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Berkeley Dog opening in O.C.

e
EclecticEater Apr 26, 2010 06:15 PM

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. k
    kevin Sep 26, 2012 06:48 PM

    I had previously thought that they were even opening additional locations in Orange County.

    I guess that is not the case ?

    1. Midlife Sep 26, 2012 01:58 PM

      So this place (the Mission Viejo location) is closed. I don't know the details as I didn't go often, but there may be a lesson in my last attempt. I stopped by a couple of months ago, at around 4:30PM and the place was closed, with a sign saying they closed at 3PM (or maybe it was 2PM?).

      It's certainly possible that the numbers didn't justify their staying open later, but they don't have anything for breakfast, so...... mid-day only for a hot dog and sausage place in a residential neighborhood????????

      8 Replies
      1. re: Midlife
        Professor Salt Sep 26, 2012 07:05 PM

        The MV location's been sliding downhill hard. Last visit was four months ago, and the place was not managed by anyone who cared. Floors by the soda fountain were sticky with dried syrup. Tables weren't bussed and dirty with no other customers in there but me. Bathroom was filthy. Clearly, there was nobody there who cared enough about running the ship.

        I wouldn't go eat there again after that, and apparently, neither would lots of other people. Too bad. I like their UCI location.

        1. re: Professor Salt
          k
          kevin Sep 26, 2012 07:10 PM

          is there still a UCI location ? do you still go to that location ? and is there a website for these joints in the OC that lists their menu and or locations ?

          thanks.

          1. re: kevin
            Professor Salt Sep 26, 2012 07:15 PM

            There is still a UCI location. Not sure if these are owned by the same people. It seems like they're run very differently.

            berkeleydogs.com/directions.html

            1. re: Professor Salt
              k
              kevin Sep 27, 2012 05:09 PM

              cool thanks.

              also, do you have any clue if people were referencing that they were tapping Pliny the Younger at Berkeley Dogs ?

              thanks again.

              1. re: kevin
                Searching4Dunny Sep 30, 2012 06:56 AM

                I had referenced The Younger being tapped some months ago at the pub located on UCI's campus (Anthill Pub) up thread. If I hear about it again I will post a heads up on CH.

                1. re: Searching4Dunny
                  k
                  kevin Oct 1, 2012 10:59 AM

                  wow, the anthill pub on the uci campus served it ?

                  i would never expect it to be served there.

                  please post back on this thread again if they do, but on a side note, do you have to be a UCI student to drink at the pub and visit it ?

                  thanks.

                  that's almost like someone saying they were serving foie gras at one of the mcdonald's in san berndardino, for instance, back when foie was legal.

                  1. re: kevin
                    JAB Oct 2, 2012 07:49 PM

                    You do not have to be a student. I checked it out this past Friday thanks to Searching4Dunny. A very good selection including Pliny the Elder at very good prices. Cash only and parking is $2 an hour across the street.

                    1. re: JAB
                      k
                      kevin Oct 3, 2012 10:25 AM

                      Wow that sounds awesome. I was always worrried parking would be about 10 or 12 bucks like at USC or UCLA.

      2. OCAnn Aug 20, 2010 12:16 PM

        Grand opening for the Brea location is tomorrow, Sat 08/21/10. Free all-beef hotdogs to the first 1000 customers. It opens @ 11:30.

        1. OCAnn Aug 15, 2010 11:42 AM

          Berkeley Dog in Brea is now open. They were sold out of their sweet potato fries on Sunday morning (from the day before). Dogs are $3.85; add ons like onions, peppers, etc are $0.45 each. I had the kielbasa and Mr OCAnn had the Kobe beef dog; both were okay, while Mr OCAnn said this will now become s weekly venture. So I'm not much of a dog person...I'll stick to my Costco dogs.

          9 Replies
          1. re: OCAnn
            OCAnn Aug 15, 2010 03:04 PM

            What I wanted to add (and couldn't edit) was that they have 6 different mustards and I *really* liked their toasted sesame buns. Perhaps I need to check out the plain dog next time....

