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Apr 22, 2012 06:05 PM

Hot Doggers in Manhattan Beach – Taking one for the team

I rarely if ever post such a negative report on a place. But given the quality of food, service and price we paid today and that this isn't a small struggling mom and pop place, I have absolutely no hesitation in telling people to not even bother going to this place. It will be a waste of your time, money and calories.

We got their base dog called the good dog with chili and cheese. The pig dog, wrapped in bacon and fried. The Italian sausage and the hot link. Also got an order of fries and onion rings. You get a choice of beach or poppy seed buns with the dogs.

The beach buns are horrible, dense crumbly and cool to the touch. They immediately fall apart after the first bite and feel like they are stored in a cool place and the dog just thrown in it. It's impossible to take a complete bite with the dog and toppings. For a place that touts it's toppings, it's pretty silly to be unable to have a bite with toppings.

Our order was screwed up, they kept trying to drop off someone else's order on our table. On the fourth try, when we finally got our orders, none of the toppings we ordered were correct. Either missing or on the wrong dog. At that point, we just wanted our food and figured we'd make do with the condiment bar they had.

When my good dog fell apart with that first bite, I tried eating a bite by itself and it was extremely salty and insipid. A tiny small dog. it reminded me of the worst childhood nightmares of eating a cold vienna sausage straight out of a can. I wouldn't be surprised if the good dog was just 3 or 4 vienna sausage just fused together. It had that taste, look and diameter. After two bites, I just threw the towel in and didn't even bother. I think there's case here for false advertising, this was most definitely not a "good" dog.

My wife's pig dog, the bacon was flabby and didn't look very fried. At least her Italian and my hot link were decent but nothing special. But with the bad buns, we were reduced to just taking a bite of the sausage and then picking up a crumb of bun or a scoop of onions to chase it.

The fries were bland, boring and eminently forgettable. The best thing were the onion rings, crisp and hot. Liked the coating. But at $4.50 for 8 small pieces, ridiculously overpriced.

Oh and they have a fountain soda dispenser at the front but also sell bottled sodas. When we sat down, we were asked what we wanted to drink and we asked for two cokes. We were given two 20 oz coke bottles and cups. Not thinking since we were talking, we cracked it open, then were befuddled as to why we got the bottles instead of going up to the fountain to fill like some of the customers. Apparently the fountain had Pepsi products and if you asked for coke, you were automatically given the bottle. Nothing from the server explaining at time of the order.

The bottled cokes were $2.95 each and the fountain unlimited were $2.50. To add insult to injury, the menu calls out 22 oz cokes. We probably would have ordered the bottled cokes anyway, since we like coke and consider soda a treat. But the way it was handled just left a bad taste in our mouths.

Total bill was $34 and change after tax. Pretty expensive for what it was. For any hot dog fans wanting to give this place a try, stay away. Not worth your time at all. I rarely say that about any place, most of the time at worst, I'll say it's okay and not to my taste. But maybe it's worth a trip to try for the experience or comparison. But not this time.

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  1. My son went their first week and it took him one hour to get one hot dog. That's not good.

    1. I'm sorry Jase. I asked for someone to give the place a shot even though reviews on another site were half good and half very bad. The ones giving the negative reviews claimed the good reviews were probably put in by people with interest in the place. The location has been the doom of many food places so it's not looking good. Glacier ice cream couldn't make it and they had a good product and no service issues. Wienermobile I guess you didn't want to write a bad review without giving the place another chance. I think that's commendable, but you've always seemed fair and balanced like the reviewers here in general. Jase, I might give it a shot. I have a guilty conscience for sending you to the place.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Feed_me

        Oh gosh, please don't have a guilty conscience. I don't blame you or anyone on this site for my meal. We were in the general area and thought it was a good excuse to try them. Bad meals happen especially when in search of good meals.

        Taste is very subjective, which is why I rarely post in absolutes. I try to always frame my reports and experience as to how it fits my tastes. What I find acceptable, others might. But all I care is adding to the data bank for future research and having respectful disagreements and discussions for further education. I've found some great places here from people disagreeing and suggesting other alternatives. I've also found some bad ones (to my tastes), in the end I enjoy the process.

        In this particular situation, I felt things were bad enough that I wanted to take a strong stand. If someone were to still go to this place, at least they are aware. Would I love to be proven wrong and see this place take a quantum leap forward? You bet! But I'm not hurrying back soon until I see several reports from several people I trust. One good report could be an outlier, just like possibly my one bad report is an outlier.

      2. Thank you for your very thorough review, Jase! Much appreciated!