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Hot Dog in NOVA

meimei May 1, 2007 10:39 AM

It used to be that Joe's Dog House in old town Herndon is our regular summer spot. Good food, casual surrounding, and cheap. I recently found out that they have closed. Does anyone know of another similar type of place for Fairfax county or Loudoun county?

  1. m
    MikeR May 2, 2007 07:08 PM

    I had a 5 Guys hot dog for lunch today. Beef, split down the middle and grilled, good flavor and bite, decent roll. You can make it sloppy with cheese and/or chili but I just had it with mustard, relish, and onions.

    If only I had someone along to share the fries. They must give you a potato and a half in a "regular" order, and they were good enough to eat the whole thing. Everybody says 5 Guys quality and service varies among locations. This was on Gallows Road just South of Lee Highway in the same shopping center as the Great Wall market.

    5 Replies
    1. re: MikeR
      rcheng May 3, 2007 06:13 AM

      I wasn't as big a fan of the Five Guys hot dog. Here's a message I posted on my hot dog there:


      1. re: rcheng
        MikeR May 3, 2007 03:42 PM

        So what's a good hot dog in your experience? I never thought of descrbing a hot dog in terms of "bite" so I guess I'm not a hot dog gourmet. What I don't like is a mushy hot dog, and I've had a few of those in my life.

        1. re: MikeR
          monkeyrotica May 4, 2007 05:31 AM

          To me, it comes down to whether the dog has a natural casing. Caseless wieners (most of what you find in the supermarkets) are almost universally mushy, particularly if boiled. You end up with a soggy cylinder of waterlogged bologna. You can get some "bite" out of them if you grill them carefully, but they'll never be as snappy as a natural casing dog. But you can also mess up a casing hotdog; witness the "dirty water dogs" they sell off the carts downtown.

          1. re: monkeyrotica
            MikeR May 4, 2007 01:23 PM

            That sounds like a pretty good description of what I don't like - that boiled bologna sensation. I suspect that there are good and bad ways to prepare a hot dog, and that comes into play as well. But I'm not inclined to pay $10 for a hand made hot dog when there are a few good $10 hamburgers to be had.

            I think rcheng has a good thought - it's the environment as much as the sausage that makes them good, or at least helps forgive sins. It was a nice day the other day when I had a dog at 5 Guys and I was thinking all that was missing was a ball game, and I don't even like to watch baseball. <g>

          2. re: MikeR
            rcheng May 4, 2007 09:47 AM

            "So what's a good hot dog in your experience? "

            That's a good question MikeR. I'm don't eat hot dogs that often, so I don't consider myself a big expert either, but I recall enjoying Nathan's brand hot dogs.

            In my opinion, a big part of the hot dog is the experience and memories. Hot dogs seem to taste best when you're at a ballpark or tailgate with friends and family. Or at a backyard bbq or picnic. Or when camping with friend and family and roasting your own hot dogs on a stick in front of an open fire. It's times like these that make even the most mediocre of hot dogs great.

      2. a
        alexfoodie May 1, 2007 03:51 PM

        Del Merei Grille on Mt. Vernon Avenue in the Calvert Plaza serves a hot dog platter that has some connection to a famous hot dog in the VA area. You can check their website for more info. They serve two with accompanying items. I have seen many folks order this in their bar area and they all look really happy.

        2 Replies
        1. re: alexfoodie
          rcheng May 2, 2007 03:21 PM

          I think it's connected to the Vienna Inn hot dogs. But the Vienna Inn hot dogs aren't that great, but their cheap and it's good beer food for a tavern like the Vienna Inn.

          1. re: rcheng
            LMT May 3, 2007 03:46 PM

            I'll second your post, rcheng, about the Vienna Inn. Their chili dogs are OK, but for all I had heard about them, I was expecting something great. They were just, well, OK.

            They are cheap, though.

        2. d
          dcs May 1, 2007 01:35 PM

          For an upscale treat, EatBar sells a homemade hot dog that literally was the size of my 8 year old's forearm for $10 including fries. It was pretty good, but at 10 semolians a pop, it will not be a regular item for most.

          3 Replies
          1. re: dcs
            jpschust May 1, 2007 02:15 PM

            But, the EatBar dog is a homemade dog complete with homemade castup- so very very good.

            1. re: jpschust
              dcs May 2, 2007 07:56 AM

              I'm sorry, but one should never use ketchup on a hot dog, as the hot dog is mustard's domain. EatBar's mustard also appeared homemade and was quite tasty, although it could have used a tad more vinegar or salt. The homemade ketchup was excellent when used in combination with the french fries, where it belongs. ;-)

              1. re: dcs
                jpschust May 2, 2007 08:24 AM

                Oh I'll agree, but I'm just saying that's how it's served. I had the castup on a corndog, which is a different story.

          2. monkeyrotica May 1, 2007 12:55 PM

            Weenie Beenie's in Arlington, but still cheap, good, and worth a drive, particularly for the halfsmokes.



            1. m
              MLP May 1, 2007 12:23 PM

              I think the grilled all beef dogs at Hard Times Cafe are decent. There is a location in Herndon.


              1. Dennis S May 1, 2007 11:02 AM

                Hot dog in NOVA leads me quickly to the Vienna Inn on Maple. As for good food, casual and cheap in Herndon, Jimmy's fits the bill (they have keilbasi).

                1 Reply
                1. re: Dennis S
                  Dennis S May 1, 2007 01:27 PM

                  Oh, and while I've never had the dogs there, 5 Guys does them.

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