Hot Diggity! The top (hot) dogs in town
Whether you like them plain or fancy, Tallahassee eateries have the perfect hot dog for you
They’re not exactly farm-to-table fare, but some days the smoky goodness of a hot dog (or two) is what will hit the spot. Hot dogs are most often found on the kiddie menu, but there are a variety of local restaurants that put the lowly tube steak in the menu spotlight. If you’re in a hot dog state of mind, here are several places you’ll want to try.
You can get a plain hot dog at this funky shack in the All Saints District, but when you’ve got 15 crazy-good options on the menu, let your freak flag fly! By far the most popular dog is theJefferson — a bacon-wrapped, fried dog topped with house-made mac and cheese ($4.25) — but there’s also the Reuben-like Fat Katz ($4.25) and the Asian-inspired Hari Kari ($3.75), topped with pineapple, teriyaki and sesame seeds. There are burgers on the menu as well as tasty fries you can douse with curry ketchup, malt vinegar or a special house mix of vinegar and peppers (it tastes better than it looks). While you’re working your way through a dog or two, enjoy the décor, which includes a pair of vintage arcade games and memorabilia best described as “retro ’80s kitsch.” Open daily. 805 S. Macomb St., facebook.com/eatVD
Mickey’s Lakeside Café
Mickey’s has a limited menu of sandwiches, soups and salads for lunch, and it includes a few hot dog options, all featuring Boar’s Head beef wieners. For something a little different, try the fresh-tasting “Real” Chicago Dog that’s topped with mustard, onion, relish, tomato, hot peppers and celery salt. The Chili Cheese Dog is another tasty option. Both are $4.50 and come with a side of chips or house-made coleslaw. There’s indoor seating, but nothing beats enjoying your dogs on the patio (live dogs are welcome, too) while you watch the constant activity around Lake Ella. Open for lunch, Tuesday–Saturday. 1611 Monroe St., facebook.com/mickeyslakesidecafe
Don’t judge. The food court at the warehouse store offers a quarter-pound-plus, all-beef Kirkland Signature hot dog and a soda for $1.50. At nine inches long, it’s a tasty behemoth and would probably be infinitely better if it were grilled rather than boiled. Granted, the concrete floors and plastic tables (it’s pretty much a clean-it-yourself deal) make the place a bit short on atmosphere, but remember: It’s a buck-fifty! Sources there tell us they sell upwards of 1,800 a week to members, who know a good deal when they eat one. Open daily to members. 4067 Lagniappe Way, costco.com
Yosties Chili Parlor
The handwritten signs and running commentary from the owner are lighthearted, but this guy is dead serious about his chili dogs. Yostie (it’s his nickname) brags that his dogs are grilled, his buns are steamed and he’s been making his dog-topping chili “since the ’70s.” It’s a saucy, Coney Island-style chili with tiny bits of meat in it, and it somehow sticks onto the dog, even when you turn it upside down. The ATW (All the Way) costs $2.50 and comes with mustard, onions and mild or spicy chili. There are all sorts of lunch specials and quantity discounts at this eatery in the Gaines Street district. Eat six at one sitting and you’ll be immortalized on “Yostie’s Wall of Fame.” Open Monday–Saturday.
915 Railroad Ave., yosties.com
Bradley’s Country Store
Bradley’s is locally famous for its sausage, and you can get a Bradley’s sausage dog on any given weekend in front of your local hardware store. But to get the full experience, take a drive way, way out Centerville Road to the circa-1927 Bradley’s Country Store. Head to the back to get your six-inch mild or hot sausage dog ($3.95, $5.25 with chips and a drink) or foot-long smoked sausage ($5.88). Toppings include the regulars, plus sauerkraut, barbecue sauce and a tasty jalapeno honey mustard. It truly is a country store, with penny (OK, quarter) candy, bottled Nehi sodas and a freezer full of speckled butter beans, purple hull peas and yam patties. Grab a rocking chair on the front porch to enjoy your dog or sit at picnic tables under the huge Live Oak tree. Open daily. 10655 Centerville Rd., bradleyscountrystore.com
Dog et Al
It’s all dogs, all the time at this wiener emporium. Dog et Al offers five sizes of all-beef hot dogs, dressed to your specifications. (Try topping one with chili and cheese or sautéed onions and peppers.) They also serve corn dogs and “Uppity Dogs”: turkey and veggie dogs, brats and a variety of sausages. Take out or take a seat in this no-frills, friendly Southside shop. Dogs start at $2.75 or $7.50 for a combo meal that includes house-made French fries, chips or onion rings, a drink and a fried apple pie. Open Monday–Saturday. 1456 S. Monroe St., dogetal.com