Restaurant Reviews

First Look: Krazy Dog Korean Corn Dogs

We've already broken our resolutions.
We've already broken our resolutions. Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero

I have never been a fan of hot dogs but corn dogs are another matter. The deep-fried cornmeal batter  transforms the humble weenie into something sublime and I usually enjoy mine with more yellow mustard than a person should eat in one sitting.

So, when I saw that Krazy Dog had opened in Cypress a couple of months ago, I was intrigued. What in the world are Korean corn dogs, I thought, and how do they differ from the good ol' American corny dog?

Well, I got my answer on a chilly but sunny suburban day on the northwest side of Houston. The drive down Barker Cypress is a mass of shopping center restaurants, vape shops, drug stores and daycare centers. Krazy Dog was located in just that type of strip mall, sharing the location with Angels Churros N Chocolate and Charlie D's New York Style Pizza. Krazy Dog takes over a space that formerly housed a Burn Fit so the priorities in this Cypress neighborhood are pretty evident. Goodbye Burn Fit, hello crazy Korean corn dogs.
click to enlarge We recommend mozzarella-only for the Ramen dog. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
We recommend mozzarella-only for the Ramen dog.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
I am of the age where I am pretty oblivious to what is trending on TikTok so I missed the recent viral craze of this Korean snack. The corn dogs, or rice dogs, gained popularity as a street food in Korea in the 1980s. Gamja hot dogs, as they are known, can be made with sausage but also blocks of mozzarella cheese coated in a batter of rice flour and panko crumbs, though recipes vary. Oftentimes, they are served half and half with the bottom being the sausage and the top being the mozzarella or the sausage is wrapped in the cheese itself. Some even use fish cakes in their dogs. And they are usually dusted with sugar.

No one's quite sure how their resurgence occurred but Bon Appetit magazine says that the credit most likely belongs to Myungrang Hot Dog which first opened in Busan, a resort city in South Korea, in 2016. It now has 650 stores worldwide.
click to enlarge Krazy Dog is spacious and bright inside. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
Krazy Dog is spacious and bright inside.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
I took my 21-year-old daughter with me to try the treats at Krazy Dog because she likes novelty foods and is more aware of the trends in over-the-top fare. The exterior of Krazy Dog pretty much gives you an idea of what to expect with window graphics describing the available dogs. Inside, the dining room is bright, new and very clean.

We were greeted right away by the cashier. I had looked at the menu online beforehand so I already had an idea of what to order. We wanted to get a good sampling of the options and ordered a little too much but it was our first time and we didn't want to miss out on something tasty,
click to enlarge A colorful mural competes with the lurid colors of the corn dogs. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
A colorful mural competes with the lurid colors of the corn dogs.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
My daughter ordered the Mango Lemonade and I just got a soda. The lemonade was very good and the mango did not overpower the drink. I wished I had tried the Wild Berry Lemonade instead of a lame Sprite. We sat at a two-top of which there are ten, spaced quite a bit apart. There is room for more seating but perhaps it's spread-out for social distancing. The spacing was not enough, however, to prevent the slight smell of weed coming from the couple behind us. Truly, if one has the munchies, this is the place to be.
click to enlarge Where does one even begin? - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
Where does one even begin?
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero

A small television screen cycled through clips of various corn dogs and of a YouTuber enjoying them. This is another trend of which I was blissfully unaware until my kids informed me that people love to watch these videos of young women loudly eating food. Okay, then.

After ten minutes, a family of five by the window received their order, though they had been seated well before we arrived. Our order took about 15 minutes so the dogs actually take a little time to make. I think that's a good thing. We carried the creations to our table and wondered what we had gotten ourselves into.
click to enlarge The Krazy Fries are a perfect munchie for partakers of the wacky tobaccy. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
The Krazy Fries are a perfect munchie for partakers of the wacky tobaccy.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
The first thing we tried was the Crazy Fries ($5). They are basic crinkle-cut fries drizzled with teriyaki sauce, Krazy sauce and shredded cheese. The Krazy sauce is a mayo-based sauce with possibly some Sriracha or chili sauce but it wasn't very spicy. So, not too Krazy.

We then moved on to the dogs themselves, all three of which we ordered half and half. We each took a bite of the Ramen dog ($4.50). She's my kid, so we felt okay sharing our dogs. The Ramen is wrapped in crushed, crispy ramen noodles and drizzled with sweetened condensed milk. The top half was mozzarella and the blend of crispy, cheesy and sugary was tasty. However, the sweetness of this dog did not work well with the meat.

The Volcano ($4.50) on the other hand was yummy with each bite. The Hot Cheetos weren't overly strong to me though my daughter thought it was spicy. Still, the Volcano was her favorite.
click to enlarge Winer, winner, potato weiner. - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
Winer, winner, potato weiner.
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
My winner was the Potato ($4.50). It's wrapped in potato cubes that look like little French fry squares and it works well with both the mozzarella and the beef frank. And amazingly, it all stayed crispy on the outside. In fact, the dogs themselves never lost their crispness and they were not at all greasy which made me question if they were even fried.

My daughter also ordered one of her favorite foods, elote. Krazy Dog's version is on a stick, covered with Tajin, cotija cheese and Hot Cheetos, which meant it was kicking it up sky high on the saltiness level. At $5, it was pricier than the corn dogs which, considering it's a cob of corn, doesn't make much sense to me.
click to enlarge Are Korean corn dogs sooo 2021? - PHOTO BY LORRETTA RUGGIERO
Are Korean corn dogs sooo 2021?
Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero
The corn dogs themselves are a fair value taking into account the work and ingredients. The American Classic is only $3 and it's the standard cornmeal version, which I regret not trying. Most of the other sausage ones are $4 and the mozzarella or half and half options are an additional 50 cents.

While this is not food that I would consider eating on a regular basis, it was fun to try and I can see why teens and college-age influencer types crave it. They have the metabolisms for it. And it makes for cool TikTok videos of long strands of melty cheese.

I'll pass on the chewing sounds, though.

Krazy Dog
7160 Barker Cypress
832-683-4194
mykrazydog.com
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lorretta Ruggiero is a Houston Press freelance writer based in Cypress, Texas. She loves entertaining her family and friends with her food and sparkling wit. She is married to Classic Rock Bob and they have two exceptionally smart-aleck children.