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Restaurant ReviewMelbourne & Palm Bay

Mustard’s Last Stand Restaurant Review – Melbourne, FL

There is a very particular, very adamant faction of hot dog enthusiasts who believe the only thing that belongs on a hot dog is a heavy-handed squeeze of mustard, and no reasoning can convince them otherwise. If you belong to that camp: do not pass GO, turn back now. This place is not for you.

I must admit that I didn’t know what to expect when my husband suggested we check out Mustard’s Last Stand in Melbourne. Were we headed to play a Civil War-themed game of Clue? I had no idea what this destination held in store, but agreed to it quickly since it was a beautifully clear Sunday here on the Treasure Coast, and I was happy to have an excuse to abandon the pile of laundry I left behind.

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On the way there, he explained that Mustard’s Last Stand is a hot dog joint — or rather two hot dog joints — that serve roughly 50 (yes, 5-0) different “adventurous,” creatively-named hot dogs, with toppings ranging from grilled pineapple to fried shrimp. The original Mustard’s was opened nearly 40 years ago in 1987, and has remained at its Olde Eau Gallie location ever since. In 2006, a second location was opened in Melbourne’s historic downtown with a more conventional restaurant setting, expanded indoor seating, and extended hours. As we pulled into the newer location’s lot, I had an unexpected change of heart, suddenly curious to experience Mustard’s roots by starting at the beginning. So, we did a 180, bound for Olde Eau Gallie.

When Mustard’s calls itself a hot dog stand, they mean it. It’s not pretending to be anything other than what it is, and that’s a big part of its charm. The place has an unabashedly honest and easygoing feel to it. And, with only a couple small tables inside beside the register where you place your order, it’s designed for a laid-back outdoor experience — both at the tables out front, as well as in a smaller seating area off to the side, which reminded me of some urban secret garden. In the midst of such authenticity where nothing was forced or contrived, I felt permission to let both my hair and my guard down. Like the stand itself, there was no pressure to be anyone else besides who I was in that moment.

But enough philosophy, and on to the dogs! At only $4.99 a pop, we weren’t shy to sample a variety of Mustard’s colorfully-named creations. They use Vienna Beef™ hot dogs exclusively, but will happily substitute a turkey or veggie dog free of charge. With choices so eclectic and wide-ranging, it was still no easy task to narrow it down to “only eight” hot dogs to try.

#1: The Meathead

The Meathead: Polish sausage, New York onions, kraut, chili, and mayonnaise as prepared by Mustard's Last Stand in Melbourne, Florida
The Meathead
Polish sausage, New York onions, kraut, chili and mayonnaise

If you happened to read my last piece on Hemingway’s Tavern, you may recall me describing my husband as a dining purist. He brings things back to basics and gauges an eatery by its approach to the fundamentals. Thus, our first choice: The Meathead — which is actually a Polish sausage, not a hot dog — topped with New York onions, sauerkraut, chili, and mayonnaise. Amidst a slew of crazy counterparts, this dog was one of the menu’s more conservative choices, with traditional toppings that wouldn’t come as a surprise at any hot dog stand. The sausage had a nice bite to it, the chili wasn’t too spicy, and the Mayo surprised us both by winning the “best supportive condiment” award of the day by playing the role of a flavor uniter between all the toppings.

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#2: Nebraska Dog

Nebraska Dog: Cheddar, grilled onions, bacon, Italian beef and BBQ as prepared by Mustard's Last Stand in Melbourne, Florida
Nebraska Dog
Cheddar, grilled onions, bacon, Italian beef and BBQ sauce

This meaty dog ended up being one of my husband’s favorites of the day. The Nebraska Dog‘s shaved Italian beef and melted cheddar were a perfect pairing, and its barbecue sauce and onions provided a welcome tang that tied all of its flavors together, and enticed me to indulge in “one last bite” at least two or three times.

