Cranberry Township, PA
Most hot dog joints are a labor of love from a lone entrepreneur. Every once in a while though, one of these joints sprouts up in a new location to add a second restaurant. True hot dog chains though are fairly rare but we happened to find one. May I introduce you to Johnny's Lunch. Currently (as of July 2012) located in six states, plus the Ukraine, Johnny's has been around since 1936. Johnny Hots are the original dog which is a Sugardale hot dog topped with the original Johnny sauce which is meat based and topped with onions and mustard. I tried one of these on the day and it was very good. I also had a Big John Classic which is an angus beef 1/4 pound dog and topped with the same suace, mustard and onions as the Johnny Dog. There truly is something that much better tasting from an angus beef dog versus an all beef hot dog. Extra gold stars for the upgrade in meat! I give hot dog places props for using family recipies or homemade sauces when someone could easily head to a bulk store and pour a chili sauce straight out of the can. I also got a spicy buffalo dog which is a 1/4 pound angus dog topped with a blue cheese sauce, buffalo sauce, onions and American cheese. The sauce was very runny and slid off the dog to easily. Thicken that sauce up and let it stay on the dog and bun by covering it with the other toppings first.
Atmosphere: Set up as a mock 50's dinner, you can eat on swival counter seats, or in a booth. If you order a kids meal, it comes in a cardboard carrying case that is a 50's classic car. The marketing sense to give these to kids is great and they make a sturdy toy to bring home as well. Though very few, if any, pieces of decoration were authentic 50's garb, the reproduction pieces still added a good touch. B-
Value: We have had cheap dogs, and to expensive dogs. Sometimes when we have been to places we get the special of the day, but at Johnny's, every day you can order a Johnny dog for less than a buck. Yup, .99 cents will get you a Johnny dog. Even the 1/4 pound dog options are around three bucks. The company started off by wanting to feed people without breaking the bank, and years later that company philosophy still sticks. A