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Aug 5, 2006 12:49 AM

Hot Dog City, Santa Rosa

Lunch time found me in downtown Santa Rosa today. I was looking for parking on Fourth Street when I caught a glimpse of the neon signs for Hot Dog City, new to me.

The menu features various styles, i.e., Chicago dog, chili dog, etc., and includes Polish, Cajun, chicken, and veggie dogs. At the counter I asked for help in choosing, specifying that I like a dog with good snap and a natural casing. The man pointed to the Schwarz sausage logo on display and said that all the dogs have casings. Bingo!

The menu states that the chili is made here. I ordered a chili dog, $3.75, to see how serious these folks are. This example passed with flying colors.

The mild chili is almost all hand-chopped, browned and braised beef with some creamy red beans and has a resonant meaty depth. The seasonings are not that complex nor is it spicy hot, but the chili is instead robust with beefiness. The cheese and onions were grated and chopped to order, ensuring freshness. The steamed bun was pretty good, fluffy and not mashing down. The Schwarz dog had a great snap, mild seasoning and was really juicy. I think it might be beef and pork. I liked that it tasted like meat and wasn't oversweetened.

This place takes hot dogs seriously.

Chili dog image -

Hot Dog City
(707) 579-4885
631 4th St
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Hot Dog City
(707) 545-5448
804 Coddingtown Ctr
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

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  1. Melanie, sounds like a winner! casings galore and hand cut meat in your chili - will have to keep this place in mind next time I'm up in the North Bay.

    1 Reply
    1. re: gordon wing

      I'm so glad I ordered the chili! The irregular dice of beef really makes it special. The guy at the next seat had a Chicago dog, looked like real sport peppers to me but no poppyseed bun.

      The Schwarz dog is so taut and plump, it bursts immediately with a great snap. In comparison, I found the Miller dogs a bit chewy on the casing but more smoky and assertively flavored. However, this was a boiled dog whereas the earlier report was on grilled Millers so that might make a difference too.

      I had dinner tonight with some friends in Santa Rosa. The husband works a couple blocks away from Hot Dog City. He said he really likes the place and has been in several times for lunch. But he said that it's never busy and he's worried they might not make it. So, please go there!

      Oh, the downtown location is open 11am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday, and closed on Sunday. The branch in the mall may have longer hours.


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    2. I popped into my favorite hot dog place in Santa Rosa this weekend (Hot dog City on 4th street). They have proudly posted the chowhound review on the wall.

      I always tease them telling them I am there for my daily requirement of grease. What fabulous grease they have! It's nice to get something that isn't so politically correct and healthy for a change.

      The Chicago dog is just right (no mean feat as I am a native Chicagoan). The Cajun hotdog is very tasty. I haven't made it through the entire menu. Enjoying myself in the noon time journey!

      1 Reply
      1. re: drmimi

        Here's my post on the Chicago dog I had at the Coddingtown branch.

        I've not had a dog in Chicago myself, so I'm happy to hear that this meets with your approval. It's a quality place.

      2. I'll have to check it out..thanxs