla with a chili-based sauce served with egg and cilantro as a garnish. “Then we’re going to do empanadas, which is masa, Mexican dough, handmade, hand-pressed,” he said. “We fill it with cheese or chicken or tuna, different fillings, and then you fry it and serve it with lettuce, tomato, avocado and then crème fresco on top.” They are also serving picadas. “It’s kind of like a little Mexican pizza with a nice tomato sauce,” said.
Ahumada’s mom, Marie Ahumada, will be doing the Sunday breakfasts. “She has been a very big influence and help to me and motivation for me to do this (restaurant),” Ahumada said. “This was actually her dream when she was younger, and for her to be part of it is big for her and our family.”
D Doggs is in the process of becoming licensed to sell beer and wine, and Ahumada said he also plans to build a deck out back to accommodate diners during favorable weather.
In addition to dining in, people can order food to go from the D Doggs menu, “and we do delivery, as well, in all of Lincoln City. But we only do that Friday through Monday. Thursdays are the only day we don’t do that, for now,” Ahumada said.
The hours at the restaurant are Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., with breakfast served from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. They are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Ahumada said the response from customers dining at the restaurant has been great.
“I really wanted to open a spot for locals,” he said. “We don’t want to depend on the tourist season just to stay afloat. We want to thrive in the winter and then, obviously, everything in the summer will just be gravy for us. That’s why it’s priced the way it is, that’s why we have the hours that we do.”
People will still see the D Doggs food carts at festival and events. “We do private catering, as well, and I’m booking weddings, and I also book events like festivals. We’re actually going to add two more carts by next spring. Eventually we’re going to hire teams to go do the carts.
“We want to grow as quickly as we can. It’s mostly getting this one down and being able to expand to different places in Oregon,” Ahumada said.
More information about D Doggs is available on their Facebook page or by calling 541-614-0945.