The Moody Dog hot dog cart parks outside Marshall Wharf Brewing in Belfast on weekends. Photo by Raymelle Moody

There’s no question that Raymelle Moody is a hard worker. Her business, The Moody Dog, is practically three different entities rolled into one – a hot dog cart, a food truck and a takeout kitchen – and she’s the chief cook and bottle washer at all of them.

In today’s terms, that means vegan hot dog maker, Instagram marketer and delivery person.

When she’s not baking, making mustard or taking to-go orders in her new commercial kitchen this winter, she’ll be slinging dogs from her cart – the original iteration of The Moody Dog – in front of Marshall Wharf Brewing in Belfast. That’s where I discovered her and her creative takes on the handheld classic.

Marshall Wharf, which closed last year, reopened under new ownership this summer with a new outdoor beer garden, complete with wood stoves to keep it going through the winter. And Moody plans to stick it out right alongside the brewery on weekends.

Sausages, like this Red Hot with peppers and onions, are also on the menu. Photo by Raymelle Moody

Her cart offers a rotating selection of hot dogs – with the Classic (with ketchup, relish, mustard, mayo and grilled or raw onions), Kraut (with homemade brown mustard and Morse’s Sauerkraut) and Moody Blue (with grilled onions, mayo, brown mustard and crumbled gorgonzola) as staples – as well as sausages, sweets and sides, such as macaroni and cheese or potato salad.

The hot dogs, which come from Maine Family Farms, are $5 apiece. Make it a vegan dog – which she makes herself – for $1 more. Sausages, like the Red Hot with peppers and onions that I had, are $7.

Those prices are certainly higher than you see at most basic hot dog carts with condiment bars where you apply your own toppings, but as I watched her expertly drizzle mustard in a zigzag over my Kraut dog, then pile on the goods from Morse’s, I knew it was not that kind of hot dog cart. After taking a bite, I would have felt fine paying twice as much for another.

The Kraut dog is a menu staple at The Moody Dog. Photo by Leslie Bridgers

Other varieties that Moody plans to have on the menu this winter include a tikka masala dog on tandoori naan and a taco dog on a corn tortilla.

Whether you choose basic or fancy, or need a snack or a full meal, Moody’s hot dogs are the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon or evening outing at Marshall Wharf. If you happen to be in Belfast on a weekday, you can order takeout (including breakfast sandwiches and baked goods) from her kitchen at 39 Main St. And if you’re there in the spring, look for her food truck to be back up and running in mid-May.

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