Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Apr 26, 2010 06:15 PM

Berkeley Dog opening in O.C.

Who has had experience with this chain of sausage sandwiches, originally based in Northern California in Berkeley? Are they any good? Anything special about them? They're opening on Marguerite on May First.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If this is the same chain as Top Dog in Berkeley then you're in for a treat. I just might have to make a trip down to OC.

    6 Replies
    1. re: granadafan

      i worked in top dog during my college years.
      will bet that this chain has nothing to do with the owner of top dog.

      1. re: westsidegal

        From their FB discussion page:

        "If you ask a Cal Berkeley student, or a relative, a friend of a Cal Berkeley student, chances are, they have heard or have eaten at top dogs. The hot dog joint have been serving Cal students and Berkeley residents since 1966. With the endorsement and support of top dog owner, John, a Cal Berkeley grad, is bringing this classic joint to Southern California.

        The Grand Opening Day is set to be on May 1st, 2010. Grand Opening Special? Free Dogs For Everyone!"

        1. re: sel

          Finally. I've been wondering (whining) for years why someone doesn't bring a Top Dog clone to LA. They're everywhere in the SF Bay Area (i.e., clones modeled on, but not franchises of, Top Dog).

          PS: So cool that you worked at Top Dog, WSG! I knew Dick's daughter well and was a regular.

        2. re: westsidegal

          agree!! Top Dog and OC homogenized and lack of soul cities could never produce the likes of Top Dog. But I wish I was wrong!!

          1. re: High Maintenance

            Then it's a good thing you are wrong... all OC is not Laguna Niguel. Don't make that mistake. We may not have the hot dogs but there's plenty of soulful food around these parts.

      2. Marguerite? What city?
        Thanks for the heads up on this.

        29 Replies
        1. re: Joani Macaroni

          I lived on Top Dog for 5 years. I don't believe it is, b/c nothing is on their website about it. OC is in desperate need of Topdog, Zachery's, and Genova Deli sister stores down here. Delis in OC are pathetic.

          1. re: High Maintenance

            hollingshead is great in that overpriced, midwestern kind of way. and mattern deli, near a derwernshiztzel of all places is really swell.

            1. re: kevin

              Mattern is very good, but very crowded at lunch. I don't think they are open late. They also have coolers of obscure European beers. OC is kind of a deli wasteland. Jerry's in Studio City is passable, the one near South Coast isn't even up to that standard.

              I do like the hand cut pastrami at the Derby in Mission Viejo though.

              Mattern Sausage & Meats
              4327 E Chapman Ave, Orange, CA 92869

              Derby Deli & Dueling Piano Bar
              27741 Crown Valley Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92691

              1. re: kevin

                Overpriced? After some of the $10 - $22 sandwiches that I've had at CH faves I would not call Hollingshead's Deli expensive.

                Hollingshead's Delicatessen
                368 S Main St, Orange, CA 92868

                1. re: sel

                  it's expensive for what it is. beers are a little more expensive too.

                  1. re: kevin

                    The majority of their sandwiches are $4.99 single/$8.99 double. A few run up in price to $7.99 single/$14.99 double. I rarely buy food at Hollingshead's, I usually go for specialty, and yes often expensive beers but they are not usually available elsewhere. When I do have a sandwich I always order a 'Single' so for $5 - $8 which even to my 'we're probably never going to make it to Urasawa working class world' isn't expensive!

                    Urasawa Restaurant
                    218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                    1. re: sel

                      fair enough. i usually am quite a trencherman (or maybe the sandwiches are small) but i'll have two at 8 bucks to 9 bucks a piece that's already 20 bucks plus two beers you're easily already at 35 buck. the cheapest beer there is like 5.50 and go to 9 bucks per at least at the draft bar, if not more.

                      1. re: kevin

                        The sandwiches are not large but the older and 'larger' I get I find that I dislike what my grandma used as a yardstick to judge sandwiches. If a sandwich was what she referred to as a "dagwood" which ment piled high with whatever the protein happened to be, she was a happy camper. Those kind of sandwiches, such as those often served in old school Jewish delis are just too much for me. Too much mass and too much chemical preserved protein which keep me so full that I often skip dinner if I consume one at lunch. These days I prefer smaller sandwiches served on artisnal breads with fresher and healthier ingredients that at least to me often taste better!
                        Now Hollingshead's does not fit into the fresher and healthier category but at least they do give their patrons a choice when it comes to size.
                        I have paid even more than $9 for a very special craft or Belgian beer on tap there but they acquire kegs that the other craft beer bars don't have.

                        1. re: sel

                          yeah, they do have singles and doubles. what i like about the place though more i think is the homeyness, the green bay-y ness, the crankyness, but sometimes i feel it's just too expensive, and yeah, the meats are nothing special, but sure do like that squaw bread ( i think squaw bread is an orange county thing). mr. pickles does a pretty close rendition for roughly half the prices especially on the turkey with avocado (which on a double is a 4 dollar upgrade at hollingshead's). anyhow, for me it's a place that i like and i've been to a bunch of times but still there's this feeling that they are charging considerably too much, it would be another thing if the meats were super high quality, fresh ingredients, etc.

