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John

Hot Dogs in Philly

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John, as Holly observes, if you're coming here for hot dogs, you should try hot dogs. That said, I know your tastes and you're bound to be disappointed. It's simply a matter of the quality of the dog itself.

As for cheese steaks, if you've never had any in Philadelphia, by all means go for one. Although folks poo-poo Pat's and Gino's, and there are better samples to be had, it's worth going to one or the other (or both if you're hungry) for the ambiance alone. Neon causes hunger.

But the roast pork sandwich (with broccoli rabe and aged provlone) should not be missed. In addition to John's and Tony Luke's, may I also heartily recommend DiNic's within the Reading Terminal Market, which also makes Italian style pulled pork (it's hard to pull me away from the roast pork, but Tommy DiNic's pulled pork can) and Italian style brisket; his roast beef is also top-notch, and I know more than a few folks who swear his sausage sandwich is one of the best in town. The other advantage (besides the fact that it's a superior sandwich) of going to DiNic's is that if you are limiting your visit to the immediate Center City/Historic District, it's right in the heart of the city. And the Reading Terminal Market should be on any foodie's must-see list when visiting Philadephia.

Oddly, no one has mentioned Franks-A-Lot, which is a hot dog stand (with some other goodies) in the Reading Terminal Market, conveniently located next to the Beer Garden, so you can order a couple of dogs and then belly up to the bar. While Franks-a-Lot does not offer the sine qua non hot dog experience, they make more than passable versions of some of the standards; I find their chili dog superior to those offered by the Texas Wiener joints simply because the quality of the dog is better (but they don't split the dogs as the others usually do). They've also got kielbasa and pierogies! I don't think they have German style dogs, but they offer, iirc, both all beef and all beef kosher dogs. Alas, the dogs are cooked on a roller cooker, a definite point against them.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Thanks guys. I'll probably stick to hot dogs. Last time I was in Philly I sought out Steve's Prince of Steak. It's the only Philly cheesesteak I've had. And I enjoyed it, but don't have any basis for comparison. The cheeseteaks in North Jersey aren't comparable, though I did find one place that I liked and went to often. Unfortunately they went out of business. I'm used to the harder Newark style bread which I know is not authentic in Philly.

I'd still love to try Pat's for the experience.


John the hot dog guy

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Recently I've had a couple of great cheesesteaks from Pat's. The secret seems to be to hit them when there isn't a line around the building but when they are sufficiently busy to keep the steak fresh of the grill.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

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If you simply must do one of the touristy cheesesteak stands for the "experience" than definitely do go to Pat's over Geno's. (I personally don't like giving my hard earned money to bigots). But I don't know what about the experience you couldn't have at Tonys Lukes, along with a better cheesesteak and the option for a roast pork Italiano as well. In fact, I think the authentic Sou'filly cheesesteak experience is to be had moreso at Tony Luke's than either of the tourist traps. You can drive by "Cheesesteak Corner" and see the lines without actually standing on them and get the "experience". JMHO, of course...


Katie M. Loeb
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Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

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Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Well, looks like there may have to be more than one trip to Philly. Thanks for the suggestions. I went to college in Glassboro, N.J. which is close to Philadelphia. I only went once to the city, though. Years later I made it a point to drive to the Vet to watch my Mets play the Phillies. I like the drive better than going to New York even though N.Y. is closer. The Phillies have been my second favorite team ever since they sent my entire little league free tickets when the Vet opened. I saw Steve Carlton pitch that year. The Yankees or Mets would once in awhile send a few tickets for each team which we would have to raffle off. I've been to Citizens Bank Park once, but not to Citi Field. I'm rooting hard for the Phillies.

In the late 80's several co workers and myself went to the Vet. One of the guys used to live near there and took us out for a cheesesteak before the game. I'm just remembering this now. I didn't take note of where we went (it was 20 plus years ago)but I know it was probably the closest known place to the stadium. Tony Lukes perhaps? Or John's. Either way this was my first Philly steak; not Steve's. My friend moved to Las Vegas and we lost touch so I can't ask him. He did say the place was popular and I do remember loving the cheesesteak and how everyone agreed it was a great choice for a pre game meal.