#3: Shish-Ka-Dog

Shish-Ka-Dog: Grilled hot dog, grilled onions, pineapple, teriyaki sauce and bacon as prepared by Mustard's Last Stand in Melbourne, Florida
Shish-Ka-Dog
Grilled onions, pineapple, teriyaki sauce and bacon

Caramelized pineapple provides an enticing on-ramp to the Shish-Ka-Dog’s unique and unexpected flavor profile. This dog tripped us up a bit — having forgotten some of our chosen dogs’ exact descriptions, we both assumed it was The Hula we had ordered, given its distinct Polynesian flavors. Sweet, savory, and completely unanticipated, this dog’s delectable combination of teriyaki sauce, bacon, grilled pineapple, and onions transported us from Melbourne to Oahu for a brief moment in time. Our shared favorite of the day, the Shish-Ka-Dog would be a natural addition to any luau.

#4: The Smash

The Smash: Grilled mushrooms and onions, potato pancakes, cheddar and garlic as prepared by Mustard's Last Stand in Melbourne, Florida
The Smash
Grilled mushrooms and onions, potato pancakes, cheddar and garlic

The Smash was the one dog I knew I’d be ordering from the moment I pulled up Mustard’s menu with anticipation on the way there. It combines so many of my favorite bites to eat into a small hot dog package, so I wondered: Could this be the world’s most perfect dog? As a home cook who measures garlic with her heart, this dog’s garlic component delivered exactly what I was hoping it would. Its grilled mushrooms and onions — my favorite addition to any burger — proved to be just as successful and delicious on a hot dog. The potato pancakes didn’t add quite as much pizzazz as I hoped they would, but I certainly wasn’t mad that they were invited to The Smash‘s flavor party, and I’d be remiss to turn them away.

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#5: Warrior Dog

The Warrior Dog: Grilled hot dog, grilled onions, curried garlic mayo, bacon and topped with fries as prepared by Mustard's Last Stand in Melbourne, Florida
The Warrior Dog
Grilled onions, curried garlic mayo, bacon, topped with fries

If you’re a curry lover, The Warrior Dog is a must-try. Each and every one of this dog’s eclectic notes gelled together, netting a cohesive flavor collective and the most exotic tasting dog of the day. While the listed toppings cite its key condiment as a curried garlic mayo, it read more like a creamy curry sauce, which elevated the dog in a special way and made The Warrior Dog one of my personal favorites. Not only is Mustard’s curried creation delicious, but it provides an aromatic invitation to dig in and enjoy before even tasting it.

#6: Yankee Dog

Yankee Dog: New York onions, Swiss, brown mustard as prepared by Mustard's Last Stand in Melbourne, Florida
Yankee Dog
New York onions, Swiss, brown mustard

Despite being born in New York, I’d never actually tried New York onions prior to my visit to Mustard’s. While The Meathead included them among its mix, I made a point to order the Yankee Dog because I wanted to try New York onions when they were the star of the show, not just a supportive cast condiment competing with chili and kraut. I don’t know why I was expecting them to taste pickled, because to my surprise, these onions were saucy in a delightful and welcome Marinara-y kind of way. I’m not sure if it’s out of line to describe this dog’s flavor as that of a “meaty mozzarella stick,” but I must. Like a food encounter of the third kind, this flavor combination was completely alien to me, and something I had never tasted before. Don’t let the Yankee Dog‘s vanilla-sounding name and unassuming complement of toppings fool you; this dog breaks the mold and is anything but basic.

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#7: Hula

Hula: Pineapple, tomato, bacon, Swiss, jalapeños as prepared by Mustard's Last Stand in Melbourne, Florida
Hula
Pineapple, tomato, bacon, shredded Swiss and jalapeños

Out of all the dogs we tried, The Hula was the most challenged to live up to its name. Don’t get me wrong — with its assortment of fresh toppings including pinapple, tomato and jalapeños, this dog would be considered exotic in virtually any other context. Yet, among Mustard’s 50 other choices, it seemed tame. The Hula was not a disappointment, but in terms of hula-ing you to Hawaii, it bows down to its more sophisticated sister, the Shish-Ka-Dog.

