Bigfoot Longs, one of Seattle’s most exciting pop-ups known for its chaotic hot dogs made with top-quality ingredients, permanently landed at Ballard’s 4B Tavern in August. Foot-long hot dogs made with fine-dining sensibilities and served at a blue-collar dive bar aren’t exactly typical of Seattle’s dining scene but, then again, neither is Geofrey Redd’s culinary journey.
Redd’s first job in the restaurant industry was at a local pizza shop in rural Georgia during high school. It wasn’t until he was stationed in Japan as a Navy medic that he discovered how quality ingredients and fine-dining methods could be used in casual dishes. “The techniques and flavors to elevate even the simplest drinking snacks were unlike anything I had seen before,” Redd says.
Bigfoot Longs’ ever-rotating menu reflects that balance of thoughtfulness and playfulness he saw in dishes in Japan. Right now, it features footlong hot dogs like “Seattle Sasquatch,” Redd’s take on the Seattle dog, with a house-baked brioche bun, sausage from Olympia Provisions, farmers cheese (instead of the conventional cream cheese), and topped with a house-made onion jam and a jalapeno relish. The popular “Phat Philly Foot” is a variant of a Philly cheesesteak, with thinly shaved beef, sauteed onions and peppers, and Cheese Whiz. Bigfoot Longs bakes all the breads in-house, and Redd makes the condiments himself.
In addition to hot dogs, Bigfoot Longs’ menu includes a section of fried snacks, like french fries topped with slow-cooked bolognese in the aptly named “Spudghetti Special,” and “Friendship Fries” topped with sweet and sour mango chutney, fried Spam, and chili crisp. Rounding out the menu, the dessert selections currently feature a honey latte ice cream using Anchorhead coffee with a honey granola cookie. It’s chaos cooking at its finest.
After the military, a degree in graphic art, and a stint in a San Diego design agency, Redd landed on the Seattle restaurant scene, taking on roles ranging from dishwasher, “schnitzel pounder,” and pasta maker. He worked his way up to prep lead at now-shuttered seafood restaurant Rider in downtown Seattle, alongside James Beard-nominated chef David Nichols (now co-owner at Eight Row), and Dan Mallahan (of upcoming restaurant Driftwood), who taught Redd “everything I know about baking bread and making ice cream,” he says. At Bigfoot Longs, he hand-cranks ice creams in an old-school churner.
When the pandemic hit, like many others in the restaurant industry, Redd was laid off and decided to pursue the pop-up venture full-time. Bigfoot Longs went on to serve its food for over two years at breweries and bars across the city, including at Rose Temple Bar and pop-up epicenter Fair Isle Brewing, before landing a permanent residency at Ballard’s 4Bs Tavern in early August.
Redd’s design background shines in playful, kitschy menu illustrations, and stickers he creates in collaboration with local artists. He hands stickers out with every dish and ice cream pint. “My goal is to make people smile,” he says. “These are hot dogs, after all. It’s food that makes you happy.”
4Bs Tavern is one of Seattle’s last true dive bars, with local beers on tap and standard dive bar staples like pool tables and arcade games. The dive bar decor is juxtaposed with Redd’s whimsical, handmade yarn art, including an astronaut floating in space while eating a footlong. “Dive bars can definitely have nice things,” Redd says. In this case, it’s surprisingly delicious food.
This fall, expect to see new food and dessert offerings, including a pull-apart footlong inspired by Dick’s burgers and an ice cream featuring coffee-spiked horchata mixed with crumbled conchas from Bakescapade, another pop-up favorite.
Redd’s ultimate goal is his very own quirky, art-filled, Sasquatch-themed restaurant, but — until then — Bigfoot can be sighted at 4Bs Tavern, Tuesday through Saturday, from 6 p.m. until midnight.
Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly stated that Geofrey Redd was a sous chef at the restaurant Rider. He was actually a prep lead.