Underdogs Mobile: Proving why Chicago dogs are the best and ‘TOTS RULE!’

Underdogs Mobile is a Dayton area food truck known for specialty hot dogs and Tater Tots.

Tater tots! Who doesn’t love them?

They’re fun, comforting and delicious – especially when topped with any of the concoctions from Underdogs Mobile.

The mobile food trailer also boasts a menu of all-beef specialty hot dogs.

Tot-Chos at Underdogs Mobile are topped with seasoned beef, cheese, salsa, sour cream and green onion. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Tot-Chos at Underdogs Mobile are topped with seasoned beef, cheese, salsa, sour cream and green onion. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Jenny Off Da Block is topped with guacamole salsa, sour cream, Fritos and melted cheese. The Star City Reuben overflows with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing.

That’s just a sample. Hungry yet?

This week, we feature Underdogs Mobile in our food truck spotlight to help the community get to know the stories behind some of Dayton’s most beloved food trucks.

Name of food truck: Underdogs Mobile

When did business begin? We got the wheels rolling in 2016.

What is your signature dish and why is it special?

Tough call. Our signature dish is our Chicago Dog AKA the Clark & Addison. I grew up eating real Chicago dogs and people always ask me if it’s going to be legit, and I just give them a look. Close second is our Loaded Tots. We sell thousands of them, and they are just simple and good.

The Clark & Addison specialty hot dog at Underdogs Mobile is Chicago style with a dill pickle spear, tomato, relish, onion, mustard, poppy seeds, celery salt and sport pepper. LISA POWELL / STAFF
The Clark & Addison specialty hot dog at Underdogs Mobile is Chicago style with a dill pickle spear, tomato, relish, onion, mustard, poppy seeds, celery salt and sport pepper. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Who are the owners?

Scott Whitfield: After 15-plus years in corporate HR, I was at my breaking point. I was part of two mass layoffs at places I truly enjoyed, and in 2016 I was working at a place I enjoyed nothing about. I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew what I didn’t want to do. My wife comes home one day and says over a beer, “You should do a food truck.” I’ve always loved cooking for others, especially in a fun environment. By no means am I a classically trained chef, but I had an idea of what people would want. Honestly, my friends had input on many of our creations, so I named a number of things after them.

What is the inspiration behind the name?

Ha, we had no real plan. We were jumping in deep waters head-first and had no investors or seed money. Honestly, the chips were stacked against us to succeed going into it. So, one day I said “we’re total underdogs.” That’s the name I went with.

Liz Scott and her husband, Scott Whitfield of Underdogs Mobile. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Liz Scott and her husband, Scott Whitfield of Underdogs Mobile. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

Best thing about operating a food truck?

The people. I love bringing some joy to people. Creed, my sidekick, he’s great, and we’re able to have fun, bring joy and make some money.

Hardest thing about operating a food truck?

It’s a business. We have many of the same challenges all other small businesses have. It’s absolutely a grind and people only see the sliver of time the service window is open. There are so many factors that’ll determine your success or failure.

Underdogs Mobile was founded by Scott Whitfield in 2016. The mobile food trailer is known for delicious hot dogs and loaded tots. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Underdogs Mobile was founded by Scott Whitfield in 2016. The mobile food trailer is known for delicious hot dogs and loaded tots. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Do you have gluten free/vegetarian/vegan options?

We do. Our tots are gluten free/vegetarian/vegan. We’ve created some unique creations for our peeps. All anyone has to do is ask, we can come up with something.

Hillbilly Tots at Underdogs Mobile are topped with smoked pulled pork and BBQ sauce.  LISA POWELL / STAFF
Hillbilly Tots at Underdogs Mobile are topped with smoked pulled pork and BBQ sauce. LISA POWELL / STAFF

What is the best way people can find you/contact you?

Any social media we’re at @UnderdogsMobile you can Google us and we have a page on the Dayton Food Truck Association webpage.

Can organizations or neighborhoods hire you? What are the details and the cost?

Absolutely. We have some great relationships with companies, organizations and now in COVID-times neighborhood associations. Each service is different and the easiest thing to do is simply contact us, and we’ll figure something out.

Other dishes on your menu.

We have seven different specialty hot dogs and five tot combinations! From a Good Ol’ J.R. dog with meat on meat sprinkled with meat to our all-time best selling Loaded Tots. Fries are cool and we love them but TOTS RULE!

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