            1. re: OCAnn
              Midlife Aug 15, 2010 03:39 PM

              I was kindof disappointed until I tried the plain dog. The buns and all the toppings are just my style and the plain dog has a great taste and snap. I liked it more than the others I've tried there (Mission Viejo location).

              1. re: Midlife
                OCAnn Aug 15, 2010 08:17 PM

                It's definitely good to know that I'm not the only one in that boat; I will try the plain next time for sure! Thank you. =D

                1. re: OCAnn
                  mrshankly Aug 16, 2010 11:18 AM

                  The "plain" dog is very a misleading name... that is their signature frankfurter and what has made Top Dog second to none in hot dogs for almost 45 years. The toasted, sesame seeded buns are also part of the greatness of Top Dog and integral to the meal.

                  I hope they open one up closer to the LA area soon.

                  1. re: mrshankly
                    Chemicalkinetics Aug 16, 2010 03:09 PM

                    "made Top Dog second to none in hot dogs for almost 45 years"

                    As much I like Top Dog and Berkeley, I am not sure I will go this far. Most New Yorkers will probably say Top Dog's dogs are mediocre.

                    1. re: mrshankly
                      j
                      josephnl Aug 16, 2010 04:52 PM

                      What makes Top Dog and Berkeley Dog so special? I am a big fan of Jerry's Wood-Fired dogs which I think are pretty good and am trying to figure out if it's worth driving 5 miles further to go to Berkeley's. Has anyone been to both, and are Berkeley dogs really that much better. It seems to me that there is only so much goodness that can be built into a hot dog! Tell me I'm wrong!

                      1. re: josephnl
                        hnsbmg Aug 16, 2010 05:00 PM

                        "It seems to me that there is only so much goodness that can be built into a hot dog!"

                        As much as I advocate Chicago-style Vienna Beef hot dogs, I have to agree that no dog I've ever had reaches the sandwich heights of the best-quality Italian Beef, cheese steak, or beef on 'weck, for example. I do want to try Berkeley Dog. I lived in the Bay Area four years but never had one, despite hearing a lot about it (probably on the old chowhound).

                        1. re: josephnl
                          mrshankly Aug 16, 2010 05:54 PM

                          Top Dog is delicious from the core seasonings in the sausage... no toppings or unique cooking method need be applied to make it unique or tasty (it's been years since I put any toppings at all on my Top Dogs). It is essentially a gourmet sausage rather than a pedestrian hot dog (which can also be great) and it is consistent in taste from the first one you had to the last one you had. I know people who are infrequent hot dog consumers and order the 5lb frozen bags of frankfurters shipped to them from the Berkeley Top Dog a few times per year. They are THAT unique and delicious. If you're near the Berkeley Top Dog, let that be your first experience because I haven't been to Berkeley Dog and don't know if their preparation is as refined as the one in Berkeley.

                          1. re: josephnl
                            ocshooter Aug 20, 2010 05:58 PM

                            I have been to both, as well as Jody Maroni's, and all three are different. I like the wrap style of Jody Maroni's when I am not in the mood for a bun, and they have the best fries. The sausages are bigger at Jerry's and I think there are more options for toppings, plus they have those yummy fresh chips and free peanuts. The smaller size (and lower price) for Berkeley makes it easier to have a lighter meal (or double up for a filling one). I also really love the sesame bun there, though I would not drive the 15 minutes from Jerry's near home for either of the Berkley locations, nor would I pass up Berkley for Jerry's if I were in MV with a hankering for meat in tube form.

                            Now, I don't eat pork, and I don't go to places like this for a hot dog; I have Costco for a Kosher dog with mustard and sauerkraut for that, so I almost always get one of the chicken sausages.

                2. ocshooter May 14, 2010 04:23 PM

                  I have never been to Top Dog, so I was coming at this fresh, but I have eaten at Jody Maroni's and Jerry's Dogs, though not very often. At the risk of everyone just tuning me out at this point, I also like the hot dogs at Costco. You get a nice big kosher dog and can ask for sauerkraut and add onions, so at $1.50 with a drink, there isn't a better deal in town.

