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Any great Hot Dogs in Northern Virginia?

I'm a recent transplant from New Jersey where we had some great deep fried Hot Dogs. I can't find a decent "Dog" down here. Any suggestions.

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  1. I guess it depends on what you mean by 'dog,' On Saturday lunchtime Heidelberg Bakery in N. Arlington grills various wursts out front. The Bauernwurst is fantastic.

    1. For cooking at home, you can also go by the German Gourmet in Falls Church.

      Not viewed as good in terms of raw culinary quality, the dogs at Vienna Inn should be had at least once. And while you're having them, remember that the owner is a grad of the food CIA.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dennis S

        There's usually a banner outside the German Gournet that says "Hot Brats" which I suspect refers to cooked bratwurst rather than . . . well, you know.

        The hot dogs at 5 Guys generally get rave reviews around here.

      2. Are you looking for fine sausages of good old american hot dogs?

        Since you used deep fried as a qualifier, I don't think there's anything like there in NOVA, but there are a couple of local favorites that come to mind.

        Vienna Inn on the main drag in Vienna has great chilidogs and is kind of a dive and very old school.

        There's also Weenie Beanie in South Arlington...off of Four Mile Run near Shirlington. Both have been around for a long time.

        1. I have yet to try it, but I've heard Hard Times is decent. They have several locations over a wide area. Maybe some more versed local hounds could chime in.

          1. While Weenie Beanie is nothing like Rutt's Hutt, etc, it is worth checking out. Get a chili dog or chili half smoke (or both : ) and also add a N.C. style chopped bbq sandwich with slaw on top and small packet of Texas Pete hot sauce thrown in.

            Thanks,

            Kevin

            1. My understanding is that there are also two very fine "upscale" dogs in town, 1) The hot dog at Johnny Half Shell in Dupont Circle is supposed to be great. 2) I understand Frank Ruta makes his own hot dogs at Palena in Cleveland Park which supposed to be outstanding, but I've never had it myself.

              Finally, I understand Wegman's carries the best selection of national and regional brands for you to cook your own.

              1 Reply
              1. I had a dog for a snack around 3 today at 5 guys. I wish they wouldn't split the hot dog but still, it is a fine dog with a good bite, flavor and texture. Blows away Ben's.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Soup

                  All this hot dog talk got me in the mood for a good hot dog the other day, so I also went to 5 Guys. I must say I was rather disappointed. I didn't so mind them butterflying the dog, but I was disappointed by my hot dog. When I bite into a hot dog, there should be an initial bit of crunch or resistance as I bite into the dog, then there should be juicy goodness. Here, it there wasn't much in terms of texture or flavor.

                  1. re: rcheng

                    And the snap and texture is why Ben's chili halfsmoke still wins in my book.

                    I had a footlong split weenie at Porters south of Dupont and while the dog was alright (drowned in sauteed onions) they put it on an awful grilled italian "baguette." A real mouth shredder.

                    Washington has some restaurants that hold their own against NYC, but we really need some decent bread: fresh rolls (not those rockhard stale things you have to ask for in most restaurants); soft, chewy, FRESH baguettes (not the 40-grade sandpaper they have at Whole Foods); and some freaking muffaletta bread!

                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                      That's why Heidelberg in Arlington puts their wurst on the ideal hot dog bun, a freshly baked logenbrochen. If you get there early enough, you can buy the bread as well as the uncooked bauernwurst separately yourself, or go at lunchtime and they cook it for you. They do the cart outside on Saturdays, but they do the same thing indoors every day of the week.

                      1. re: Steve

                        Thanks for reminding me about this. I stopped by Saturday and had one of the best dogs ever. I had the bauernwurst combo, which includes decent German-style potato salad. The first bite was the best, of course. Nothing like the snap of a real casing followed by the spurt of juice. The bauernwurst was very good and the bun was excellent. I've bought bauernwurst down the street at the German delly to cook at home in choucroute, but it's been a while. I was wondering whether they are the same product?

                        I seldom go to bakeries, but now that I know they have other things than sweets, I'll be back.

                2. Anyone tried the dog at Dairy Queen? Any good?

                  1 Reply
                  1. The chili dogs at Galaxy Hut in Clarendon are delicious. Messy, all beef, and the chili is awesome. Also try the ones at Hard times.