Tasty 8's hopes to open Friday in downtown Raleigh

Pending final inspections and ABC permitting, Tasty 8's Gourmet Hot Dog Co. is set to open its doors this Friday on Fayetteville Street. Make that "open its doors and window:" After a complete overhaul of the former Spize Cafe space, the new restaurant boasts a walkup window and a garage door that, weather permitting, can be rolled up to transform the dining room into open air seating.

The menu is as distinctive as the setting, living up the restaurant's name with eight variations on the hot dog theme - from the Windy City Weenie (certified Angus beef dog, dill pickle, neon relish, sport peppers, onion, tomato, celery salt and mustard on a poppy seed bun) to The National (all natural Continental Sausage bratwurst, pimento cheese, fried okra and chow chow). Other options include the Oak City Corn Dog, a twist on the classic with a "batter" of creamed corn and French fries; and the Tree Hugger, a vegetarian falafel dog with Green Goddess dressing, arugula, cucumber, tomato and lemon vinaigrette.

Eight is the magic number when it comes to milk shake flavors, too (salted caramel mocha, anyone?), as well as the beer selection (with an emphasis on local brewers) and the number of dipping sauce choices for your your fries (Belgian style frites or sweet potato).

"Everything's fresh, never frozen," says general manager Brandon Christy. "Our buns are baked by Neomonde, and we'll get them delivered three times a week."

Tasty 8's Gourmet Hot Dog Co. (121-108 Fayetteville St.; 919-307-8558; will be open Monday-Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.

Greg Cox, the longtime N&O restaurant critic, also covers restaurant news. Tune in to hear his radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF. Reach him at