Without “the perfect” burger in the area, Hanibal and Evin Yadegar opened the Barkin’ Dog Grill in downtown Modesto on 11th Street over 10 years ago after, as they put it, growing tired of driving to the Bay Area in search of a terrific burger.
“Modesto needed a good burger place that served organic burgers and that got us going in that direction,” said Yadegar. “I was committed to serving dry-aged organic beef.”
Yadegar said all ingredients are fresh and the patties are hand formed each day.
The gorgonzola burger, which features gorgonzola cheese mingled with onions, provolone, and chipotle mayo, is popular with the regular customers.
Other fan favorites include the half-pound Barkin’ Dog burger accented with bleu cheese, Montmorency cherries served with maple-infused bacon and slivered red onions or the Steakhouse BBQ Burger with grilled onions smothered in organic barbeque sauce, fried onions, baby greens and horseradish.
In addition to organic beef for the burgers, Yadegar said he uses Caspers Hot Dogs for the hot dog dishes. Caspers is known to generations of hot dog lovers for its tasty, old-fashioned street vendor recipe with its signature “SNAP” at first bite.
“The Caspers quality is superb and I find them tastier than others offered to restaurants,” said Yadegar.
One of the popular dogs is the Chicago Dog with chopped white onions, sweet pickle relish, dill pickle spear, tomato slices, pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt.
Barkin’ Dog is more than a “burger and dog joint” offering a relaxed atmosphere with its stylish brick wall displaying works by local artists and hanging chandeliers reminiscent of “little hole-in-the-wall joints” that can be found on the East Coast.
The restaurant also offers two dinner entrées: New York strip or seared salmon served with garlic mashed potatoes, and pesto spinach.
Along with soft drinks and thick milkshakes, bar drinks include wine, tap beers and six local craft beers such as 805 and Dustbowl from Turlock.
Outdoor dining is also available to enjoy warm Valley nights or just watch the sidewalk traffic.
Yadegar credits his wife Evin with the menu selections and making Barkin’ Dog what it is today.
“She’s the brains of the outfit,” Yadegar joked. “I’m just the cook.”
Both are passionate about the business and cater to their customers, supporting local musicians, visual artists, and poets, offering live musical entertainment Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and poetry readings on the second Tuesday of the month.
Yadegar said Thursday nights are strictly jazz while Friday and Saturday nights rotate on the type of music.
“We’re pretty busy on those nights,” Yadegar said. “It’s becoming a popular place.”
All the burger and hot dog selections seem to offer something delicious and worth the trip if you want to flirt with flavors beyond what you’ll find at a traditional burger place.
Barkin’ Dog Grill
940 11th St.
Modesto, CA 95354
10 a.m. – 10 p.m.