Ballard: Meet Snacks! (Brought to you by Dante's Inferno Dogs)

You know Dante's Inferno Dogs well. They set up their sausage carts every Sunday at Ballard Farmers Market to serve a steady stream of hungry Ballardites (and a few touristas), and you'll find their carts set up all of the city outside clubs, at special events, basically wherever you'd find a hungry crowd. Now, the Dante behind Dante's Inferno Dogs -- Dante Rivera -- has opened a storefront right here on Ballard Avenue to satisfy your sausage jones seven days a week, and to offer you access to all sorts of other goodies from around the neighborhood and throughout the Ballard Farmers Market.

Snacks! Ballard Bodega will be celebrating is Grand Opening tomorrow, January 30, 2010, from noon-5 p.m., with an open house party. "Please stop by for complimentary Dante's Inferno Dogs, Dirty Chips, and... BEER! Children's activities, too! LIVE music by The Atlas String Band! Also... many of our local vendors will be onsite promoting their products hosted by Snacks!" says the Snacks! Facebook page.

You'll find Snacks! Ballard Bodega tucked away in the little parking lot between King's Hardware and Bop Street Records on Ballard Avenue.  The proper address is 5219 Ballard Avenue NW. Look down through the parking lot, toward the canal, and you will see the Snacks! sausage eating corral. (I realize that many of you are sniggering like Beavis and Butthead about now.)

Snacks! sausage eating corral (I'm gonna keep saying it until you collapse from the giggles) comes with a view (sort of) of the ship canal, festive lights, and places to lounge with your dog, protected from the elements by umbrellas 365 days a year. Step through the portal and door a few steps, and you will find all sorts of deliciousness.

Dante is a community oriented kinda guy, and he has committed a fair chunk of real estate in Snacks! to offering up myriad products from Ballard Farmers Market vendors and other neighborhood businesses. When he calls Snacks! a "Ballard Bodega," he means it. So now, if you crave a bottle of Rockridge cider or Zane & Zack's hot sauce, or maybe some of Pete's Perfect Butter Toffee, in the middle of the week, Snacks! has got you covered.

Of course, the real stars of the show at Snacks! will always be the dogs. And honestly, being an ex-pat New Yorker who found his way to Seattle by way of Philadelphia, I have to say that I was a bit skeptical about this Seattle tradition of applying cream cheese to one's sausage (again, you start with the laughter). But Toby said, "Trust me." So I okayed the addition of cream cheese, via the Cream Cheese Applicator of Love (which is not unlike a large calking gun, or maybe a cow ins... oh, never mind), to my jalapeno-cheese dog, then had him load it up with the works. He did not steer me wrong.

Needless to say, though I will say it anyway, it was one fine dog. Here I am, stuffing my pie hole with it, much to the delight of everyone else in the room, as it meant I was quiet for a few moments, save the odd "yum" and "boy-howdy, now that's a dog" that slipped out of me.

So come join the party at Snacks! Ballard Bodega tomorrow (Saturday, January 30, 2010) from noon-5 p.m., and if you can't make then, poke your nose in and check it out during your trip to Ballard Farmers Market on Sunday. It is a mere half-block away.