Pittsburgh hot dog joints

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FuwaFuwaUsagi
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Sat, 05/24/08 11:49 PM
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At one time there was a wonderful hot dog and other things (back in 1996 they had a killer fish sandwich)place on Liberty, downtown, around Liberty and Wood. Great dogs, great food, always busy. Anyone know what happened to it and what the name was? I figured the place would be there forever, but sadly when I was in Pitt this spring it was gone. Thank gosh the Original Oyster House is still in Market Square.

Kenny Joe
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Sun, 05/25/08 10:06 AM
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I know the place you're talking about, FuwaFuwaUsagi, and I think it was called Hot Diggety Dogs. It was at the corner of Liberty and Wm Penn Place. The City worked hard at closing that place down for a long time. The City eventually either condemned the land or bought it under the threat of condemnation. The stated reason was to rationalize the intersection. (Wm Penn and 10th Street met Liberty at slightly different places.) But the real reason was to rid Liberty Avenue of any place that the Cultural Trust thought was inconsistent with its idea of culture.
I was a frequent eater there and I hated to see downtown lose that place, especially under the circumstances.

FuwaFuwaUsagi
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Sun, 05/25/08 10:42 PM
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Thanks KennyJoe. The owner was real friendly. We chatted a lot. At one time we talked about opening one in Chicago; the idea that I would run the Chicago one. I love businesses like that, they are a blast. Your description sounds right as I could not believe the owner would have closed the door. It was part of him, part of his life. He had "relish" in his blood. I recognize the look, the man had a passion for what he did.

Ever eat at the Original Oyster House? I try to get to Pitt once a year on business so I can eat those fish sandwiches. And they just opened a real good Mexican restaurant a few blocks from the William Penn hotel. Let me know if you are interested and I'll look up the name on the credit card bill.


Kenny Joe
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Mon, 05/26/08 1:27 PM
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Your story makes me wonder what became of the owner. It sounds like he may have set up shop elsewhere.
I work downtown, so I try to make it to the Oyster House at least once a week.
I am very fond of Mexico City, which now has two locations. One is on Smithfield between Blvd of the Allies and First and the other on Wood between Fourth and Forbes. Both are probably too far from the Wm Penn to be the one you're thinking of. Please pass along the name.

Kenny Joe
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Fri, 05/30/08 9:28 PM
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There's a new Pittsburgh hot dog joint - this one just a hop, skip and a jump from Chez Kenny Joe. The place is Dormont Dogs at 2911 Glenmore Street, just a block and a half from W. Liberty and Potomac. You can get either Sabrett dogs or veggy dogs, brand unknown. There are a number of fancy dressing suggestions. The excellent buns are picked up fresh daily from Kribels in Brookline. There's a couple of tables inside and, in good weather, two more outside. Very pleasant place with good dogs. According to http://www.popcitymedia.com/developmentnews/drmt0430.aspx, the owner, who has a nice disposition, was the executive chef at Sonoma Grille. Check it out!

rfox
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Sat, 06/7/08 4:14 PM
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I was on rt. 28 today, so I made a slight detour and checked out Yesterday's Dog House in Lower Burrell. I had two of the natural casings and fries. While the Smith's brand dog they use isn't one of my favorites, the dogs were pretty good. I would have no problem eating there again.

In the past year, as far as Pittsburgh dog places go, I've probably enjoyed the weiners at Original Station Street more than anywhere else.

buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Thu, 06/19/08 10:12 AM
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A new hot dog place named Packs & Dogs on Mt. Washington was reviewed in the newspaper this morning.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08171/890942-242.stm

buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Thu, 08/14/08 10:11 AM
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Nice article in the Trib this morning on Franktuary, which used to be called Hot Dogma.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/living/fooddrink/s_582692.html

I hope they do expand their hours, since it is almost impossible for me to get there now.

techdog
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Sun, 08/17/08 10:57 AM
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"Ever eat at the Original Oyster House? I try to get to Pitt once a year on business so I can eat those fish sandwiches. And they just opened a real good Mexican restaurant a few blocks from the William Penn hotel. Let me know if you are interested and I'll look up the name on the credit card bill."