                  It was lunch time, I was in Mission Viejo, and I didn't have to please anyone else, so I went to Berkeley Dog. I don't know what the yogurt shop looked like before the dogs came in, but the two were blended well. There is a small grill and register in the front half of the store with the yogurt machines and toppings (self serve, pay by the ounce) in the back. A fair number of comfortable seats were inside, about 8 tables for a total of 20 customers.

                  I don't eat pork, so about 1/2 the items were off the menu for me. I settled on the Louisiana Hot Link combo with onions, chips and a soda at a bit under $6.00. The onions were extra, but unlike another reviewer, mine were not mixed with peppers. The peppers were extra on top of the onions. When my order was called, my first impression was... man this thing is small. I should have ordered 2 of them, but I didn't notice the 2 dog combo for about $2 more. Oh well, I probably don't need the extra fat, nitrates, salt...

                  On the taste, I liked it. I really liked the bun, a fresh and lightly toasted sesame seed roll. It takes a lot for a mainstream food item to be too hot for me, and this was not. There was heat there, but it didn't blow me away. Take it with a grain of salt for yourself though, since I can (and sometimes do) eat a dollop of wasabi plain and can handle all but the hottest of Thai foods. I think it is a little cheaper than the other places, but I think you get bigger portions at the other places as a balance. Also, I like fries, and both Jerry's and Jody's have french fries, while Berkeley Dog only has chips, with potato salad to come. Still, if I were in South County and hankering for a link, I would go back. But if I were in North County, I would not make the drive.

                  -----
                  Jerry's Dogs
                  2276 E 17th St, Santa Ana, CA 92705

                  Jody Maroni's Sausage Kingdom
                  20 City Blvd W, Orange, CA 92868

                  Berkeley Dog
                  25522 Marguerite Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

                   
                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ocshooter
                    Midlife May 14, 2010 05:56 PM

                    Glad you enjoyed this place. I kinda think there was a slight order mixup when I was there, resulting in the peppers and onions mixture. Someone else had ordered a brat with toppings and it's likely the counter guy gave me theirs.

                    It just occurred to me that an interesting, if somewhat useless, thread would be about the pattern in which people apply mustard or ketchup to a hot dog. I'm an 'end-to-end straight line' person myself. :o)))

                    1. re: Midlife
                      ocshooter May 14, 2010 11:50 PM

                      Since the bun was fairly wide open, it gave me the ability to zig zag the mustard. With a smaller bun, I go straight down the middle.

                      I posted the same review on Yelp and received an email from the manager. Apparently the Brea location will have fries, and sweet potato fries. I just hope the sweet potato fries are good. There is a place across from my office that has them but the oil is not hot enough, so they come out limp. Yuck.

                  2. j
                    josephnl May 13, 2010 12:15 PM

                    I'm not a big hot dog afficianato, nevertheless I do like Jerry's Dogs. How does Berkeley Dogs compare with Jerry's?

                    -----
                    Berkeley Dog
                    25522 Marguerite Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

                    1. Midlife May 12, 2010 03:23 PM

                      Interesting setup here. The space has been a yogurt shop for some time and now includes Berkeley Dog as well. There's a major new sign on the soffit above the space for Berkeley Dog, but just walking by the front door you barely know it's there. Their website describes the aspirations of the Socal Cal student to have Top Dog close at hand, but there's no sign at all of that inside. BUT...............ah!!................. this really needs to be about the dogs...... right?

                      I had recently had a bratwurst and grilled onions from a San Gabriel Valley BBQ catering company and found out it was Johnsonville (a bit surprising), so I was really curious about Berkeley's version. For $3.45 +25¢ I got the Brat + Onions. I've never been to Top Dog, so this was vs. the caterer............. and the caterer won. Good, but not much flavor I thought. The 'grilled onions' were a combo of onions and red & green peppers (like for a Philly Cheese Steak), so the brat flavors were not as pure as expected, I don't think. Next time, I'll try it without any toppings first....... and maybe try a dog instead, or in addition.

                      Again............ the strange thing was the dog/yogurt combo. Reminded me of the Baskin Robbins/Togo's combos you see around. My wife can't order ice cream in those places because the smells of the sandwich makings spoil it for her. I didn't have that reaction at Berkeley Dogs, but it was still odd. I'[m thinking there's something of a 'purist' issue in this for me. If the brat had been mind-blowing I don't think I'd care at all.

