Hot!Pittsburgh hot dog joints

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buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/03/04 14:48:49 (permalink)
falcinator-
Welcome to Roadfood!  I hope we hear much more from you.

On previous visits, I have enjoyed Jim's Drive-in.  Enough even to consider writing a formal review for this website.  Maybe it was because I was immediately comparing it to two other places, but it left both of us flat.  We agreed that it was a distant third on this night.

Only been to Steve's twice and I agree with everything you said.  So, did you snag a frequent diner card at Dormont Dogs?
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/03/04 14:51:32
John Fox
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/03/04 19:58:47 (permalink)
buffetbuster,

Great post and pictures! Thanks.
buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/04/30 13:16:59 (permalink)
Nice article in the PG recently talks about Dormont Dogs and the Sterns.  Sounds like this guy is a real Roadfooder!

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09106/963045-34.stm#
bugmeso
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/06/03 11:53:05 (permalink)
Alright....I am new here. I joined in order to post a question. yesterday I was on the South portion of Pgh....and thought I would route myself to gt a dog at Franks Dog House....I was coming down West liberty Ave and to my surprise....someone stole the building. It's been about 6 to 9 months since I was in there. What happened? I guess one of the big car dealers with deep pockets and a want....bought the building and now it will most likely become a used car lot. Did they reopen somewhere else?
buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/06/03 12:54:07 (permalink)
bugmeso-
Is this the place just south of the Liberty Tunnels?  I have never eaten there, but the place has always looked closed rom the outside.  I would also be very interested in finding out what happened to it.  Was Frank's Dog House really good?  And welcome to Roadfood!!!
eruby
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/06/03 13:48:52 (permalink)
Is Frank's a different place than Hank's Dog House?  I've seen Hank's but have never been.  Links referrencing Hank's below.
 
 
http://pittsburgh.citysearch.com/profile/8623455/pittsburgh_pa/hank_s_dog_house.html
 
http://pittsburghsigns.org/archives/2004/02/hanks-dog-house.html
 
 
 
 

buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/06/03 13:53:21 (permalink)
eruby-
Hank's is the sign that I have seen.  So now I am mildly confused.  Have you eaten at Hank's?  Is it still there and open?
eruby
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/06/03 13:57:39 (permalink)
buffetbuster

eruby-
Hank's is the sign that I have seen.  So now I am mildly confused.  Have you eaten at Hank's?  Is it still there and open?
I have never been to Hank's, but have seen the sign in the past.  I don't know if it's still open.
 
I have never heard of Frank's.
 


 
bugmeso
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/06/03 15:57:53 (permalink)
You all got me....after 40 years of going there....never really knew the name....and it is Hank's. No wonder I couldn't find it anywhere on the iNet. I am truly a klutz
Just tried calling the phone number i found under Hank's....it has been disconnect and no further information
post edited by bugmeso - 2009/06/03 16:03:12
buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/06/03 16:04:27 (permalink)
No worries bugmeso.  I'm glad you brought this place up, because I have driven past it many times and wondered about it.  This place must have really been good for you to eat there for 40+ years.  Can you please tell us about the place?  I hope you get your answer about what happened to it.
bugmeso
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/06/03 21:04:45 (permalink)
In the mid 60's I ran a newspaper delivery route for 3 weeks in the summer (2 summers) for an older friend. His route took me past Hank's. Stopped in one day and stopped when ever I was over in the Brookline/Dormont area since. After the service in '71 I worked for a refrigeration company and no doubt took by Hanks even more. I remember Hank, then he past,t hen his wife took over until she sold it. I really didn't get to know the multiple owners after that. I know that some women owned it at the end. I really don't think it moved or carried on
eruby
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/06/04 11:28:22 (permalink)
buffetbuster - while this a little off-topic, I see Weenie Beenie is the restaurant of the day with your pics/write-up.  I haven't been there for a couple of years (I moved from the DC area to northwest of Baltimore) but used to go there several times a month when I worked in DC. 
 