I would like to know the name of the Mexican Restaurant near the William Penn hotel please. TIA


buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Mon, 08/18/08 11:19 AM
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techdog-
Just a guess, but are you thinking of Mexico City restaurant?

http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A21053

buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Mon, 08/18/08 11:23 AM
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The Roadfood Digest recently posted an article from the Post-Gazette I had missed about hot dogs. The author named Red Caboose in Rostraver as his current favorite Pittsburgh hot dog joint. I had never heard of this place before. Anyone ever been there?

KOK
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Mon, 08/18/08 11:32 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by buffetbuster
The Roadfood Digest recently posted an article from the Post-Gazette I had missed about hot dogs. The author named Red Caboose in Rostraver as his current favorite Pittsburgh hot dog joint. I had never heard of this place before. Anyone ever been there?
buffetbuster,

Here is a thread I replied to June '07 about the Red Caboose. I haven't been that way in a couple of years, but it sounds like it's still in business.

Thanks,

Kevin

http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1352&SearchTerms=Rostraver


Here is a link to Post Gazette article:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08206/899015-34.stm

Baah Ben
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Sat, 08/23/08 2:43 PM
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BuffetBuster..No, Fat Franks was sold (all cash!) to a young man, who had a rich father (Thank G-D!). He proceeded to change the hot dog from a natural casing Sabrette, to a local hot dog and the place went out of business.

It was at 2000 Smallman Street from 1988 to 1995.

buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Mon, 09/1/08 9:17 PM
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Last week, I met fellow Roadfooder Kenny Joe at Dormont Dogs. Very clever name for a hot dog place in Dormont!

The first hint that this isn't a typical hot dog place should have ben that the owner used to be executive chef at Sonoma Grille, one of my favorite high end downtown restaurants.

The outside of the place is brightly colored.

That is Kenny Joe and his lovely wife Susan sitting across from my girlfriend Mariton and her daughter Emilou.

You can get standard hot dogs or chili dogs here, but the menu has so many interesting combinations of toppings available, it would be a shame not to try some of them. Mariton, a hot dog frowner, went for the Bruschetta Dog,

listed as being topped with, tomatoes marinated in olive oil and basil, creamy pesto and parmesan. Emilou ate The Dog Father,

topped with pepperoni, salami, mozzarella, romaine, banana peppers and Italian vinaigrette. Both of them were probably more impressed by the aesthetic nature of the food than the dog itself, but still enjoyed it.

I went for the Rueben dog,

covered with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing. Though not as attractive as the others, it was delicious!

Obviously, I'm not just a one hot dog guy, so I also ordered a Mississippi dog, which comes with chili, mustard and cole slaw. But, they made a mistake and gave me a Texas dog instead.

This is topped with chili, cheddar cheese, sour cream and Fritos. Another winner!

Unfortunately, I can't remember which dogs Kenny and Susan ordered, but here they are.

I can tell you that the one with the ketchup and relish was another mistake. Since Susan didn't want it, I ate that one, too.

I also don't remember what kind of wiener Dormont Dogs uses, but it was a high quality dog. The nice, fresh buns come from Kribels Bakery in Brookline.

It was a real pleasure to meet Kenny Joe and Susan. They are very personable and easy to talk to. We have discussed meeting again in the future, with Lo Bello's Spaghetti House a likely destination.

ScreenBear
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Tue, 09/2/08 12:04 AM
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It's my understanding that Dormont is using a Sabrett....whether or not a natural casing, I know not. How was the snap? In any case, an interesting choice.

The Bear

John Fox
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Tue, 09/2/08 9:54 AM
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Those dogs are skinless. How were they prepared? Looks as though they were heated in water or fried as I don't see any grill marks.

joerogo
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Tue, 09/2/08 2:14 PM
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BB, Great hot dog find. Great combos.

I never knew Pitt was such a big hot dog town.

Baah Ben
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Tue, 09/2/08 2:31 PM
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A hot dog without a natural casing is like a __________without a _______________Fill in your own blanks.

I just don't get people who open a hot dog restaurant and serve a skinless hot dogWhy bother?

John Fox
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Tue, 09/2/08 3:20 PM
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Baah Ben,

A natural casing dog is always preferable to a skinless one except when it comes to an Italian Hot Dog where you got a lot of stuff going on there; the casing sort of disrupts the synergy between ingredients.

