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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?

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  1. Dennis S RE: meimei 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 RE: Dennis S May 1, 2007 01:27 PM

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

    2. m
      MLP RE: meimei 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. monkeyrotica RE: meimei May 1, 2007 12:55 PM

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



        1. d
          dcs RE: meimei 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 RE: dcs 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 RE: jpschust 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 RE: dcs 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. a
            alexfoodie RE: meimei 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 RE: alexfoodie 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 RE: rcheng 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. m
              MikeR RE: meimei 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 RE: MikeR 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 RE: rcheng 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 RE: MikeR 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 RE: monkeyrotica 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 RE: MikeR 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.

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