bugmeso - you may already know it, but there's a Dee's Six Pack and Dogs in Monroeville that I think is every bit as good as the one in Regent's Square, and there is plenty of parking.  They also have the home-made root beer.  I visit Irwin often and Dee's is the best in that area  (though the DQ on Rt 30 is bad fro a quick foot-long fix) and much closer than Regent's Square.
 
 
gostillerz
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/06/06 19:05:01 (permalink)
D's in Regent Square. God, do I love that place!

http://www.regentsquare.net/ds6pax.html



 
buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/06/25 08:18:52 (permalink)
Munch, Pittsburgh's anonymous food writer visited Wiener World.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09176/979633-440.stm

I visited here on Saturday, but got the fish instead.  Here is the official Roadfood review:

http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/115-115/wiener-world
bugmeso
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/07/02 06:47:11 (permalink)
I did take advantage of being in the South Hills once again and stopped at the Dormont Dog. Ironically all Dog Shoppes are not the same....nothing negative here. It was nice a DD, the people make feel really welcomed and dogs on a scale of 1 to 10 was about a 7.5 to 8.5. no fries, but the potato salad was good. I will stop again. The variety of dogs was a change.
Kenny Joe
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/08/05 23:04:03 (permalink)
Two topics:

Hank's  Hank's is indeed gone. It was a fine place that kept irregular hours. It also looked closed (if not abandoned) even when it was open. Most of the times I was there, me and my friends were the only folks eating in but they seemed to do a decent takeout business. That's just as well; there wasn't room for many diners inside.  

Dormont Dogs  As I mentioned before, the owner of Dormont Dogs is a former head chef at a fancy restaurant. He wants to open his own place, but he'd seen too many chefs lose everything trying to run a restaurant. To avoid that fate, he opened DD to get some experience running a business. Now he is ready to open a French Bistro in Dormont if he can get an ADA/zoning ordinance conflict settled. But fortunately, Dormont Dogs will remain open whether or not the new place opens! The unusal toppings at DD may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is worth a visit if you're in the neighborhood.  
buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/08/11 09:22:18 (permalink)
I finally made it to the Red Caboose in Rostraver.  After reading about this place here on Roadfood and in the local paper, I have been wanting to eat here for a while now.  But since it is well south of the city (I live in the north suburbs) and has no posted address or phone number, it has taken me a while.
 
Heading south on Rte. 51, past the town of Elizabeth, I started looking for it.  Just a few miles later, there it was,

sitting on top of a hill.  For being in the middle of nowhere and it being well past lunchtime, the parking lot was full and there was a long line out the door.
 
Once inside, I was able to see the menu board.  

Prices are shockingly low, even for an area like Pittsburgh that has a low cost of living.  Being quite hungry and knowing it may be a long time until I get back here, I decided to order a lot and to see what was good.  I asked the girl if they had a take-out menu or a business card, so I could get their address and she told me no.  Could I at least have their phone number?  She told me they have no phone.  This place likes being mysterious!  More bad news......they were out of hot sausage.
 
I started off with a chili dog and a kielbasa. 

The chili dog was excellent and I really liked the strong, zesty chili on top.  Notice the large beans and onions in the chili.  The kielbasa, topped with fresh tasting sauerkraut, had a nice crunchy skin and a great snap when you bit into it.  A beautiful pink, juicy inside, too. 

Thumbs up to both! 
 
I noticed many people walking out past me carrying a big tray of great looking french fries, so I had to try those, too.  And they were delicious.  Very hot, well salted, I would recommend these. 

The burger was just ordinary, though.
 
Inside, they have a little area where you help yourself to toppings and condiments and you can put on as much ketchup, mustard, relish and onions as you want.  I noticed a lot of people getting cheese on their fries and dogs, but it looked like overly gloppy nacho cheese, so I passed.  There are some picnic tables in front for people to dine, but they were all being used, so I ate off the hood of my car, in true Roadfood fashion.
 
