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Tony Jr's Hot Dogs in Norfolk, VA

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  • Ron Rosenbaum Aug 30, 2002 12:22 AM
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Anybody been to Tony Jr's hot dog stand lately? There are two locations, one at the Waterside complex and the other on Lafayette Blvd., right across the street from Tony's hot dog stand.

Do not, under any circumstances, go to Tony's in the brick building. You want to go to Tony Jr's, which is sort of a hot dog cart, on what used to be a used car lot, surrounded by a chain link fence, located directly across the street from the brick building. This is where you'll find one of the world's best hot dogs.

Tony's across the street used to belong to Tony Sr., who made a great dog. After his death, it went to the step mother rather than to Tony Jr. People who know the difference go to Tony Jr's. The Lafayette Blvd. location is open Mon thru Sat from about 11 to 5 only. It's a small Hormel frank with a natural casing, on a steamed bun, with a finely ground all meat chili, delicately spiced, but with a peppery afterbite. Your only choices of toppings are mustard, onion, and the chili. The location at Waterside is pretty good, and I'll go there in a pinch, lets say if I'm passing through town after 5, or on a Sunday.

When Tony Sr. was in business, you would find people from all walks of life, Doctors, laborers, salespeople, executives, bums...all there to eat the best hot dog in town. Tony Jr. learned the hot dog business from his dad.

Any other Tony's Jr. fans out there? If you're passing through Norfolk/Va. Beach, it's worth a side trip. Happy eating.

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  1. How do they cook this dog? Boiled, fried, or grilled?

    2 Replies
    1. re: John
      r
      Ron Rosenbaum

      It's cooked on a griddle and gets lightly charred on the outside.

      1. re: Ron Rosenbaum

        tony jr's is wonderful......

        copeland's hot dog in portsmouth has been around for 20yrs and sells great NC BBQ sandwiches and a flavorful dog!

    2. I am a big fan of Tony's hotdog stand and have memories of being tossed out of Tony's Hot Dog stand by Tony Sr when I asked for ketchup. Alright not quite, but almost. Anyway I got on the net tonight to see if I could find the name and location of the hot dog stand that Tony Jr was telling me about (at the hot dog cart inside the chain link fence across from Tony Sr's hot dog stand. I believe it was Jimmy's and I recall Tony Jr telling me it was colocated with a gas station. Anyway I am headed to Richmond this weekend for the Repub convention and Tony's hot dogs (with Mustard thank you) would be a nice way to start off the weekend.

      1 Reply
      1. re: astute_penguin

        I was in that same line. I will never forget it i went my Granddad i asked for ketchup too. and then grandad schooled me on what does and does not go on a dog. Ketchup is not one that goes on.

      2. The Best Chili Dog Ever. My parents took me to his dads joint when I couldn't even sit on the stool at the counter by my self. Now, my son (19 years old) will only eat Tony Jr's Hot Dogs.
        I remember when his dad gave away 2 hot dogs and a coke away. We stood in line that wrapped around the building and went down the street, early ninety's maybe or late eighties. Does anyone remember that?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Pawnk4

          Ok, one of these has closed, am I wrong? Is one still open?
          Thanks.

          1. re: Pawnk4

            I was in that same line. I will never forget it i went my Granddad i asked for ketchup too. and then grandad schooled me on what does and does not go on a dog. Ketchup is not one that goes on. the coke was in the glass bottles

          2. Tidewater Hounds,

            i was recently back home in Norfolk, and this was during that cold spell about a month ago. The first few days, I went to Tony Jr's on Lafayette blvd. for my fix. (The Original tony's, right across the street never seems to have any customers from what I've seen.)

            So my brother in law suggests that we go to the Tony's on Newtown Rd. in Va. Beach rather than Lafayette Blvd. because of inside seating and light drizzle outside. I have to say that I was sceptical. It is run by another son (Tony Jr's brother) and serves the exact same dog. No, it's actually a little better. Inside seating with beer available.

            When I walked in the restaurant, I thought I saw the ghost of Tony Sr! The son/brother looks just like his dad, bent over the griddle making chili dogs, never cracking even a hint of a smile!

            I hear that Tony Jr. is trying to sell his land. The City of Norfolk wants to build a new fire station there, but low balled him.

            Just wanted to let my fellow Tony's fans know about this option. His chili dogs are the best.

            Evil Ronnie (formerly Ron rosenbaum)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Evil Ronnie

              It's great to see that someone else on this board knows about this wonderful place and its most delicious hot dogs. My Daddy started taking me there back in the early 70's, and I am now spoiled for any other hot dog, although I try them almost everywhere I travel, there is nothing like them anyhwere else. I now live in Nasvhille TN and to try and describe the "snap" that happens when you bite into a Tony's Dog (HORMEL PLEASE DISTRIBUTE TO TN!) no one here understands it-they are used to fried or boiled dogs that just can't compare. When I fly into Norfolk to I have to stop and get my Tony's fix. My husband is now indoctrinated and loves them too. The Newtown Road location is the only one we ever frequented, but that's probably because of the proximity to my parents accountant and doctors. One of the last things my mother ate before she had the cerebral hemmorhage that took her life was a Tony Dog (she ate two!) and my friends, we all should be so lucky. As it says on the sign"Often imitated, Never duplicated". Long Live Tony's Hot Dogs!

              -----
              Tony's Hot Dogs
              412 Newtown Rd Ste D, Virginia Beach, VA 23462

            2. Yep, lots of good memories of Tony's for me as well. When I was very young, my grandmother used to live in the little house next to Tony Jrs. hot dog stand. When I would spend the night, we would walk across Lafayette Bld. to Tony's for hot dogs of course. Awesome!

              I remember getting one of those thin wooden toy airplanes everytime we went there. Does anyone remember if those were sold at Tony's, or was there another convenience store next door back in the 60's?

              1. I first learned of Tony's hot dog stand (Tony Sr) after a friend took me there. My friend, Jim, lived in Chesapeake and rode a bicycle all the way to Tony's Hot Dog Stand when he saw an ad in the newspaper offering two dogs and a coke for some ridiculously low price. A few months after that Jim was a roommate living in my house and he took me to Tony Sr's Hot Dog stand - my house was a mere mile or two away. Jim has a mischievous nature and somehow he learned that the last thing you want to ask Tony Sr for was ketchup to put on one of his hotdogs. Apparently Tony's hotdogs are not yours as long as they're in Tony's sight. I don't recall what treachery Jim used but I innocently asked Tony Sr for ketchup and you'd a thought I just asked him for an ice cream sundae with guacamole sauce on top. 'Don't you know how to eat a hot dog? I don't serve no ketchup in here!' The joke had been played on me big time. My only regret is I never found anyone unsuspecting to pass along the ketchup prank which was no laughing matter to Tony Sr. I came upon Tony Jr across the street from his Dad's hotdog stand when I returned to Norfolk in 2009. Tony Jr told me of his brother Joey's hotdog stand which is inside an Exxon station in a suburb of Richmond, VA. The Tony's hotdog experience is a memorable one. The family has had differences but they all seem to agree on what makes a winning hot dog. Soft bun, tasty hot dog in a natural casing, finely ground chili, minced onions. Often imitated, never duplicated (except by family members). Tony's ex-wife started a Tony's Hot Dog on Newtown Road and you can get the prize winning hot dogs there as well.

                1. Ok... Joey's in Richmond..it's the real deal...he's one of Tony's sons (or grandsons?). Go there. He has the authentic Norfolk Hot Dogs. I'm 66 and my Dad used to take me to the original Tony's in Norfolk when I was a kid.