I've asked some of the owners (mostly trucks serving dirty water dogs) why they serve a skinless dog which lacks the snap most hot dog lovers look for. I've been told the following: I don't know. We've always served skinless dogs here. They're cheaper. I don't like casing. It's hard for old people and children to chew a dog with casing.

My favorite is the last one. Though I suppose that there is some truth to it, I think most people who give this response (I have been told this a few times) are really looking to save money and/or hope their customers may not notice. One popular truck in Newark that I think is highly overrated gives this reason for using skinless dogs, but I think it is because his truck is known for the many toppings he offers. And since he uses skinless dogs at a lower cost, he is able to charge less than many of his competitors. It is in his case I believe, a business decision. It works for him and he does a good business. But I will not go to his truck.

Kenny Joe
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Sat, 09/6/08 11:10 AM
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It was a pleasure to finally meet Buffetbuster after reading his many fine reports. Meeting Mariton and Emilou was an added treat.
To complete the caption on the picture of the three dogs Susan and I ordered: On the left is the Arkansas Avenue dog, topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, horseradish sauce and scallions. In the middle is the Tennessee Avenue Dog, topped with cole slaw, baked beans and onions. The last one is a regular dog with the obvious toppings. It was a "mistake" because Susan ordered a veggie dog and got the regular Sabretts by mistake.
I have no issue with skinless dogs, but then again I don't see a problem with people putting ketchup on their dogs.

ScreenBear
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Sun, 11/16/08 11:34 AM
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Hot dog enthusiasts sojourning in the burgeoning hot dog culture of Pittsburgh are well advised to make sure D's SixPax & Dogz, 1118 South Braddock Avenue (412-241-4666), is on their agenda.

They serve a good-sized (about a 6-to-a-lb.) Vienna Beef, nicely cooked on a flat grill, and offer a creative variety of quality toppings.

The hat trick I established on my maiden visit to this particular establishment recently included a formidable Vienna Beef corn dog ($2.99) reminiscent of my Iowa college days; an orthodox Chicago Style Dog (replete with poppy-seeded bun imported from the Windy City--$2.99) and a simply outstanding, taste-exploding Chili and Coleslaw Dog ($3.99) dubbed the Mason-Dixon Dog.

Among the 10 or so other offerings that piqued my interest, filed for future reference, there's a Sizzler Dog ($2.99), a Vienna Beef frank deep-fried; a Bacon–Cheddar Dog ($3.99) and, in what I would call a tip of the hat to the famous Primanti Bros. Sandwich and/or the Steel Town’s renowned QB, there’s the Big Ben Dog, which is topped with fries, Cheddar Cheese and Coleslaw ($3.99).

Beer aficionados will be happy to know they can imbibe any of the 1,000 or so brands of beer this very hustling and bustling place touts. The folks I was with were all able to find their favorite brews in the cooler.

Postscript: I didn’t make it to the Original O this visit, but was gratified to have a fine foot-long at my favorite wiener stop, The Pickle Barrel. However, until further notice, D’s is now part of my personal Hot Dog Trinity (with the O and the Pickle Barrel) when hunting dogs in the Burg. Point of disclosure, there are several spots I haven’t made it to yet, most notably…Franktuary (previously Hot Dogma). Ah…so many hot dog places…so little time.

The Bear



FuwaFuwaUsagi
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Sun, 12/21/08 3:15 PM
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A long time back I was suppose to post the Mexican restaurant I liked in Pittsburgh.  As Kenny Joe and others mentioned it indeed turned out to be Mexico City, I finally found the receipt.  Very good food. 

buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Fri, 01/16/09 3:31 PM
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Kenny Joe-
Nice article in the Trib today on Dormont Dogs.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/lifestyles/fooddrink/s_607160.html

Kenny Joe
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Fri, 01/16/09 6:59 PM
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Thanks for the article; I don't usually look at the Trib.
I was in Dormont Dogs just yesterday and noticed a new feature - the Double Dog Dare. It's two dogs in the bun. I like those Kribel buns, so I wasn't sure I should take the Dare. But I did and was very happy with the resulting meat to bread ratio. I had the Arkansas dog described in the article, hoping the melted cheese would hold the sandwich today, which it did nicely. I'm not sure how the Double Dog Dare would work with one of the messier offerings. There's not much room for the generous toppings after two dogs are squeezed in.  