Despite how busy they were, the young girl taking my order was typically friendly and patient with my questions.  The 40ish woman and the three young people working all looked like they could be related, so I have no doubt this is a family operation.   My entire meal cost about $8.00.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/08/11 09:29:29
falcinator
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/08/11 09:50:40 (permalink)
Being in the South....though not THIS far South...I HAVE passed this little joint time and time again, and NEVER stopped.  I think with this quality review and the excellent pics and price of said items, I'll have to make a SPECIAL trip just to head out that way sometime soon...!

Have you ever been out to Bill's Golfland?  It's out in that direction as well.  They have a VERY full menu, lots of charm, a great little driving range, hockey rink, and an old arcade too...!  Their food is pretty decent, it's more quaint atmosphere than anything....but make SURE to get their peanut oil fried potato wedges....!!!!

http://www.billsgolfland.com/

Oh....and I finally DID get more Dormont Dogs Card just the other week!  :0)  The owner is actually opening up a little Bistro in a couple of months, not too far from DD...up on West Liberty.  I'll make a post when they do!
eruby
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/08/11 10:41:02 (permalink)
buffetbuster - Excellent review.  I posted on Red Caboose in the past, but just a short description, not the great detail and fine pics you provided.
 
My brother lives in West Mifflin so I've past the caboose many times.  I haven't been in several years, but it was always great when I stopped.  Going west from Maryland, I had to make a U-turn past the airport on 51 to get to the caboose.
 
 
falcinator - I also passed Bill's many, many times but will try to make it a point to stop in now.  There used to be a place on the right side (going west) that advertised 'the best foot longs in town'.  I can't recall the name and I believe it's out of business (it was pretty close to Bill's).  The one time I stopped, I did get the chili-footlong and it was good but not so much I ever stopepd again.
 
Michael Hoffman
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/08/11 11:34:19 (permalink)
Buffetbuster, the dog and kielbasa from the Red Caboose look mouthwatering.
buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/08/12 08:03:25 (permalink)
falcinator-
No, I've never even heard of Bill's Golf Land before.  But, I will put it on the list of places for me to try.  Thanks for the tip.

Just curious.....  Is there any interest in a one day Pittsburgh hot dog tour?
Kenny Joe
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/08/13 07:57:27 (permalink)
buffetbuster
Just curious.....  Is there any interest in a one day Pittsburgh hot dog tour?


I think that's a great idea and I hope it materializes. But I will have to decline. These days, after two dogs, it's awhile before I want to even think about food. I suppose I could do it like a winetasting, take a bite at each joint, savor it and spit it out. Somehow that doesn't sound like a lot of fun, either for myself or my companions.  


Russ Jackson
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/08/13 08:08:24 (permalink)
Kenny Joe

buffetbuster
Just curious.....  Is there any interest in a one day Pittsburgh hot dog tour?


I think that's a great idea and I hope it materializes. But I will have to decline. These days, after two dogs, it's awhile before I want to even think about food. I suppose I could do it like a winetasting, take a bite at each joint, savor it and spit it out. Somehow that doesn't sound like a lot of fun, either for myself or my companions.  

You could post pics of you spitting out Hot Dogs at eack location. Now that might be fun...Russ
buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/08/17 15:46:36 (permalink)
I realize Johnstown is a healthy drive away from Pittsburgh, but it is still in western Pa, so that is close enough for me to put it in this thread.....

Mariton and I stopped into Coney Island Lunch in Johnstown, PA on Saturday.  This place has a great history and goes all the way back to 1916!  It sits on the corner of Clinton and Locust Streets and has some really nice signage outside. 

I also like this globe

that simply has "EAT" painted on it.  Because this isn't their original location (they moved from across the street after a flood.  A flood in Johnstown?  Go figure!), it isn't as retro as you think it would be.  The interior is actually immaculately clean, which really isn't a bad thing.  The walls are as yellow as mustard

and the booths as green as relish. 

The first thing you notice when you enter are the wieners

grilling in the window.  You walk up to the counter to place your order, they set your food on the orange tray and you take it to an open booth.  Since Mariton and I ate at Clem's BBQ in Blairsville just a few hours before, we didn't overdo it.  Truthfully, she's not much of a hot dog girl.  We started with two of the Coney Island hot dogs


and I believe chili, mustard and onion are standard.  The chili is beanless, thin and somewhat mild, but I really enjoy the flavor.   The excellent onions are chopped fine and in about as small bits as possible.  

