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Oct 5, 2006 08:04 PM

Carney's type chili dogs in SF?

Any places in the SF area that serve chili dogs similar to Carney's in LA where the dog is steamed and has a wonderful snap with each bite. Add the tasty chili, onions, and those thick-sliced tomatoes - heaven on a bun! Thanks in advance.

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  1. You can get a terrific chili dog at Hot Dog City in Santa Rosa. Here's the post -
    No tomatoes though, but maybe if you ask...

    1. Ahhh, Carney's, that brings back memories from my college days. I always liked Carney's, even over the sentimental favorite, Pink's, which I thought suffered from water-logged dogs most of the time. Also, Carney's was right by the old rock clubs on Sunset so it was an easy stagger away.

      But down to business, I'm sure you've figured out that you can always trust a Melanie Wong referral. However, San Rosa might be a bit out of the way for you if you live in the city. I can offer too much better as far as proximity to San Francisco goes, but a couple of sentimental favorites from my childhood have stood the test of time.

      First, the Hot Dog Palace in Concord, on Grant St. in Todo Santos Square, serves up Vienna Beef franks and does a good rendition of a Chicago dog complete with poppy seed rolls and chili is an available topping. They've changed hands over the years and gone are the days of the bottom-less basket of hand cut fries, but the dogs are still good and they still "pop" when you bite 'em.

      Second is the venerable Oakland staple of Kasper's hot dogs. The original is on Telegraph and I really hope that they're still going strong. It's been awhile since I've been there and they were operating at odd hours for a stretch. However, the other homonymously named chain, Casper's Hot Dogs, also serves up a pretty decent chili dog in the natural casing on a steamed bun. Not Chicago style, more New York, but the Chili makes it a reasonable substitute if you can't get down to Carney's.

      On a side note, my vote for strangest hot dog variant in L.A. is just a few blocks away from the madness of Pink's at a little shack of stand called "Oki Dog" (the painted over letters from the previous tenant from many years ago is still visible as "Smokin' Sam's." In any case, they gained a bit of notoriety from Tony Bordain's old "Cook's Tour" program which featured the signature dish which is a comprised of two large flour tortillas warmed on the griddle and topped with two butterflied grilled hot dogs, a large scoop of chili, some grilled pastrami, two slices of American cheese and some sourkraut. The whole thing is carefully folded like a burrito and must be eaten with extreme caution to avoid breach of the tortilla by the chili. Ahh for the good old days of powering down such greasy fare with abandon...

      Hope you find the "one" and let us all know where it's at so that your fellow Carney's fans can get their fix.

      a sante,