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20 April 2010

Hot Diggity Dog!

`Hot Dogs are an American classic at baseball games, picnics and amusement parks. They are synonymous with Spring and Summer fun. As soon as the weather gets nice, the grills start to get fired up. Yesterday my boyfriend and I visited Franktuary in Downtown Pittsburgh for the first time for some gourmet franks. He had the El Greco with artichoke hearts and feta cheese and I had the Mexico with peach salsa, cheddar and guacamole. They were fantastic. This lead me to start thinking of the best hot dog joints around town. So, here they are in no particular order.

Top Ten Places To Get A Hot Dog In The 'Burgh:

1. The Original: This is by far, my favorite place to dine on dogs. "The O" Hot Dog Shop on Forbes Ave. in Oakland is a city and college staple. This shop hasn't changed much since 1960, serving hot foot longs and tray-fulls (literary) of fries. If your a newcomer or a 'Burgh original yourself, you can't miss out on trying this shop's menu.
2. Franktuary: Originally. Hot Dogma, before the clever name change this Downtown Pittsburgh hot dog joint has been featured on several TV shows and in countless 'Burgh magazines or newspapers. Located in the back of the Trinity Cathedral, you can definitely say "Franks be to God!", when you give this place a try.
3. Shady Side Hot Dog Vendor: This may come as a surprise to some, but those who frequent the Shady Side area, especially Walnut Street know that on a sunny Spring or Summer day you can buy a fresh hot dog right from a street vendor while you shop. It's fun and family friendly.
4. Market Street Grill Vendor: At PPG Place, Downtown, while the fountain is roaring you can find a hot dog vendor from Market Street Grill, one of the fast food restaurants located inside the PPG Place food court. This vendor (as well as the indoor location) offers hot dogs, hamburgers and heaping helpings a fresh cut fries. This is a great way to get some sun when you get a break from the office.
5. Original Station Street Hot Dog: Revamped and revitalized, the Original Station Street Hog Dog shop on broad street in East Liberty is a blast from the past and one of the city's hidden gems.
6. Boulevard Deli: This a such a great little place Downtown, one of my favs. They were formerly located on the Boulevard of the Allies, but have since moved to a new location on Smithfield Street and they offer their own unique take on the gourmet dog. Each of their deli, breakfast or hot dog sandwhiches are named after one of the special neighborhoods in the city of Pittsburgh. At Boulevard Deli you can feast on one of four franks uniquely different geographical locations, the Mexican War Streets, Polish Hill, Troy Hill or you may want just a traditional Hot Dog. Experience the city in a bun.
7. Packs And Dogs: This place is great! Packs and Dogs has the largest beer selection on Mount Washington and a hot dog menu, that pays homage to some of our favorite (dog) breeds.
8. Dormont Dogs: This shop on Glenmore Avenue may seem like an unlikely place, but when you read the menu you see that they offer some unlikely dogs. Their menu offers about 16 franks, all 100% beef, named after different Avenues from across the country and also featuring key toppings inspired by their geographical locations. And the Dog Father is an offer you simply can't refuse with pepperoni, salami, mozzarella, romaine and banana peppers.
9. Shorty's Lunch: In Washington, PA, this joint has been described as an awesome place to get an old school, traditional lunch. I've never been here, but I definitely love old fashioned shops, especially food shops. This is definitely a place I would stop by if I were on the road.
10. Five Guys Burgers and Fries: With several locations across the city, with one on the heart of Oakland, Five Guys combines and old school dog shop with modernity. Surround by red and white you feel like you've stepped back in time when you order a hot dog or burger and receive a brown paper bag with more fries than you could ever imagine. People love this place and I'm sure it's not just because they sale bulk peanuts! ;)

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