We also decided try one of the Sundowners, which the young man who took our order said was very popular with the locals.  This is basically a cheeseburger, with a fried egg on it.  They asked me what I wanted on it.  Uh, not sure how to answer that one, since this was new to me.  I asked how most people order it and they said also with chili, mustard and onion.  Sound good to me.  Here is a Sundowner. 

Obviously, this is a cheap meat patty, but all the other ingredients work so well together, that I give this a thumbs up.  With chili and onions this good, there are few foods it wouldn't dress up!  Since Coney Island stays open until 4:00AM, this would have to be a popular after the bars close type of food.

The menu also mentions the homemade baked beans and cole slaw, so we grabbed sides of those.  The baked beans were a bland disappointment, but the fresh, crisp, vinegary cole slaw

was a hit, especially with Mariton.

The guy in the white t-shirt  in the interior photo engaged us in conversation as we were leaving.  He told us he has been eating here since he was four, which is the kind of thing I love to hear.  He said he still visits a couple of times a week and it is just about the only reason he comes to downtown anymore!

http://www.coneyislandjohnstownpa.com/
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/08/17 15:53:27
John Sagi
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/08/18 01:37:17 (permalink)
buffetbuster

Great posts and pictures.

Looking forward to seeing more of your adventures.
Kenny Joe
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/08/18 19:12:20 (permalink)
Let me add my two cents about Coney Island Lunch, my favorite eatery in one of my favorite towns.
The first cent is that although the name of the place is Coney Island Lynch, they are open early and serve a fine breakfast. I mean, it's your basic eggs, meat and bread combos, but it always tastes good and the eggs are the right consistency.
The second concerns the "cheap meat patty" mentioned by BB. It may be a cheap meat patty, but its got a spice in it that one does not expect to find in a cheap meat patty. I think it might be cinnamon, but I've never been able to put my "finger" on it because I do not like it. With everything that's on a Sundowner, you won't notice it, but try a burger naked or with simpler condiments, and you will notice! 
buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/08/19 07:57:25 (permalink)
Kenny Joe-
I did not notice the spice you mentioned, but there is so many different flavors vying for attention in a Sundowner, I'm not surprised.  Next time, I will get a burger by itself.

Have you noticed how clean this place is?  I mean, it is absolutely spotless and there was one cleaning the entire time we were there.  Run down places have a certain charm, but it is nice to see this, too.
buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/08/25 16:54:52 (permalink)
Another really good place to get some hot dogs in western Pennsylvania is MP Coney Island

in New Castle, which opened its doors in 1923.  There are two locations, one in the outskirts of town and the one I usually visit on the town square.
 
There is waitress service here, so as soon as I sat down, I was brought this well-used, wrinkled up menu. 

The only thing it was missing was chili stains.  I ordered two coneys with everything, which is chili, mustard and onion.


As you can see the onions are again chopped very fine.  At first glance, the chili almost looks meatless, but that is because the meat is cut up into such small fragments.  It is a dark, spicy brew, with more than a little heat and is one of my favorite coney chilis.  It is also available in containers to take home.  For reasons I haven't figured out yet, this chili doesn't work as well on the chili cheese fries.

 
To drink, an unimpressive, thin chocolate shake.  Service was lightning quick and very friendly.  I do recommend this place just for the chili alone.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/08/25 16:57:48
gostillerz
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/08/26 09:59:23 (permalink)
Coney Island is great. Brighton Hot Dog Shoppe is 1 block away from me, and I'll still drive up to New Castle. BB, did you check out D's in Regent square? Killer Chicago Dogs!
buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints 2009/08/26 10:02:19 (permalink)
gostillerz-
I don't think I have mentioned it yet, but I love your screenname!  No, I have not made it to D's yet and I am wondering what is taking so long.  Yeah, the parking sucks, but that is no excuse.
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