                      -----
                      Berkeley Dog
                      25522 Marguerite Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: Midlife
                        mrshankly May 12, 2010 06:43 PM

                        I've never been to Top Dog for the brats. In fact, the brats are nothing mentionable compared to the exceptional original Top Dog frankfurter. You should try the original frankfurter instead.

                        1. re: mrshankly
                          a_and_w May 13, 2010 08:53 AM

                          Actually, I disagree with that rec. If Top Dog is any indication, the best stuff at Berkeley Dog should be sausages besides the frankfurters. Does anyone know if they have a Calabrese?

                          -----
                          Berkeley Dog
                          25522 Marguerite Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

                          1. re: a_and_w
                            Midlife May 13, 2010 09:46 AM

                            Yup. There's a Calabrese on the menu.

                            http://berkeleydogs.com/menu.html

                            1. re: Midlife
                              mrshankly May 13, 2010 12:45 PM

                              The calabrese at Top Dog is outstanding. Hopefully, they use the same calabrese at Berkeley Dog.

                              -----
                              Berkeley Dog
                              25522 Marguerite Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

                          2. re: mrshankly
                            Midlife May 25, 2010 01:31 PM

                            I went back and had the plain frank the other evening. Your rec was spot on. Long, thin dog, great snap, great taste, lots of extra room in the bun for my favorites - deli mustard, onions, and warm sauerkraut. With a drink it's almost four times the price of Costco's infamous dog. Some days it wouldn't be worth it, but this time it sure was.

                          3. re: Midlife
                            a_and_w May 13, 2010 08:52 AM

                            Brat plus onions? As in grilled? Looks like Berkeley Dog does things a little differently.

                            -----
                            Berkeley Dog
                            25522 Marguerite Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

                            1. re: a_and_w
                              Midlife May 13, 2010 09:50 AM

                              FWIW, the onions were an added side for 25¢. It didn't come that way.

                              Just curious.......... if the preferred way to make brats is in beer and onions, why is a brat with onions so different?

                              1. re: Midlife
                                a_and_w May 13, 2010 10:12 AM

                                Oops, I meant differently from Top Dog. Brats and onions is obviously a classic pairing.

                          4. JAB May 1, 2010 07:49 PM

                            I tried a few sausages tonight after the free give away was over. I'd say that they were worth it for the money but, if anyone reading is tempted to journey long distance here I wouldn't unless it was for nostalgic reasons.

                            1. j
                              josephnl Apr 30, 2010 09:19 PM

                              The Berkeley Top Dog website makes no mention of a branch opening in O.C. Since this new place is called Berkeley Dog not Top Dog, what makes anyone think it has any relationship whatsoever to the Top Dog in Berkeley. It sounds to me like the Mission Viejo place is just another hot dog joint which may be good, bad or indifferent, but I see no evidence that it's in any way related to Top Dog in Berkeley. Does anyone?

                              -----
                              Berkeley Dog
                              25522 Marguerite Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: josephnl
                                m
                                mdpilam May 1, 2010 01:30 AM

                                He says he is "supplied and endorsed by Top Dog". I guess that is all people have to go on.

                                1. re: josephnl
                                  m
                                  motubound May 1, 2010 11:40 AM

                                  I work near Mission Viejo so I stopped by Berkeley Dog last week. The store was actually open as they are getting ready for their grand opening today. I saw the menu and it has all the same items as Top Dog. The owner told me that although they are not officially affiliated with Top Dog (i.e. they can't use that name on their storefront), they are endorsed by the Top Dog owner and their sausages and buns are provided by the same suppliers as Top Dog. I tried the bockwurst, kielbasa, and hot links, and they tasted EXACTLY THE SAME as how I remembered them back at Cal! The owner confirmed that they are opening another shop in Brea sometime this summer.

                                  -----
                                  Berkeley Dog
                                  25522 Marguerite Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

                                  1. re: motubound
                                    Chemicalkinetics May 1, 2010 12:27 PM

                                    If the dogs are the same, then they are essentially the same. Unless people think the timing and cooking skill can significantly alter the hot dog taste.