John the hot dog guy

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Cant wait for you to get here, John; I'm sure several of us would be glad to give you the Grand Tour: Pat's for cheesesteaks and history, I think (you had a VERY good steak at Steve's BTW, so have a very good point of reference), Texas Weiners nearby for sure, as well as Johnny's Hots for that infamous surf n' turf with pepper hash. Then I agree with Bob, you should experience the reading terminal Market at all costs, with DiNic's (roast pork), Carmen's (hoagies) and Franks A Lot all under one roof; and APJ Texas Weiners just a block away. Anything after that should be a game-time decision.


Rich Pawlak

 

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Went to Supper on the 900 block of South Street for lunch today. My objective, their housemade hot dog - 100% pork shoulder in a natural casing, wrapped in bacon, deep fried and served with kraut, barbecued onions and beer mustard. Most impressive, Supper also bakes their own New England Style hot dog bun. Buttermilk fried pickles are served along side. $9

Supper-HotDog.jpg

A great dog.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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That is a very fine looking hot dog, especially the bun. And tell us about the fried (potato?) disc-shaped thingies!

are they the fried pickles?

holly- what are bbq'd onions?

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As the creative director at Weightman Advertising always used to tell me, "Nobody ever reads copy." :wink:

Buttermilk fried pickles are served along side

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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holly- what are bbq'd onions?

I'm taking a stab at this, but they struck me as pickled onions with a barbecue flavor. They were on the bottom, under the dog, a clear violation of hot dog etiquette.

ConeyIslandJohnstown-Etiquette.jpg


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Ahh, thanks, I actually did read fried pickles, but those objects didn't register as fried pickles in my brain. But sure, I see it now! And want some...


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Johnny's Hots is definitely still open. We tried the dog and the hot sausage, both with mustard, onions and pepper hash (my first). Really great and worth it! Great rolls (amaroso?) really enhanced them.


Edited by mattohara (log)

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matt o'hara

finding philly

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I hit both Moe's and Supper (yesterday and today, respectively).

I like everything about Moe's . . . except the hot dog. I don't know whose dog they use, but it had that heavy, liquid smoke taste I abhor. Too bad, because the rolls were way above average, with enough heft to handle just about any load of fixings. I had one chili dog and one "works" with kraut, mustard and relish (I skipped the onion) and, except for the hot dog itself, found it good.

At Supper, She Who Must Be Obeyed ordered the dog (I went for the pork belly reuben), but I enjoyed my taste. The smoke was there, but not nearly as overpowering as at Moe's. If the emulsification had been just a little bit less, you could call it a sausage, but it was definitely a hot dog. She skipped the kraut, a processed brassica to which she recoils in horror, but enjoyed the bacon and all the other fixings. The New England style roll, as Holly observed (who happened to be enjoying the hot dog a couple tables away, we discovered after we finished our meals), was a nice touch, complete with being grilled in butter. And those buttermilk batter fried pickle slices were astonishingly good -- I could eat a small plate of just those to accompany some beer.

We shared a bottle of Fallen Apple, a Wisconsin cream ale brewed with apple juice. It was very tasty with the reuben.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Back to Moe's! This time we had Champ's Vanilla, as well as Cherry, various 25-cent Utz chips, a Connie Mac and a 2-Alarm with jalapeno, chili and bacon.

The mac-and-cheese on the Connie Mac is great. It's thick, cheddary and buttery, though a little dry. Some mustard may help. 2-Alarm refers to the amount of time the dog is deep-fried. I heard from a friend that 3-Alarm leaves you with a shriveled dog so I opted for the 2. The bacon would have been better if it was really crispy. Bob I admire your fortitude; that's a lot of dogs in a day. I think to overcome the liquid smoke heebie-jeebies you should hide the flavor with bacon-y smoke and chili-smoke and jalapenos, the way I did. You're right though, those rolls really do make a big difference in how a loaded dog holds its own. Next time I'm trying their peppered hash. I now have a comparison point, after having it at Johnny's Hots.

