A few years ago at his daughter’s first birthday party, Bryan Scott needed to make a meal that children and adults would enjoy.
As he puzzled over what to cook, he got the idea to use his grandmother’s baked macaroni and cheese recipe. A self-described hot dog connoisseur, he also decided to make hot dogs for the party guests.
It was then he realized these two foods would pair well together.
“I served the first Doggie Mac at my daughter’s first birthday party,” Scott, a Columbia resident, said.
That winning combination went from debuting at a child’s birthday party to being the staple of a food truck Scott created called Doggie Mac’s in 2018.
As of Aug. 30, it is also the main enticement at the brick-and-mortar restaurant of the same name that Scott opened in St. Louis.
Scott, who graduated from culinary school and has worked under renowned St. Louis chefs, in hotels and in front-of-house positions in chains like Chipotle, first became interested in food trucks as they gained popularity over a decade ago.
“I was just blown away,” the then-aspiring restaurant owner remembered. “I was like ‘wow, this is really amazing and it makes sense because you can take this restaurant everywhere as opposed to just being in one location.’”
Years later, when Scott decided to open his own food truck after realizing he was unhappy working as the branch manager at a bank, Scott bought a used truck from Guerilla Street Food in St. Louis.
He then devised his menu and began getting the necessary licenses, which he noted is more cumbersome and expensive than traditional restaurants because food trucks must be licensed in every county in which they operate.
Once he had all that done, Scott began finding customers, who quickly fell in love with his menu that included variations on the original Doggie Mac and similar food.
Scott describes his food as “elevated soul cooking” that puts a gourmet twist on everyday foods.
“I call my food gourmet all-soul cooking,” he explained. “That’s what’s on the side of my truck. There’s a soul food component: the layers, the flavors, the time and the preparation.”
With the success of the food truck, Scott began looking for a place to open a traditional restaurant with expanded offerings.
That was always part of his plan because he had long dreamt of owning a restaurant, and he needed a commissary to supply the truck anyway.
“It just made sense to me to have my own kitchen,” Scott said. “And if I’m going to have my own kitchen, I thought I might as well open it and serve things that I want to serve at the same time.”
Scott is now doing just that at his new establishment at 5622 S. Grand Boulevard in St. Louis, which opened last weekend.
“It went well,” Scott said of his grand opening. “It’s been so far so good.”
The restaurant offers everything the food truck sells and more.
Menu items at the restaurant include fried shrimp, chicken wings, chicken on a stick and a burger that Scott said is selling extremely well.
There are also selections that reflect Scott’s traditional culinary background like lobster macaroni and cheese and changing gourmet specialities such as surf and turf.
No matter one’s food preferences, Scott said one taste of Doggie Mac’s macaroni and cheese will convince patrons to give his food a try.
“If you’re a mac and cheese fan, this is hands down the best macaroni and cheese you’ve ever had,” he said. “I’ll stand up in any contest or put that on anything. I’ll put it up against anybody’s mac and cheese. If you want a really special dish that we all grew up on, maybe done in a way that you haven’t experienced before, try Doggie Mac’s. It’ll open you up to all the other things Doggie Mac’s has to offer.”
To learn more, visit doggiemacsfoodtruck.com or call 314-495-7381.