Versus: Dog Eat Dog

Are the Unicorn's corn dogs better than the Quarter Lounge's?

As carnival season fast approaches, we found a traditional fairground staple in Seattle that requires neither admission nor a saint's patience for wayward children: corn dogs. Picking the two contenders was the easy part; deciding the winner was a different story.The Rivals: Unicorn, 1118 E. Pike St., 325-6492. What else do you serve at a circus-themed hipster bar? Chef Josh Nebe, formerly of Steelhead Diner and Barrio, designed the Big Tent menu most known for its gourmet corn dogs. There's the Original Corndog ($3), but also the Corndog Madame ($9), slathered in béchamel, Swiss, and a sunny-side-up egg; a Corndog Taco ($7) with refried beans, cotija cheese, onion, and cilantro; and an Andouille Corndog Po'Boy served New Orleans–style with Frank's Red Hot aioli. But the winning dog, in our opinion, is the Unicorn Dog ($5.50), sliced open and stuffed with grilled onions, cream cheese, and sriracha. Each dog is hand-dipped in a homemade batter made from flour, fresh corn, eggs, buttermilk, butter, and the unusual addition of brown sugar, which makes these corn dogs a bit sweeter than more traditional varieties.Quarter Lounge, 909 Madison St., 332-0772. This no-frills bar across the street from the Sorrento Hotel couldn't be more different from Unicorn. In fact, corn dogs are just about the only thing they have in common, besides booze. Ironically, you might expect the rough-and-tumble Quarter Lounge to shun corn dogs for a less-novel bar snack. But if you think about it, what's a better drunk food than meat on a stick? They come hand-dipped to order, and arrive at your table sizzling hot with a side of yellow mustard and ketchup—nothing fancy. They're surprisingly comforting and satisfying, and only $2. Pair it with a $2.50 Oly and you've got yourself a cheap, good meal.The Champ: If you want a more traditional fairground corn dog, the Quarter Lounge is where your sense of nostalgia will be fulfilled. But any corn dog that comes stuffed with savory toppings and drizzled with spicy sauces is where we'll be running when our stomach growls for a deep-fried wiener. Hence, score a split decision for the

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