Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Anytown, USA

Recently a Sonic opened near where Side Dish Jody and I live. This is the first nationwide chain that we have reviewed. Normally, I would bypass chains for the local flavor of a hot dog, but we were here eating and I saw a dog on the menu so I thought I would order it. Without the chili and extra flavors that Sonic offers, this was a very bland dog. The dog had zero natural flavor to it, and the bun was far from fresh. In fact, I probably should have rolled it back into the wrapper and put it in the bag it came from. But alas, I choked it down. Now to be fair, Sonic has been known for its toppings on it's hot dogs. I just chose not to get the toppings. If I were to do it again, I would order it the way it is intended. On the other hand, after my experience, it might take an awfully hungry day for me to buy another dog from them. D

Sonic has tried to recapture Americana but taking the drive-in principle and modernizing it. Having recently been to a drive in place that specialized in hot dogs, it had the same feel but a totally different ambiance. Sometime when things are made to look vintage or authentic, they can come across as tired looking. Sonic had all the flare and the freshness for sure, but it lacks that unique panache that I have grown accustomed to when enjoying a hot dog. C

This was the best part as the hot dog was only a buck. I have yet to find a place that serves hot dogs for anywhere close to this low of a price, but for a little extra price on their part, it could have tasted a lot better. So for the price of a lone dollar bill I give you an A

Side Dish Jody says...
I was absolutely thrilled to see them building a new Sonic in Michigan. I was introduced to Sonic when I went to college in KY, and I missed it ever since. On this trip, I ordered the chicken finger dinner basket. Which includes-chicken fingers, tater tots, and a random piece of Texas toast. The chicken fingers and tater tots were crispy, salty and mighty delicious. I also like the ice that they put in their fountain pop. A-

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hot Dog of the Week: Alaskan Reindeer hot dog

This Christmas I have learned two things thus far.

1) Santa Claus lives in the last frontier called Alaska.

2) Rudolph's nose didn't quite lead Santa's sleigh around the world. He more or less lead the other eight magical Santa-tuggers to a processing plant.

Don't believe me? Click on the title of this post to read more courtesy of

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hot Dog of the Week: Cincinnati Cheese Coney

This week's Hot Dog of the Week is a Triple C. The Cincinnati Cheese Coney.

Usually the term 'coney' refers to a generic restaurant. In this case however, a coney means a delicious dog smothered in cheddar cheese.

Click on the title of this link to read the article courtesy of our friends from

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Chicago, IL

When we started this site, there were a handful of national iconic hot dog destinations that instantly jumped to mind as places we had to get to. Superdawg was one of them. Shoehorned into a pie shaped corner of roads that they have outgrown decades ago, the drive in style diner still serves you at your car. Complete with working speakers, car-hops, and the tray that rests on your rolled down window, (ala Fred Flintstone) this place is a genuine throwback! When my Superdawg came out, I opened the box and found this dog piled with jalapenos, a dill pickle spear that reached the length of the bun and a pile of fries . You get a bottle of ketchup on your tray because they refuse to add ketchup to this delicious morsel. The dog itself was perfectly done. Thick, juicy and a great snap as you bite into it. The steamed bun soaked in every bit of goodness from the neon green relish, onions and mustard. And those fries…OH THOSE FRIES. Fresh crinkle cut fries topped off the box and carried the flavor of the hot dog...excuse me, SUPERDAWG along with it. A

Atmosphere- How can you not love a place that has two 12 foot tall hot dogs that rest on the roof? Maurie and Flaurie (the names of the hot dogs and, coincidentally, the owners) have been welcoming generations of hot dog eaters since the 1940’s. The sheer small size of the lot that it sits on, creates quite the interesting dilemma for cars trying to maneuver about the parking lot. You could also walk up to an order window to get your dogs to go or sit at one of the few seats inside. I wish I could have come at night to see the neon lights up and running. But that just means I will have to come again to experience it. B

Value- Not a cheap dog at $4.75 but I guarantee you that you will not be disappointed. The Superdawg that I had came with fries as I mentioned and every bite was well worth it. When thinking of the price, consider the size of the pickle that also adorns the bun, which is almost like a side dish extra in and of itself. Bring cash, because apparently the Visa commercial and slogan, “Visa, it’s everywhere you want to be”, has not reached this corner of Chicago yet. B+

Side Dish Jody says…Side Dish Jody did not come on this road trip with hot dog guy. But judging by the menu, she would have liked the fries (if they didn’t touch a hot dog) and probably would have tried a burger. No Grade

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hot dog throwing game

One of our readers sent me this link.

This high school has revamped an old school bus and turned into a traveling hot dog wagon of sorts. Apparently the "Spirit Bus", as it is known, shows up to football games during the pre-game tailgate, school activities and other sporting events to pass out hot dogs for free.

On this interactive game, the Spirit Bus launches hot dogs at the other school's mascots from the conference.

If a school attacks your bus before you shoot it with a hot dog, the game ends.

Have fun and rack some high scores. Feel free to report your high scores here and leave it in the message box.

Click on the title of this post which takes you to the game.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Trolley Dogs

Kenosha, WI

Located about an hour north of Chicago, IL, this was an experience. I had the chance to eat with Joe, who is the owner of Trolley Dogs. Known for his hat which is about a two foot long hot dog, Joe told me the history of his restaurant after a career as a number cruncher. I had two dogs on the night. The first was a trolley dog, which came with a homemade tamale wrapped inside. To combine the Southwestern flavor with a Midwestern hot dog was a great idea and the flavors meshed well. Secondly came the Tijuana Dog. This was a treat unlike any I have had before. So promptly named by Joe after a dog he had following a night out in Tijuana, this was a dog wrapped in bacon then deep fried. Topping this deep-fried-dog was jalapenos that were more sweet than spicy, mayonnaise, mustard and tomatoes. I was optimistic at best when it came out to me, but after one bite I was in heaven. If he found this thing in Tijuana, that is where I am headed for my next vacation and gobbling these suckers all day. If headed north of Chicago, or within shouting distance of Kenosha, WI you must take the seven mile drive off of highway 94 and hit this place up. A-

Joe wears a hat that features a two foot hot dog. How can a patron not help but smile when this large man with a thick accent greats you wearing this hat. The galley style restaurant had seating for about forty people with a train that circled about near the ceiling. On the walls featured many Vienna Beef hotdog signs, which is the only kind of dog served here. When an order was brought to out the tables, a simple conversation took place between Joe and the customer, creating many smiles. I don’t know if Joe sang just for me, but whatever the song was that came on the radio, he sang it while he made up my Tijuana dog. If it had not been for the early night fall, I would imagine that through the windows, I could see part of the harbor of where the city sits on the Western banks of Lake Michigan. B

Value- Each and every dog is served on a poppy seed bun. I asked if anyone had requested not to have a poppy seed bun, and if he refused to serve them any dog if they asked that. He smiled and said that he couldn’t yet turn away business. At $4.50 each it was a little more than I am used to paying for a dog, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth the price. This price also included some fries so for a combo platter it is a fair price. After eating the two dogs and fries I was full. So I would say it is a fair price. C+

Side Dish Jody says
… Side Dish Jody did not join me on this trip. I did however ask a family of four eating at the table next to mine what they thought of the meal. One person was having a cheese steak, the other a pizza puff, and another chicken fingers. The family raved about the food and said they ate their all the time.