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John's Doggie Shop--any opinions?

  • c
  • Chester County Chowhound Jul 28, 2001 07:59 AM
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When driving to the PHL airport, can't help but notice John's Doggie Shop on 322 in Boothwyn. Like many potentially great Chowhound experiences, it looks like hell.

Not sure if it's dumpy-hideous or dumpy-authentic. Haven't driven by at a good time to try it, and haven't gone out of my way to go there either. Anyone been here? Opinions?

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  1. I have not been to John's in a couple of years, but my meals there were great. They got a meat gravy for the dogs which is fantastic!! There is(or was) a connection with the always amazing Charlie's hamburgers off Rt 420. A good sign

    1. I have been eating John's Doggies for at least 60 yrs.Probably was one of my first non baby food meal.You haven't eaten a hot dog yet until you eat 1 with the works,the only way to eat them.It's a meat sauce like nothing you have ever had.Growing up you couldn't walk by there without having at least one.I used to spend most of my allowance on them.The original store is in Chester on 7th st by the newstand.I prefer the one on rt 322 now.The best way to eat them is to get them to go,they taste better when they are wrapped,then open and eat.I usually get 8 dogs my wife 4,by the time I get home I have eaten about 6 go into hose finish what's left,then usually eat a couple of my wife's.I just want to warn you they are additive AND I MEAN IT!!!! 2ND TO NO ONE!!!!

      1. 4 Grease Stains on Holly Eats...it's dumpy-authentic for sure and the hot dogs are really good. Be sure to get the sauce. Haven't been there in awhile and it sounds really tasty right about now! It's probably the best "Texas Weiner" you can get in this area.

        1. I just noticed one the other day on Rt. 202 in Wilmington. I'd never heard of the chain before. Sounds like it's worth a try when there's a craving for hot dogs.

          4 Replies
          1. re: CindyJ

            I went to the one on 202 on Saturday. Not too impressed, really--the dogs were only OK, nothing really to shout about. I had a plain beef hot dog, and Mr travelmad478 had something with Texas in the name, which was a hot dog wrapped in bacon and then deep-fried and covered with pump cheese. ("Yech!" was my reaction to that whole concept, but I am certainly not their target customer!) He said this was fine, but not worth coming back for. The hot dogs are no better than Hebrew National from the supermarket. Fries were pretty good, the best part of the meal IMO. I liked them better than the vaunted Five Guys fries.

            This place is not dumpy-authentic in the least, by the way. It seems to be a spanking-new franchised operation.

            1. re: travelmad478

              The place on route 202 you are referring to is not John's Doggie Shop, but a brand new chain joint which is similarly named "Johnnie's Dog House". There are only two locations of John's Doggie Shops, that being the rt. 322 (the one I frequent) and the one on 7th in Chester, PA. I tried the place you are mentioning, and while decent, it is a chain and doesn't hold a candle anywhere near John's Doggie Shop. John's (not Johnnie's) has what I consider the best hot dogs around... wlocke2's post above basically hits the nail on the head. I, as well, have been visiting there my whole life - and honestly, I'd even go as far to say they get better with age! Although, I prefer eating them in, both ways of experience these dogs is fantastic. The sauce that goes on them is unlike anything else, and is what makes these dogs unique and that much better. I'm telling you, after eating these so much, having regular chili style topping on a hot dog just won't cut it anymore. Make sure you hit the real John's, travelmad, odds are you won't be dissapointed.

              Difference:
              John's Doggie Shop - http://www.hollyeats.com/JohnsDoggieS...
              Johnnie's Dog House - http://www.johnniesdoghouse.com/locat...

              1. re: condoralex

                Aha--good to know. Unfortunately, I have never had occasion to travel that road in the 13 years that I've lived in the area, and I doubt I'd do it just for a hot dog (if it were a superlative pizza, I might!)

                1. re: condoralex

                  There is a place in Norristown called Montgomery Lunch. They used to have what is called a Texas Hot Wiener, they changed ownership and it hasn't been the same. I went to John's Doggie Shop on 322 and it was just as good or better. The sauce they use is unbelievable, I recommend getting it with the works!!!!!!

            2. I've never been to John's but Wally's Wiener World on 322 / Conchester Rd. has great Hot Dogs. I think they have 45 different types of topping combinations.
              http://wallyswienerworldsouth.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: SpdRcr069

                I noticed a couple of years ago that local celeb Wally had expanded from his single cart location in front of the Chester County Courthouse to a "bricks-and-mortar" (okay, shingle and nails) spot on Rt. 322. After all these years, and all of Wally's national fame (hasn't he been on Letterman and on Jeopardy?), I've never tried one of his hot dogs. Are they any good?