                                    1. re: motubound
                                      h
                                      High Maintenance May 1, 2010 12:40 PM

                                      I have to see it then. If they can replicate the hot link, then they're a winner in my book. Plus, those buns are part of the secret of Top Dog, so if they're the same, I can't wait to try it. I used to do 3 hot links at lunch, and my head was soaking wet! So damn good.

                                  2. s
                                    Selter Head Apr 30, 2010 04:10 PM

                                    I remain to be convinced. That's either the smallest Top Dog or the largest bun I've ever seen on a Top Dog.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Selter Head
                                      mrshankly Apr 30, 2010 06:03 PM

                                      I think the photo of the dog you're referring to is of the calabrese which barely makes it to a half inch from within the edges of the bun. lol Nevertheless, it's delicious!

                                      1. re: Selter Head
                                        j
                                        jchi2004 May 1, 2010 11:57 PM

                                        All of our buns comes from top dog.

                                      2. christoofat Apr 30, 2010 02:45 PM

                                        I can hardly wait!

                                        1. ocshooter Apr 29, 2010 10:49 AM

                                          Saw this from the OC Weekly:

                                          "The Chowhounds have been discussing a new hot dog joint called Berkeley Dog which officially opens this Saturday, May 1st, in Mission Viejo. The new eatery, though not officially affliated with a popular Berkeley sausage house chain called Top Dog, has aligned itself with it. It has said on its Facebook page that "We are supplied and endorsed by Top Dog of Berkeley".

                                          If you are a Cal alum and would like to taste test it to see if it rekindles fond college memories, this weekend's your chance to do it for free: they're giving away complimentary frankfurters from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. during their Grand Opening on Saturday at 25522 Marguerite Parkway, #101, Mission Viejo.

                                          The menu features world sausage varieties like frankfurters, bratwurst, bockwurst, kielbasa, calabrese, Louisiana hots, smoked chicken apple and others stuck inside sesame seed rolls (see my feature review later today for a similar joint in Long Beach).

                                          Even as they debut this first store in South County, Berkeley Dog already plans to open a second in Downtown Brea in August."

                                          -----
                                          Berkeley Dog
                                          25522 Marguerite Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92692

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: ocshooter
                                            OCAnn Apr 29, 2010 11:03 AM

                                            Ooooooooooooooo!!! I'm excited @ the Downtown Brea news; thank you for sharing!

                                            1. re: ocshooter
                                              b
                                              Bogey153 Apr 30, 2010 06:54 PM

                                              What's the cross street? Marguerite and what?

                                              1. re: Bogey153
                                                Servorg May 2, 2010 05:35 AM

                                                If you scroll up to the top of this thread and look on the right side there is a place link with the address for Berkeley Dog along with an exact map location shown via Google mapping.

                                                1. re: Servorg
                                                  b
                                                  Bogey153 May 2, 2010 03:37 PM

                                                  Thanks, Servorg. It's almost in my back yard.

                                                2. re: Bogey153
                                                  m
                                                  motubound May 3, 2010 06:02 PM

                                                  The cross street is Marguerite and Estanciero. It's next to It's A Grind Coffee and across the street from Blockbuster. A little hard to find but well worth it.

                                              2. p
                                                pinpei Apr 29, 2010 01:05 AM

                                                Wait. This is too good! The Trotskyites from Berkeley are giving us a reason to celebrate May Day in the OC. Bravo!!!! I ate many a Top Dog during my college years and hope this is a reasonable facsimile. I am conjuring wonderful taste memories of bocks and brats.

                                                1. JAB Apr 28, 2010 01:26 PM

                                                  Do they serve beer?

                                                  1. mrshankly Apr 27, 2010 02:20 PM

                                                    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
                                                      r
                                                      redrover Jun 3, 2010 08:30 AM

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

                                                    2. Chemicalkinetics Apr 27, 2010 10:39 AM

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

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                        westsidegal Apr 27, 2010 01:42 PM

                                                        bet 'cha NOT.