John Fox
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Fri, 01/16/09 7:35 PM
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The article states that Dormont Dogs serves the skinless Sabretts because customers prefer them to natural casing. This I find hard to believe. Not saying it isn't true, but I have doubts. Do those of you in Pittsburgh prefer skinless?

buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Fri, 01/16/09 9:04 PM
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Kenny Joe-
Double Dog Dare?  Sounds like A Christmas Story!

John Fox-
I can tell you that this Pittsburgher prefers the natural casing.

Kenny Joe
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Sat, 01/17/09 12:43 PM
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Although a hot dog shop is probably not Captain's career goal, he is in business to make money and he and Rachel both love to talk with the customers. If he says that's what they want, I do not doubt it. As my personal preferences, I have a mild one for the natural casing but I am happy with the skinless also.

buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Thu, 02/5/09 8:02 AM
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A recent article in the Trib on the "O".

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/lifestyles/fooddrink/s_609204.html

 
I have never tried their subs or pizza, since I am very loyal to the dogs and especially the fries.  Glad to read that they plan to continue in business for many years.

buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Wed, 03/4/09 2:11 PM
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I hadn't seen my buddy Mike in about a month.  Since he is a hot dog lover, we decided to make a night of hitting some places around the city.

First, an apology to Kenny Joe.  We didn't decide on this until about 4:30 yesterday afternoon.  I wish I had more notice to let you know we were going to be in your backyard.  But, our initial stop was Dormont Dogs.  I did a report from there several months ago and it can be found above.  Here is the menu board.


Mike went for the Texas Ave. dog (background)

and the Arkansas Ave dog up front.  You will notice that Mike asked for his Texas dog without sour cream.  Since both were discussed before, I will move on. 

I took a tour of the Deep South and started with the Louisiana Ave. dog,

which uses hot sauce and Cajun cole slaw as toppings.  The heat of the hot sauce and the cool, creamy cole slaw really worked well together.  Next, I ate the Mississippi Ave. dog,

which was topped with chili, mustard and cole slaw.  If you can't tell, I really like slaw dogs.  There was nothing wrong with this dog at all, but eating it right after one as flavorful as the Louisiana dog was a mistake.  I wish I had eaten them in reverse order.  Still, this was a fine hot dog.  The fresh buns from Kribel Bakery in Brookline are tough to beat.

BTW, Dormont Dogs now has a frequent customer card.  There are fifteen different types of dogs on it and if you try all of them, you get 2 free hot dogs and your photo on the wall.  Oh yeah, you will soon be seeing my smiling face up there.  Kenny Joe, I looked around, but I didn't see your picture!

Since we wanted to break it up a little bit, we made dessert the next stop.  Mike had never been to the Pie Place in the South Hills before and was overwhelmed by all the choices.  He bought several things to take home.  I ate a raspberry almond cupcake

for there and a whole peanut butter pie to take to work for the girls the next day.

http://www.thepieplace.net/

Back to the business of eating hot dogs!  Next stop is Jim's Drive-in in West Mifflin.  Jim's is amazingly popular with the locals and has been in business since the 1920s.  The legend goes, that the H.J. Heinz Company once offered the founders of Jim's a million dollars for their secret hot dog sauce, but was turned down.  I once asked about that and the older gentleman who seemed to be the owner told me, it wasn't a million dollars, but they did turn down a substantial amount.

Here is the outside of Jim's,

which has no indoor seating.  And it was cold last night!  That is my buddy Mike walking in front.  The menu board hangs inside in plain view.

Besides the hot dogs, they also make fine versions of other Pittsburgh favorites, like ham bbqs (made with chipped ham) and hot sausage sandwiches.

Mike has quite different taste than me when it comes to hot dogs.  Not saying I am right and him wrong.  Here is his cheese dog,


which did not look appetizing to me at all.  The hot dog sauce is on there, but underneath.  He also asked them for ketchup, but the young man at the window told him they won't put ketchup and the hot dog sauce on the same hot dog.
 
My dog had the hot dog sauce and onions only.

The sauce is difficult to describe, but reminds me of a thin bbq sauce.  Mike and I were trying to guess what was in it and besides vinegar, we were kind of stumped.  I did get a bottle to take home.  The toasted bun gets a thumbs up as does the dog itself, which has a nice snap to it.  I asked what kind of wiener they use and the young guy told me Smith's or Schmidt's.  It was hard to hear him through the ordering window.
 
