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We All Scream 

Could there be a more appropriate mascot for a hot dog shop than the dachshund? Cotati's new I Scream Cafe not only has wiener dog figurines decorating the counter and tables, but has two of the happy creatures themselves—Sterling and Jaxson—as inspiration.

"They're our mascots," says co-owner Chris Beck, who opened the cafe with Beverly Gobi on Tuesday.

The shop occupies the former Tama Rama's space downtown, and has undergone a much-needed facelift. Open, colorful and bright, the new cafe will serve ice cream from Mariposa, which carries flavors like stout and pretzel, maple bacon, spicy chocolate and layered blueberry cheesecake.

Before dessert, however, there are hot dogs a-plenty. All-beef wieners are the basis for creations like the Chihuahua dog (chipotle sauce, jalapeño, tomato, cheddar and sour cream) and the mojo dog (julienned cucumber, scallion, carrots, cilantro and red pepper chili sauce). Vegetarians are taken care of, too, with gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, or "panini-style melts," as Beck calls them. The Jaxson cheesy melt includes brie, cheddar and havarti; the Treehugger has vegan mozzarella, tomato and spinach; and the doughnut melt is a confession-worthy aged cheddar on two glazed doughnuts.

The lighthearted atmosphere and diet-be-damned menu gives the cafe a nostalgic feel for adults and a right-at-home feel for kids. And they'll be open late for the adult Cotati crawlers to enjoy every bite.

I Scream Café, 8252 Old Redwood Hwy., Cotati. —Nicolas Grizzle

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