#8: Great Greek

Great Greek: Feta cheese, tomato, onions, fried pickle, pepperoncini, and tzatziki as prepared by Mustard's Last Stand in Melbourne, Florida
Great Greek
Feta cheese, tomato, onions, fried pickle, pepperoncini and tzatziki

By the time I even got to consider taking a bite of the Great Greek, I knew I was approaching maximum capacity. I think I saved this dog for last knowing it would hold up well in the fridge and still be tasty chilled the next day with its feta, fresh tomato, pepperoncini and tzatziki. But, I’m glad I saved a little space for a bite or two before packing up our many, many leftovers, because a next-day hot dog is never quite the same. Anticipating fried pickle slices, I was pleasantly surprised by the Great Greek‘s fried dill pickle spear. It rivaled the hot dog in size, paralleling it down the length of the bun, and giving the Great Greek the heft of a double dog. While on paper this dog sounds reminiscent of a gyro, it’s nothing like one. Instead, the Great Greek stands apart as its own little creation, with a wow factor and fresh Greek flavors of its own.

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There is something so comfortingly retro about Mustard’s Last Stand. It’s not a kitschy kind of nostalgia; rather it’s as if a part of the world stands still there, steadfast since 1987 and those palpably simpler times. Maybe it was the soulful seventies rock piped onto the patio at just the right volume, and the voices of Creedence, Steve Miller and Otis Redding that put my mind at ease. Maybe it was feeling like a big kid, excited to chow down on a whole bunch of hot dogs, and feeling like my biggest worry in the world was deciding which flavor of Stubborn Soda to choose on tap. Beyond 50 varieties of hot dogs, Mustard’s greatest offering might be their unmistakable laid-back vibe, which put me into a clearer, stripped-down headspace from the moment we arrived. You can’t fake that.

Speaking of when we first arrived, Mustard’s taught us both a thing or two about preconceptions. First of all, never underestimate the amount of leftovers you’ll be bringing home when you order eight of their hot dogs. But the real lesson was, don’t hesitate to try something new — and be bold about it! Step outside your comfort zone. Order the hot dog with shrimp on it. Like in life, some of the most unlikely choices you make at Mustard’s may surprise you by turning out to be some of your best.

Mustard’s Last Stand
Original Location: Olde Eau Gallie
Address
1288 N Harbor City Blvd | Melbourne, FL
Phone: (321) 254-5776

Downtown Melbourne
Address
415 East New Haven Ave | Melbourne, FL
Phone: (321) 951-3469
https://mustardslaststand.us

keywords: Mustard’s Last Stand, Melbourne, Florida, Hot dogs, Gourmet sausages, Sandwiches, Burgers, Craft beer, Casual dining, Outdoor seating, Family-friendly, Local eatery, Mustard aficionados, Unique flavors, Homemade condiments, Vegetarian options, Food truck, Fast casual, Specialty toppings, Local ingredients, Dog-friendly patio, Dining in Melbourne, Florida cuisine, Seafood, International cuisine, Fine dining, Casual dining, Waterfront dining, Family-friendly restaurants, Outdoor dining, Historic downtown Melbourne eateries, Breakfast spots, Lunch specials, Dinner options, Vegan-friendly restaurants, Gluten-free options, Wine bars, Cocktail lounges, Live music venues, Takeout and delivery restaurants.

Kristin Sinatra

A former VP of Marketing & External Affairs now working independently in Vero Beach, Kristin is regarded as an intuitive leader and creative visionary within the professional marketing and design communities. Some treasured feathers placed in her cap over the course of her 20+ year career include speaking at Google Headquarters, being nationally published, championing several comprehensive rebrands, being cameoed in the first book written about LinkedIn marketing within the nonprofit arena, having her graphic design work lit up in Times Square, and rescuing her dog and best buddy, Shea.

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