Oh, and lunch for two, including chips and drinks, for $10.59? I'll take it! They're bringing in new t-shirts in black and red next week, just in time for the holidays. :D

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Edited by mattohara (log)

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matt o'hara

finding philly

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Didn't do Moe's and Supper on the same days, rather, Moe's on one day, Supper the next. The only time I was that hot dog crazy was about four years ago when I went on one of John's tours of North Jersey: we hit Galloping Hill Inn, Charlie's, Syd's and Rutts in a single afternoon.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I was, until about 11:30am, a Philly hot dog virgin. I hit Moe's for an early lunch today. I had "Moe's Combo" (hot dog + fishcake) with pepper hash. This seemed like the most Philadelphian way to go.

Like Bob, I was underwhelmed by the dog itself, but the bun and fishcake were both top notch. I also liked the "pepper hash", which was surprising: I had expected a potato product, but was still pleased with a cabbage product. Is there a "formal" difference between pepper hash and cole slaw? Looked like theirs was cabbage, carrot or red pepper, and maybe green pepper, in a light mayonnaise kind of thing.

The Champ's Cherry was...interesting. I stopped drinking soda a long time ago, so I'm not a good judge, but that chemical cherry flavor is definitely not up my alley.

The 25 cent bag of Utz was a must, though I should have gone Red Hot, or at least BBQ.

I'll definitely be back there, since it's only a few blocks away.

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MidAtlantic in University City runs a $16 hot dog on their menu as a Wednesday lunch special. Only available then. Actually two hot dogs. They make their own - all beef with a natural casing. Topped with their version of sauerkraut and toasted mustard. Topped with fresh fried potato chips.

For some reason they go to all the trouble of making their own hot dogs and baking their own bread. Then they serve it hidden under a heap of potato chips. I removed some of the chips from the pic so the hot dogs could at least peek through.

MidAtlantic-DogAsServed.jpg

Pulled off the chips and got to one of the hot dogs. Weird. Their sauerkraut isn't shredded. Rather it is a segment of a cabbage leaf. Ugly, perhaps, but great taste.

MidAtlantic-DogUncovered.jpg

Took off to the cabbage/sauerkraut and got to the basic dog.

MidAtlantic-DogRevealed2.jpg

Loose packed. Could be a tad smokier/spicier. But a good hot dog. Bun was ok, but fell apart after a couple of bites.

Two dogs is one too many. Only purpose seems to be to build the check. Would be more likely to return if I could get a single dog, like at Supper, for $10.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Thanks Holly, I'll have to get out there to check that one out.

Here's a Moe's dog with their Pepper Hash (and onions and hot mustard):

4179441717_73b45b787a.jpg

It is a fine mince and sweeter than the one at Johnny's Hots. This was nice but I prefer Johnny's.

And here's their version of a Chicago-style:

4179337441_9a85708c04.jpg

It does have the celery salt but is not on a poppy-seed roll, jalapeno instead of the little peppers, and no lime-green relish. It's pretty good but not the same thing at all.

And here's my Supper Dog:

4179336493_bcbbbb5507.jpg

I really liked the dog and the bun, but not the onions. I actually thought they seemed a bit off but my lady disagreed. Barbecue pickled (we asked, and indeed that's what they are) onions with sauerkraut is a pretty potent combo. I think the dog should be served just swaddled in bacon, with the onion and kraut on the side. The pickles are great but could benefit from a thicker cut or having a whole fried spear, like I've had elsewhere.


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matt o'hara

finding philly

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Gotta get back to Moe's.

The fried pickles at Supper are similar to ones I have had in Mississippi. I learned that if one orders Supper's dog with "lots of fried pickles" the serving of fried pickles comes close to doubling.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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There's a "new" hot dog at Citizen's Bank Park - the "south philly".

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/the-insider/90165317.html

From what I can tell it's the same crappy Hatfield dog with Roast Pork toppings. Personally I think upgrading the dog would have been a better idea. And you'd think they might have thought of getting real hot dog eaters in on the tasting panels - like Mr. Fox or Mr. Eats (that is Holly's last name right?)


Dum vivimus, vivamus!

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