Essie's Original Hot Dog Shop
The city of Pittsburgh is home to several schools and universities that share the cities quarters with sky scrappers, sports arenas and businesses. One of the most popular eateries in the city is Essie's Original Hot Dog Shop or simply known as 'The Dirty O' to locals. When you walk inside, you aknow you are getting genuine food that matches the blue collar style Pittsburghers enjoy. I ended up with two dogs this day. The first being just their own original hot dog, which is made out of all beef. Though it was cooked on the grill, this dog did not have many frills. A blue collar city giving you a true blue collar food- the hot dog. The second, was called a Superdog which was wrapped in bacon and american cheese slices. The bacon was also cooked up on the grill, next to the dogs so the flavors of the two melded nicely together. At Essie's your mustard option is only brown mustard. So if you don't like this option, take a hike. There is a reason that this is one of the top hot dog restaurants in the USA, it is because people come over and over again. It was packed. The picture does not do the crowd justice as people were sitting at every table and others simply got their order to go.
Atmosphere- They have a lot of options for food and beverage here. The above picture is of the hot dog counter and menu. Directly in the back is the sub sandwich line and where you also get fresh cut fries. Your beverage options could also include one of 400 beers that they serve! I kid you not. Though we did not have any beer, you could get a few of the beers on tap, but take a sixer out the door with you, or bust 'em open and drink it in the restaurant. It is cramped greasy spoon-esque quarters, but that is what makes it a TRUE hot dog place. B+
Value- Though the dogs were all beef, they cost just a tad more than the average hot dog prices at other places. The Original Dog was $3.49 which is a fair price, but more or less just an average hot dog at that price. The Superdog cost $4.94 and most of that mark up was for the bacon and cheese, although it was also a quarter pound dog. The Superdog is priced just about right for being a $5 dog. B-