                                                        1. re: westsidegal
                                                          Chemicalkinetics Apr 27, 2010 02:44 PM

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

                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                            westsidegal Apr 27, 2010 04:07 PM

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

                                                      2. m
                                                        mdpilam Apr 26, 2010 11:56 PM

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

                                                        1. j
                                                          Joani Macaroni Apr 26, 2010 08:35 PM

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

                                                          29 Replies
                                                          1. re: Joani Macaroni
                                                            h
                                                            High Maintenance Apr 26, 2010 09:04 PM

                                                            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
                                                              k
                                                              kevin Apr 26, 2010 11:34 PM

                                                              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
                                                                ocshooter Apr 27, 2010 10:37 AM

                                                                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
                                                                  s
                                                                  sel Apr 28, 2010 10:08 AM

                                                                  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
                                                                    k
                                                                    kevin Apr 28, 2010 11:10 AM

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

                                                                    1. re: kevin
                                                                      s
                                                                      sel Apr 28, 2010 12:17 PM

                                                                      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
                                                                        k
                                                                        kevin Apr 28, 2010 01:31 PM

                                                                        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
                                                                          s
                                                                          sel Apr 28, 2010 01:57 PM

                                                                          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
                                                                            k
                                                                            kevin Apr 28, 2010 05:23 PM

                                                                            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
                                                                              s
                                                                              sel Apr 28, 2010 10:46 PM

                                                                              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
                                                                                k
                                                                                kevin Apr 29, 2010 08:49 AM

                                                                                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
                                                                                  s
                                                                                  sel Apr 30, 2010 01:47 PM

                                                                                  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
                                                                                    Das Ubergeek May 3, 2010 10:38 AM

                                                                                    Greek Garden Grill is gone... sorry.

                                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                                      s
                                                                                      sel May 3, 2010 01:39 PM

                                                                                      Scratched from list, thx DU.

                                                                                2. re: sel
                                                                                  j
                                                                                  js76wisco Sep 26, 2012 05:02 PM

                                                                                  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
                                                                                    Searching4Dunny Sep 26, 2012 05:42 PM

                                                                                    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
                                                                                      j
                                                                                      js76wisco Sep 26, 2012 06:07 PM

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

                                                                                    2. re: js76wisco
                                                                                      s
                                                                                      sel Sep 26, 2012 11:10 PM

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

                                                                                      1. re: sel
                                                                                        Searching4Dunny Sep 27, 2012 08:15 AM

                                                                                        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
                                                                                          j
                                                                                          js76wisco Sep 27, 2012 11:18 AM

                                                                                          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
                                                                                            Searching4Dunny Sep 27, 2012 04:45 PM

                                                                                            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
                                                                                              k
                                                                                              kevin Sep 27, 2012 05:08 PM

                                                                                              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
                                                                                              k
                                                                                              kevin Sep 27, 2012 05:06 PM

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

                                                                        2. re: High Maintenance
                                                                          Das Ubergeek Apr 27, 2010 06:54 AM

                                                                          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
                                                                            Chemicalkinetics Apr 27, 2010 10:41 AM

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

                                                                          2. re: Joani Macaroni
                                                                            OCAnn Apr 27, 2010 11:09 AM

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

                                                                            1. re: OCAnn
                                                                              Peripatetic Apr 27, 2010 03:09 PM

                                                                              They have a Facebook page:

                                                                              http://www.facebook.com/pages/Berkele...

                                                                              1. re: Peripatetic
                                                                                mrshankly Apr 27, 2010 03:54 PM

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

                                                                                1. re: mrshankly
                                                                                  JAB Apr 28, 2010 01:18 PM

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

                                                                          3. g
                                                                            granadafan Apr 26, 2010 07:34 PM

                                                                            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
                                                                              westsidegal Apr 26, 2010 09:24 PM

                                                                              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
                                                                                s
                                                                                sel Apr 28, 2010 10:02 AM

                                                                                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
                                                                                  a_and_w Apr 29, 2010 09:08 AM

                                                                                  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
                                                                                  h
                                                                                  High Maintenance Apr 29, 2010 08:44 PM

                                                                                  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
                                                                                    Das Ubergeek May 3, 2010 10:37 AM

                                                                                    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.

                                                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                                      j
                                                                                      josephnl May 7, 2010 02:57 PM

                                                                                      Way to go, DU!

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