              2. This place is absolutely awsome! I don't even like hot dogs that much and I love John's dogs. A friend told me about them recently and I stopped by to try one. DELICIOUS!
                The Works is the best and the meat sauce they use is so-o--o-o-o-o good. Nice soft, warm bun and a great tasting hot dog. Try it - You'll like it!!!
                Thanks John's - Keep up the great food!

                1. At the airport you will find Johnnie's Dog House (no relation) at the food court. But it is not as good as the original in Wayne.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: TeamPhilly

                    The place in Wayne is different than the original topic. I've gone there a lot of times and its just OK. They have large all beef dogs and if you get toppings the buns like to fall apart. The prices always seem expensive. http://www.hollyeats.com/JohnniesDogH...

                    I finally tried John's Doggie Shop on 322 a few weeks ago and it was great. Its a real joint. http://www.hollyeats.com/JohnsDoggieS...

                    When I went to Wally's, they had a sign saying that their last day is 2/20/09.

                    Anyone who likes the sauce at John's Doggie Shop should try Harry's at the foodcourt in the Exton Mall. Get a dog with everything and extra sauce. Its almost identical to John's, craveable!
                    http://www.hollyeats.com/Harrys.htm

                  2. Hi All, just found this website by accident and saw the comments about John's Doggies in Chester, Pa., my hometown.
                    John's Doggies is an acquirred taste and it seems for more than 60 years now, many people have acquired the taste of a John's Doggies whether they live in chester or the surrounding areas or beyond.
                    I read in one of the posting here that the hot dogs taste better if you get them wrapped and on the go. That's a matter of opinon. If you get it like that, then you risk the chance of your bread being moist and soft and quite frankly, I never liked my bread wet and soft and yeaky...Another posting talked about another eater hot dogs being very good. That may be but the special thing about John's Doggies is their secret sauce. Everyone knows that the sauce is a secret and the secret, although the hot dogs themselves taste great. I think they still use Chester owns Medfords Hotdogs which once was located on second street in chester.
                    Years ago, when mr John, the father and founder of John's Doggies, which you will see a picture of him in the shop on 7th street, which once was Caruso Music shop, was still alive, he made one of the best milk shakes in Chester in the orginal John's Doggie Shop where my mother frequent as a child as well as her mother who would take her to John's Doggies. John's Doggies was founded in 1947 I believe.
                    His son Pete I believe now has the one shop on the Conchester in Pa. SOmeone correct me if I am wrong. I no longer live in chester but everything I know and love is still there. Just left there on the 16th of October 2009 and my son and I had John's Doggies for breakfast for two mornings. On the day of my last meal there, Mannie gave me a tupper ware bowl of the sause to take home and guess what, I just had two John Doggies hotdogs with mustered, ionions and the sause and now getting ready to go back downstairs and have the hamburger along with Canada Dry Vanillia Cream Soda and then some TastyKakes.
                    Mannie and his brother Efraim whom I know when they both were boys who have since grown up with families of their own and their children have children, now own the establishment on 7th street. I remember when they started working in John's when they were kids and I gave a young kid name Mannie my black Boxing gloves.
                    John's Doggies is truly a Chester Orginal thanks to Mr John who started the business in chester with a recipe he and his family brought with them from Sicily. His beautiful wife and he was always pleasant with all their customers from one generation to the next.

                    1. When I was a kid I would take my music lesson at Caruso's on 7th street and then get a couple of hot dog's at John's across the street. Although I have not had a John's doggie in some 50 years, I remember how wonderful they were. Time to go back and get some more.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: iamzorba

                        Those are some great stories about the place that everyone shared. Too bad its not closer to where I live. Realizing that the recipe is a secret, has anyone come across a recipe that is similar to John's Doggie Shop sauce? I have tried a few Texas Wiener sauce recipes but am missing something, maybe allspice?

                      2. I have been gone from the area for 20 years and have never stopped craving a johns doggie shop hotdog with onions, mustard and that awesome sauce. I'd give most anything for that sauce recipe!!! You could eat them till they come out your ears!..Hope I get home one day so I can once again enjoy that great dog...No Place Like Home.

                        1. Is John's Doggie Shop in Wayne still open? I noticed a Bankruptcy Filing today in the Inquirer. I don't think their website is up either??

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Sydneyeats

                            Sydneyeats, we are still open. The bankruptcy filing was for the Franchise. We are still operating as Johnnie's Dog House.

                            1. re: JDH Wayne

                              but you aren't giving up the sauce recipe, huh?