Last stop, Packs & Dogs on Mt. Washington.

This was my first time here.  Quite large for a place making hot dogs, they also have an astonishingly big selection of beer for sale.  The menu board

shows all the dogs are named after, well, dogs.
 
We placed our order, sat down at the counter and watched the Penguin game.  Soon, our food arrived.  Mike went for the Blood Hound,

with bacon, cheddar cheese, onions and barbeque sauce.  Mine was the Chihuahua,

with chili, onions and cheddar cheese.  We both got Vienna all beef dogs and these were the best of the wieners we sampled on the night.  As you can see, those are some large, plump dogs!
 
By the time we finished with these, we were stuffed and ready to call it a night.  We both agreed that with the high quality toppings and bun, Dormont Dogs was the winner on this night.   It was an all around fun night eating and spending time with my buddy.
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 03/4/09 2:16 PM>

falcinator
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Wed, 03/4/09 2:31 PM
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Excellent post there buffetbuster...!

I happened to stop in just this afternoon to Dormont Dogs for the first time, FINALLY, and was pleasantly surprised by the combination of flavors present in the Dog Father.  The buns from Kribel's were QUITE excellent as well, and I enjoyed his added poppy seed topping to complete the "Illinois Dog"'s Chicago veneer.

I went to Jim's a couple weeks back, to give it a SECOND chance....ugh.  Their prices are VERY high for the base quality of the food, and their "service" is a bit too gruff for my liking.  The quality of "meat" that they also use not just for their dogs, tastes VERY low quality, and their hamburgers specifically is really rather poor for the price.  The famous sauce is relatively bland and lifeless, and the only novelty I found of note, are their heavily...a bit TOO much, buns.

Last week, I had the ULTIMATE pleasure of FINALLY tasting "Steve's" on the Northside of town...which the value, quick service and qualit of the food was SUPERB.  Location....not so much.

buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Wed, 03/4/09 2:48 PM
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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?
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 03/4/09 2:51 PM>

John Fox
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Wed, 03/4/09 7:58 PM
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buffetbuster,

Great post and pictures! Thanks.

buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Thu, 04/30/09 1:16 PM
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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 - Wed, 06/3/09 11:53 AM
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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 - Wed, 06/3/09 12:54 PM
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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 - Wed, 06/3/09 1:48 PM
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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 - Wed, 06/3/09 1:53 PM
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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 - Wed, 06/3/09 1:57 PM
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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 - Wed, 06/3/09 3:57 PM
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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
<message edited by bugmeso on Wed, 06/3/09 4:03 PM>

buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Wed, 06/3/09 4:04 PM
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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 - Wed, 06/3/09 9:04 PM
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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 - Thu, 06/4/09 11:28 AM
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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 - Sat, 06/6/09 7:05 PM
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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 - Thu, 06/25/09 8:18 AM
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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 - Thu, 07/2/09 6:47 AM
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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 - Wed, 08/5/09 11:04 PM
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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 - Tue, 08/11/09 9:22 AM
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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.
<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 08/11/09 9:29 AM>

falcinator
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Tue, 08/11/09 9:50 AM
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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 - Tue, 08/11/09 10:41 AM
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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 - Tue, 08/11/09 11:34 AM
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Buffetbuster, the dog and kielbasa from the Red Caboose look mouthwatering.

buffetbuster
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Wed, 08/12/09 8:03 AM
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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 - Thu, 08/13/09 7:57 AM
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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 - Thu, 08/13/09 8:08 AM
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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 - Mon, 08/17/09 3:46 PM
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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/
<message edited by buffetbuster on Mon, 08/17/09 3:53 PM>

John Sagi
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Tue, 08/18/09 1:37 AM
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buffetbuster

Great posts and pictures.

Looking forward to seeing more of your adventures.

Kenny Joe
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Tue, 08/18/09 7:12 PM
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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 - Wed, 08/19/09 7:57 AM
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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 - Tue, 08/25/09 4:54 PM
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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.
<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 08/25/09 4:57 PM>

gostillerz
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RE: Pittsburgh hot dog joints - Wed, 08/26/09 9:59 AM
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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 - Wed, 08/26/09 10:02 AM
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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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