                          and i sure do miss those hot dog days which were like all of 3.99 or 4.99 for a dog plus all the toppings you could want served only on saturdays, but i don't even know if they're open on saturdays anymore.

                          one more note, i like that you can buy a glass there with your name on it and keep it there, that is pretty cool.

                          1. re: kevin

                            I like the general atmosphere too. The cranky ol man has always treated me right as have his son and grandson. The sandwiches are ok, I am still looking for new places to grab a chow worthy lunch before I grab a beer at Hollingshead's.
                            I missed the hot dogs, only discovered Hollingshead's about 2 years ago. They are not open on Saturdays except once last year for a special event which I unfortunately missed.
                            My only complaint is that Kenny (the middle Hollingshead) doesn't see that his friend who does their website keeps the 'taplist' up to date.

                            1. re: sel

                              pina's bistro in tustin is the closest that comes to mind, or mariscos esperanza on tustin, near katella for those langostino's in chipotle sauce, but these are both wide distances away from Hollingshead's though in the mini-mall south of Hollingshead's is Greek Grille which has amazing gyros and grilled fish, not your average fast-food greek shoppe.

                              1. re: kevin

                                Thanks Kevin, I'm aware of Mariscos Esperanza but will add Pina's Bistro and Greek Grill to my list of OC places to try.

                                Pina's Bistro
                                640 W 1st St, Tustin, CA 92780

                                1. re: sel

                                  Greek Garden Grill is gone... sorry.

                              2. re: sel

                                Hollingshead had Pliny The Elder on tap when I went last week for $8.50. It's on the pricey side but hard to find Pliny on tap anywhere in the OC. The food is an afterthought.

                                1. re: js76wisco

                                  Anthill Pub (at UCI) has it on tap often. $4 at happy hour (for a 10 oz pour). Almost hope this news doesn't get out too much!

                                  1. re: Searching4Dunny

                                    Wow that is a great deal. Thanks for the heads up.

                                  2. re: js76wisco

                                    When they tap a keg of "The Younger" I'll be there!

                                    1. re: sel

                                      They did have a "Younger" tasting there about 9 months ago. It was packed out the door but the line moved fairly quickly. One 10oz pour per customer limit.

                                      1. re: Searching4Dunny

                                        Hollingshead usually gets a few kegs of Younger each February but gotta get there early.

                                        If you're a big fan of Russian River they also have damnation, ruination and redemption. Huge fan of both damnation and redemption. Each bottle is pricey at $4.95 each but well worth it.

                                        1. re: js76wisco

                                          I'm a big fan of the RR beers. Haven't tried the redemption yet but will be sure to pick up a bottle. Really like the damnation too!

                                          1. re: js76wisco

                                            4.95 is cheap for hollingshead, didn't you mean about 15.95 instead ?

                                            a pliny pour on draft is 9.50 have a couple of those with tax and the tip, and you are at 25 bucks. and their sandwiches are very pricey, very very very pricey. a simple turkey with avocado (not much meat, and not much avocado) will run you 12 bucks. and these are tiny sandwiches.

                                          2. re: Searching4Dunny

                                            Where were they tapping "Pliny the Younger" at ? And why didn't you guys let me know ???

                      2. re: High Maintenance

                        Claro's, Cortina's, and for the pastrami people, Katella Deli.

                        I don't care if Top Dog opens here. I want the Cheeseboard Pizza Collective, actually I want the whole shebang, cheese, bread, pizza and all.

                        Katella Deli-Restaurant
                        4470 Katella Ave, Los Alamitos, CA 90720

                        1. re: High Maintenance

                          Wow, you made me have all these flashbacks.... TopDog, Zachery's....

                        2. re: Joani Macaroni

                          Berkeley Dog Grand Opening
                          Saturday, 01 May 2010 at 11:00
                          25522 Marguerite Parkway, #101
                          Mission Viejo

                            1. re: Peripatetic

                              Their pic uses the Top Dog bun... yet another confirmation!! Too bad it's in Mission Viejo.

                              1. re: mrshankly

                                Funny, as a MV resident I couldn't be happier. ;>)

                        3. I lived in Berkeley for a while and don't recall a Berkeley Dog. Top Dog yes, but no Berkeley Dog.

                          1. I wonder if it is Top Dog. Top Dog is pretty cool.

                            3 Replies
                              1. re: westsidegal

                                See the message below :) I won. What did you want to bet? I want my prize now.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  i'll buy you a sausage sandwich from the wurstkuche place downtown.
                                  lemme know when.

                            1. It's not the storefront named Top Dog but it is the same sausage and menu as Top Dog. Confirmed. Let the celebration of Top Dog hot dogs in SoCal begin!!!!!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: mrshankly

                                Actually the Top Dog folks are libertarians (the "Trotskyists" are over at the Cheeseboard). But I like their hot dogs anywy.