I know BB might still be holed up in Wisconsin at 20 below and if so, he's missed a wonderful article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Sunday, February 15, 2009. Written by Timothy McNulty (great job Tim
!) I will give you the highlights and some personal comments in quotes; my sister sent me the article.
It's 49 years old - Founded by Sydney Simon. He just passed away after fighting 3 different cancers over the span of his life. He was 80. Hios doctor said he was one tough guy...a real fighter!
His two kids run the place. Terry Compasano and Bruce Simon. (They once came into my old place to check out our hot dog. I took it as a complement)
They use a Silver Star hot dog that has a natural casing and is made locally. (We used a Sabrette. Were we competitors? I only wish!)
They fry their peeled Idaho potatoes twice
(Personally, I think they make the best french fries. They are the standard by which I know I judge all others I've had. They win every time. BB can comment when he gets back. Perhaps he can put up a picture of the size of a "regular order" of fries from the Dirty O... Even bigger than that served by 5 Guys
The place has police monitoring it after dark.."It is not for the faint of heart" says the author.
The Simons modeled their place after a popular place called the Station Street Hot Dog Shop in East Liberty.
They found the space that still stands today. It is owned by the University of Pittsburgh. Every few years there is a rumor that the University will throw them out and build something in their space.
(I do not believe they have a lease anymore. At one time they considered moving, but their location was and may still be one of the highest foot traffic locations in the country. They could never duplicate that anyplace else in the city
They expanded the space and also opened an upstairs dining area. (When you go in, they have the hot dogs in one section and the fries in another section. Beer and drinks in a third section. It is not a great looking place, but once you sit down with those fries..nothing else matters!)
(They use Heinz Catsup. They use to use a bulk foil bag pack of catsup that hung on the wall. It had a spout and you'd fill up little plastic cups. Today, they may use the pump dispenser. We used the bulk pak..People need a decent serving of catsup with these fries. You cannot give them those stupid little packets. We did the same thing)
Today, with the U of Pitt playing off campus, there are fewer customers and business has been hurt. There are also more dorm feeding opportunites that have cut into their volume. Today, their big season is the summer.
(This is roadfood at it's best ..A piece of this town that will alway be remembered
<message edited by Baah Ben on Fri, 02/20/09 5:17 PM>