The Donut and Dog pairs gourmet treats with franks


When family-owned eatery The Donut and Dog opened in Hillsboro Village in January 2018, owners Will and Nicole Primavera set out on a mission to unite sweet and savory in the form of craft hot dogs and custom brioche doughnuts.

“We explored national trends, and we knew we wanted to blend sweet with savory,” Will Primavera said. “For us, hot dogs and doughnuts were the perfect match.”

Located in a converted 1940s Craftsman-style home on Belcourt Avenue, Primavera said the husband-and-wife team completely reimagined the space. Once inside, customers will find antique furniture, a working fireplace and a deconstructed vintage bicycle hanging overhead.

“It was key for us to restore the building to its authenticity,” he said.

Primavera said The Donut and Dog elevates the traditional hot dog experience by serving nine specialty franks like the Banh Mi, a dog topped with basil-sriracha aioli, pickled carrots, cucumber and jalapeno slices. The menu also includes fries, housemade chips, street corn, pretzel bites and Frito pie.

On the doughnut side of the business, Primavera said he incorporates his original 20-hour brioche recipe to create a rotating cast of about 14 doughnuts as well as others depending on in-season ingredients. He said baking the dough is an 18- to 22-hour process.

The Primaveras announced in March plans to expand beginning this year in a suburb of Boise, Idaho, followed by a third location in 2020 at mixed-use project Fifth and Broadway in downtown Nashville.

As the team prepares to open the two locations, Primavera said they intend to keep family and community—two traits he said they value most—at the heart of the business model.

“We can’t imagine the first location of The Donut and Dog being anywhere other than [Hillsboro Village],” he said. “This neighborhood truly marches to the beat of its own drum, just like we do.”

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